The Narrative – Part 1

The Narrative is a way to engage your work in an interesting manner where you are able to take the “reader” (the person listening and trying to understand what you say) into your “world” (the place you want them to ‘join’ you in your journey). Based on what I had analysed so far, none of the 4th year students could present in narratives. Yes, none. Well not yet. Bits and pieces of description was presented but none yet in a form of narrative that you can consider as satisfactory.

In the 5th year, it is expected of you to present in a narrative. The definition of a narrative is described differently from a variety of sources, but the similarity is to do with “telling a story or an idea” and is done in sequence, with a beginning and an end.

When I sat in the crit panel yesterday, I noticed that Azam chopped and served bits of narratives but there was not a discerning total story. I expected him to be able to talk but it was not well-prepared or well-thought out as I expected. Then came Si Yee, where she actually had a narrative, but it was too long and it should have ended well. That was to do with the fact that her drawings were about 30 feet long and the disruption caused by the crit panel members standing up and down was not helping to the cause… When it came to Adelin, she was talking to herself (in a low voice) and there were bits of interesting witty comments, that I caught, but it wasn’t presented in a manner to “underline” her probably very good assertions. There was probably a narrative, but because it was often not that audible, we were not that attentive and that probably annoyed her. After that we had Azizan whom could not present in a narrative form as his project did not have a “thesis” and well, he just presented in bits and pieces. Lastly, I sat through Farehah’s presentation which could have been better, but we were a bit rushed. Farehah should have insisted with her rights to present well, hence if you have a strong narrative, people will listen and make the time for you.

For those of you reading, the last post, this post and possibly the next one, they are a direct response to the discussion we (the future studio masters) had with the next semester’s (2008/09) Design Thesis Studio. Fresh after their final presentation on the Affordable Housing Project and surrounded by their seniors’ presentation drawings on the Design Thesis around them, each potential 5th year student said his/her piece about what topic/s they would like to do.

I took some notes and listed down the topics that he/she proposed:

Shazuin – Cultural/Arts based project… Kevin reminded the difference between Culture/Arts and Heritage and we have to “clearly” see the difference between these two themes…Heritage is static or to do with the past and tradition, where else Culture/Arts are evolving… (this comment would apply to all who are interested in the theme on Cultural/Arts.)

Farhana – A project in the context of Melaka’s inner historic city, ie Jonker’s Street. Something to do with the pedestrian precinct (in view of the Structure Plan that targets vehicle free zones etc)

Boon Siong – Automobile themed project…Kevin suggested ‘Proton Production Factory’… Ferozan suggested to refer to the Winner for the RIBA President’s Medal Award (Gold winner, a few years back) as a reference to this project…

Iskandar – Socially themed project… to do with Pasar Tani / Pasar Malam…or an Aerospace themed project…or an Automobile themed project… Kevin suggested if Boon Siong doesn’t want the Proton Production Factory, why don’t Iskandar take it instead… (Later the Fire Station Project interest Iskandar…)

Asrul – Tourism themed project, and he spoke about the Central Market and RMK9 (?)… I suggested a context based project would be suitable like Masjid India area…

Seng Yeap – Restaurant or food themed project…the issue of “complexity” was questioned by the future studio masters…

Aisyah – Health care services project in Ipoh…cited Structure Plan also…Health park…the studio masters threw other projects on “post-surgery/post-cancer/alternative medicine”instead…

Ammy – Training Centre for Agricultural Machinery… the studio masters threw ideas on Agricultural Products rather than the focus on machinery… again, issues on “complexity” was voiced out…

Wendy – Autism kids and Arts and Crafts Centre…whatever it is, the topic needs to be digested and understood quickly so Wendy need to make a decision on the thesis…

Pei Kion – “Confinement” centre for women… or something to do with a Women’s Centre… it sounded so bleak to “confine” women…

Yee Ping – State Library in Seremban…(Can go and refer to Kevin as he did that for his thesis…)

Zuhaili – Something to do with Underground Music…a club?

Ikhwan – Bangi context…possibly a library or pasar tani…

Yusup – Performance Arts Centre (seems like some of the batch not satisfied with their 3rd year projects – see Seng Yeap’s Restaurant…) Helena said a specific genre would help, cited on the Indian Classical Dance Centre by our graduate Kesavan…

Sting – Something do with Melaka’s archaeological diggings at the “fort”…Helena and I mentioned about the Middleburg Bastion which the authorities are digging… (maybe Sting could do it…the Melaka Experience!)

Kok Yong aka Philip – PAM Centre…the studio masters were overjoyed – finally someone’s going to do it… Kok Yong wanted to deal with the Malaysian Identity or something like that so his next idea was The National Museum…then he was thinking about The Bus Terminal in Muar or The Stadium in Muar…

Kar Wai – Pudu Raya Bus Terminal…

I will share more thoughts later on The Narrative…

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