We had an occasion for giving a speech yesterday in conjunction with the Paradoxical Graduation Show at UM Gallery.
This is the gist of the speech that I gave in the conclusion of our U2 studio 2018/19.
The design thesis studio experience goes hand in hand with the design thesis experience that each student underwent. The former involves the tutors whereby the latter is the student’s own world which the tutors may not know of. We can grade both, in fact, the students were given a grade by the tutors. A student may have scored an A for the studio work but failed in that year in their personal world, as I recounted arguing with my housemate and being an “ass” back in London. Anyway, the bottom line that I wished to convey that although we are in a studio with others, we are working on our own and we can be a champion in our own league. A league of our own. And that’s what really counts in this world / life. How we rate ourselves at the end of the day.
Our studio leader in the tutors and critics team is Kevin Mark Low. I had been conducting the design thesis studio with Kevin, 5 times and with Lisa, twice now. I have conducted the design thesis studio 7 times now, twice the second year studio and many times the 3rd year studio and once the 4th year. But in the end we must know how best to run the studio and Kevin is great as the leader of the team, with his motivation and vision. Our critics were: Ar. Chris Wong, Amna Emir, Ar. Loke Chew Ping, Ar. Ch’ng Sao Inn, Ar. BC Ang, Ar. Ang Wen Hsia, Kamil Merican, Cheah Kok Ming (NUS) and Ar. Foo Hui Ping. They are the consultants and sometimes experts.
In fact all of us, Kevin, Lisa and I have to be consultants and experts, but Lisa and I have to be the coaches all the time.
Consultant <> Expert <> Coach
We thank Dr Azzam and Ar Sarly for defending our studio during the portfolio review. So let’s start with what our studio is about.
Our students rose to the challenges that were given to them. The tireless hearts, Najihah and Sam, with a little bit more to do; the brave hearts, Eva and Joo Yin, who always took blows after blows of challenges; the pace setters, Cheryl and Saiful, who are the leaders in terms of the program; the explorers and travellers, Zee, Yasmin, Adam, Amirul and Azmeer; and the designers, Khai Ling, Zi Shuang, Michelle and Jia. We celebrate their achievements.
The students worked in a group during semester one and some had to also work as a group later on when their design matured and developed, especially those around the bazaar area.
Kampung Kerinchi design thesis program follows the approach of “site-context issues driven” agendas for the projects. It is to do with urban design, master-planning and the urban architecture type ( as opposed to the stand-alone building type with issues devoid from the context). Hence, all of the programs comes from the issues from the site, the people, community, neighbourhood, those working and especially those who live at the site area. The studio is concerned with solving the real problems from the study and research of the area.
This summarizes the approach to design and methodology of our engagement in conceptual design, detailed design and special studies. The conceptual diagram is very important from start to finish, and is the testimony to the designer on whether she or he was successful in the program.
Yesterday, we concluded the learning episode and brought it to a close. And we start another journey. I told them, we shall pray that they are now equipped and confident to face more challenges in their life as a graduate architect.
Photos below shows: The poster for the graduation show, the exhibition space for the show at UM Art Gallery, studio discussion the students had during special semester, Eva’s poster of her design thesis concept, Cheryl’s interim crit drawings and Joo Yin’s development model.