Concept and Ideas

Here we go again on “concept and ideas”. There were some debates (not much really) on how early students of architecture should be exposed to”concepts”. In the 1st year or 2nd year? 1st year -definitely. So should it be in the 1st semester or 2nd semester. To me as early as possible. But we need a lot of coaching in the beginning. It’s a matter of mastering the language, both English and Architecture. With experience, the student of architecture would know instantly whether they buy someone’s so-called “concept” or not.

You sell concepts. Balinese, Japanese, Indian, Chinese…whatever…the different types of architecture are concepts. Like what Take Bane says, “I have an idea. Let’s go out!” “Where to?” “Let’s go out to have dinner” (Another idea…) ” Let’s have a Japanese dinner” (A concept…)

Perhaps the student of architecture would say, “My concept is a leaf!” “What?”, cried the studio master. ” A leaf is not a concept!” “Why not?”, says the student. “A leaf is an idea.” “???”, thought the confused student.

Another student would suddenly say, “My concept is ‘kegemilangan’ (glory)”. “Oh no”, says the studio master. “???”, confused student no. 2.

So, you cannot have “leaf” as a concept, and you cannot have “kegemilangan” (glory) as a concept, what can you have then???

Depending on the building type, brief and context, let’s take ‘leaf’ as an idea. We need to then ‘expand’ or ‘narrate’ the architecture that was inspired by the idea of the ‘leaf’. Here we can explain that the architecture has a ‘spine’ which then feeds itself (flows into) capillaries ( or links or corridors) into parts of the building, creating an ‘organic’ concept. Because of the idea of ‘growth’ and the idea of the ‘leaf’, we see an emerging concept of an organic architecture. And how will we manage further.

We will then sketch the leaf and the growth and the strong bold strokes of the designer. We could spread it out, abundantly or we could rationalise it.

The seed of the design will emerge once we think broadly rather than narrowly. We must read and we must inquire throughout from the very start to the very end. Non stop. Till we are thoroughly satisfied.

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