Going back to 2008

It used to be more fun.


See the email message I sent to the design thesis students in 2008:

Dear All,

As usual, the following comments and opinion is from me alone, although I may present some common views mentioned among the studio masters on yesterday’s crit session.

Before that, I would like to say ‘sorry’ that I was ‘half-asleep’ although I my eyes was open as I was tired from staying up until 4 am that morning due to my submission. Having said that, it is a challenge to present to sleepy people but this is the reality. But as the only full-time studio lecturer, I should have been 100% awake, so apologies to that. However the time taken for me to stay awake and alert is 22 times more than yours, so I think even though you and I may have stayed up until 4 am, but I have the ‘bigger’ challenge!

Having said that, we have a studio to run and now we are facing a crucial time in the Design Process of the Design Thesis. The 7th week of the 1st semester mark a time when after 7 weeks plus 7 weeks (14 in total) you had done enough research (or you should have done enough research). Now is the time the DESIGNER side of you takes command of the situation. You are the driver of the car and you are driving somewhere. The question is: where are you driving?

Navigational skills here are needed and you do not have the luxury of the co-driver. Yup, suddenly he/she has been ejected from the seat and has been hurtled into outta space so you are now on your own!

You don’t have time, because if not the Gatekeeper (who guards the place where you are going to) will bolt the gates as soon as the sun sets. And guess what? You may be running outta gas…oh oh??



This is not a scary movie, because this is a thriller. (I am at the edge of my seat!)

Picture this:

Will Seng Yeap be able to appease everyone and come up with a design that says all ‘humanity’ wants to say about an Eco-Literacy School? Will Kok Yong pull it off with his graveyard shenanigans? Will Iskandar do the most difficult thing in the world and combine all the firemen and their families and every single machine known to Jalan Hang Tuah Fire Fighting Unit – all in one site and make it working like a humdinger of a design with even a simulation space in the Atrium? Will Zuhaili create a place for worship that does ‘what it says it will do’ and more and even the non-Muslims would love to come and have a visit there?

It’s all the edge on your seat stuff here in the 5th Year Design Studio! Better than Broadway, better than Serendah and all its glass houses, this is mind-blowing stuff ready to explode!

And guess what? It’s free! But its beautiful stuff…

(end of Part 1…I need to get inspired to write Part 2 – wait a bit ah?)


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