Wednesday, 15 July 2009

this is in responds to the post made by KS

firstly, please dont treat this like a hate mail... it's just an opinion... i didnt respond to my previous posts cause some of you were getting hostile...@_@

anyway... moving on

well first thing first.. who are we to judge if a person is talented or not? and who are we to say that an untalented person will not make good architecture? cause then it will beg the question - what is good architecture?

what is good architecture? this question is debated thru history and is never resolved untill today.. it is like chasing the wind... a utopia that we architects always seek to achieve... but hey, even if u do achieve utopia and that 'good architecture', just because you are the one that conceived it, it's not good anymore... cos you yourself is not perfect... there will always be something negative about your approach.. always.. guarateed... so are you making bad architecture then? does it mean you are less talented? =)

as far as the way the system is structured...

i believe you do know that this problem is a worldwide problem in every architecture school.. it's relative.. subjective to whoever that beholds it. and it is the nature of our profession to be constantly under unfair scutiny. it is up to us to man up to the game, dust it off our shoulders and move on to the next challenge. if we can't take that, then well sorry dude, you're just not emotionally cut for it.

as far as i am concerned, we should always be mindful of the big picture. dont just focus on our little bubble of the architecture school. think about what will happen in the real world. think of your tutor as your client and your assignment as your multi-million dollar project. your ultimate goal is to get the building built and to satisfy your client.

in architectural practice (AP) you can't always hide from your client. you have to meet regularly with him. discuss ideas. get feedback. go back. work on it. come back. get screwed. go back and get unscrewed. come back and the process goes on. So, it IS our duty to see our tutors whether or not they say 'do whatever u want' or whether u think u are too talented and u dun need that lousy tutor. it IS the way it sud be. so if u get penalized for not showing up for tutorials, sorry la brother..

in AP you have timeline. a critical path that you have to stick to. coz if you dont follow it, your company loses money and your client gets cranky. so similarly, design is not an excuse. doesnt mean you have the most wonderful idea and talented idea then u have an excuse for not producing quality drawings and renderings and presentation. to me, that is the lamest excuse ever and most irresponsible excuse ever. we have been given a timeline, we should keep to it. yes i know it's hard. i struggle with it too. cos architects are perfectionist. but at some point we gotta say stop and move on to documentation (drawings)..

yes identity is important as a design school and SABD owes it to us to have a clear and consice vision. i agree. but it's not the school that defines u. it is U who defines yourself. it is YOU, thru study and research, find your niche and stick to it and brand yourself with it. again, big picture thinking.

yes external crits can be violent and hostile. but again, it is the nature of our course. we put up our best for the sleeziest people to chop. it is a sad fact but it is what makes us architects. it defines our character, builds our resolve, refines our approach and it causes us to rethink and reevaluate. well yea sure, it feels bitter. i understand. totally. but we need to learn to look at it in a holistic manner and take it in positively.

let me encourage us all to not be so affected by grades. tadao ando never entered architecture school. frank gehry was told by his architecture tutor to quit architecture cause it is 'not' for him... grades are not everything. what is more important is your identity

who u are as an architect is ultimately what makes or breaks u... it is ur brand.. ur bread and determines how you work.. and how your work defines you... it molds your company.. it directs it... your identity... find it

if you leave architecture school discovering yourself and believing in yourself and what you have become... i would say that SABD did a good job... entering architecture school is not about grades.. grades will not land you a job... but your identity.. your personality and your character will... no point getting good grades but without substance.... entering architecture school is about changing your mind... from a normal person's to an architect's mind.. that's what is important..=)

so yea, appeal all you want.. but if we are waiting for SABD to change.... why not ask how can we change first..? =)


BADesign said...

wow.. i totally agree with richard.. ;)

unfortunately, we are in the design line.. design line is very very very subjective.. there are no laws or rules that say 1 + 1 = good design or very talented.

therefore, it is impossible for any design school, not only architecture school to set a fixed rule or guideline or policy for their tutors on how to mark a person.

not everybody is talented. not everybody is hardworking. but not talented doesnt mean he/she is not hardworking, not hardworking doesnt mean he/she is not talented.

Let's say if tutors were suppose to mark based on either TALENT or HARDWORK.
if you are talented and hardworking then good for you, i'm sure it won't be a problem for you to score.
BUT, for people who are not so talented, if they r being marked on talent then they will forever not have the chance to shine isnt it.

On the other hand, if a person is talented and they are always given high grades and good comments, eventually a person will be over confident and then start to fail. Giving a talented person lower marks doesnt mean tutors are discouraging that person, but more of helping to suppress that fire within.

Thats why there just cant be a fixed guideline or rule for tutors to give grades because our works and us are just so varied.

Somebody used to say or told me this before:


so what if you are talented or hardworking. if your master(client) says NO then its a no.. you cant do anything but accept it.. you can persuade them to change but you cant force them to.

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

i quote benson,

"so what if you are talented or hardworking. if your master(client) says NO then its a no.. you cant do anything but accept it.. you can persuade them to change but you cant force them to."

that's why sometimes master architects are not master architects cos they design well... they are master architects cos they got the client to say yes to the often-over -the-top budget and got the builder to agree to build it... that to me is a master architect...

cos if you cant get your design built... u can kiss ur 5 year education good buy.. it will be for nothing..=)

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

oops.. typo... i meant bye not buy

KS said...

owh well..

since when did i say the school shud hv a fixed guideline for marking, i merely said the school shud hv a clear vision to follow and not just let tutors saying opposite things and possibly contradict even among themselves.

and it's not at all about how to grade talent and hardwork, it's about how to grade an end product, regardless of basing on talent or hardwork because that depicts ur ability.

richard i agreed with u about all the truths out there and the positive emotions to have, and certain level of compromise is surely required to practice architecture. But i personally think there's too much compromise in your statements, problems remain, and should we overlook them?
aihya i wait for ian's reply first la if he's free to layan me..

Anyway, i don't think doing architecture is about getting buildings built. We're a lil bit more than builders.

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

haha.. dude.. u miss the point... how does it get built in the first place? negotiation skills... a good architect is a good negotiator...

and no, i did not say that we sud compromise... what i said has nothing to do with compromising... please reiterate...

what i am saying is that this whole thing makes sense if you look at it from the point of view of an architect and his practice..

right now, you are still looking at it as a student...

but well since you say the problems still remain.. why dont u lay it out one by one... we will see if it is really still a problem..start a new post and lay it down one by one..=) and we go from there...

yes architecture is not about getting buildings built. u can have all the fancy ideas in the world. but in the end, if its not built, then? does it count for anything?

but nvm... lets lay down the problems one by one and we see how we can bring it from there... it is not as complicated as u put it to be..=)

ocaender said...

studio is studio and practice is practice/?

you might end up not talking about the same.

ian ng said...

OMGosh! This is a huge can of worms! Or it it a poisoned pawn?

Yes I will layan you, KS. I will dream up a valid answer in my sleep tonight. Right now I have to vacate the computer in 5 mins. Haha. It's been a mad working day trying to crack our 6 heads on how to do a class animation video in 5 days or so.

I'll just leave you with an anecdote for thot (and your comments.)

The tutor handed the design brief to every student in the studio. It said: "Design an exercise machine for a dog."

One of the students thought for a minute, then said to the astonished tutor, "Here's my design submission."

"What? you've only just got the brief..."

"Are you ready to grade it, Sir?"

"Well..why, you...ok, if you have it."

The student held up the brief, crumpled it into a paper ball, flung it across the studio, and said, "Fetch, Fido!"

The tutor and the entire class were stunned!

End of anecdote.

Now, if you were the tutor, what grade would you give the student?

Ok, I'll come back tomorrow. Let's hear what u have to say.

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

cos quite frankly, these are the thoughts that runs thru our minds every time we get a brief from our tutors

but because we are 'designers'... we tend to feel the need to overthink things..

i mean, if this is not the case then why do we always have the term 'back to basics' or even 'minimalist'....

sometimes its just not that complicated... and the simplest gesture and most naive of solutions are the best...

so yea, BRILLIANT...

brilliant for thinking outside the box... which in this case, is the box of 'over-thinking'... =)

KS said...

at most a pass, that's it.
It's easy and it works, but does that mean it is the best solution to the brief? I don't know about it, but we hv to be critical to the current situations we're in, study it, criticize it, and substantiate (if any) a new solution.

any problem with 'overthinking'? architects should Think first before drawing up any lines.
Don't misunderstand 'back to basics'/'minimalist', it's deeper than it sounds and it's based on much much more comtemplations than u wud imagine.
Basic/Simple doesnt mean what we hv now. In fact, current realities are often already so unnecessarily complex that we're trying to think/design our way back to the basics.

KS said...

and i agreed with yangsquare.
architects shudnt just thinking about making testaments of their existence.
architects shud think what's architecture and what does it do.
just my belief anyway.

Richard Lee Mun Chun said...

haha...dude... u said it urself.. it is UNNECESSARILY COMPLEX... why so ? simple... cos really in the end.. human needs are is complicated because we made it so...

but anyway... my world view is very different from u anyway... because i believe in living and preparing for eternity... and in the end of the day it is how we live that determines the future... but how we live right now have been directed so far away from what it should really should be... generally if you were to summarized my manifesto, it would be 'cultural sustainability'.. i wrote a whole manifesto on it this semester...

but anyway that's my manifesto and my world view....

but one thing tho... not over thinking doesnt mean not thinking ya..*wink*

but dont be so critical on architecture just yet... i mean, its good u have an opinion... but we have much to learn.. and soon u may disagree with urself...

we live and we learn =)

jsopeh said...

"yes architecture is not about getting buildings built. u can have all the fancy ideas in the world. but in the end, if its not built, then? does it count for anything?"
-ask zaha and libeskind for architects who never got most of their ideas built. and ask the rest of the world who arent architects. ideas of architecture dont always have to lead to architecture. open up, architecture is only PART of this world.

"but dont be so critical on architecture just yet... i mean, its good u have an opinion... but we have much to learn.. and soon u may disagree with urself..."
-as with you? critics are the only way to make improvements, who said current criticisms equals the law of the unchangeable universe? if u werent critical u make no steps, if u dont be critical enough, u dont see further.

i have one question. why is it so important to you that everything gets built? didnt u just write a whole manifesto on 'cultural sustainability'? which part of that says 'it only matters when u get things built'? i could see it in the sense that architects build buildings, but what happened to the living? seems to me that u wouldnt mind being one of the regular architects who ignores to build well when he knows it'll get through anyway. then again, what happened to identity and beliefs? somewhere in the end of ur arguement, u say a good architect is a good negotiator, but obviously a good negotiator isnt a good architect; where does the bad architects + good negotiator go? what do u do with them? what COULD you do with them? u seem focus so much on getting the project through that good architecture seems to be the latter concern when infact ure supposed to be an architect and not a negotiator.

i've probably gone off topic, but i think the topic's kinda resolved with what u replied with the "real-world" answer (i personally believe that students should be as pure as they can until they get thwarted by reality criterias; good ideas come from everyone at every age. [dont get carried away with whether or not that idea gets built =P ideas stay as ideas, execution is a different story altogether])

oh and to add on..
human WANTS are simple. human needs arent. the physiological needs to make things work maybe seem workable in its current age, but we always improve because of the problems we later see. as of todays concern, sustainability, i believe its not as simple as you've made it to sound, or else we wouldnt have been in this position in the first place. please dont confuse wants and needs. the simple need of shelter is frank, but the need to sustain isn't. architecture plays the part to improve and innovate buildings, but what buildings are qualified as is no different in every country despite efficiency. if anything is simple, its only stating the problems that's simple, nothing else.

so... when u said "if we are waiting for SABD to change.... why not ask how can we change first..? =)" i think that made alot sense. only unfortunately to see, i think u've kept with ur beliefs alil too strongly. open up friend!!

(hope u were honest about letting opinions run freely =D)

KS said...

nah it's not about who should change first, we can and we are improving (don't say change) all the time, and the SABD and all other schools should do so too at the same time. Both party has their own different problems, absolutely no point about waiting or not.

Lazy responding to the rest for now...nites..