A musician, Frank Zappa once said, “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.” While the quote is a bit of a tongue in cheek, this is what architects do. Only our art is architecture, and at the end of the day, it is all about creating something out of nothing. Using our imagination and creative skills to sketch, draw, paint, model, render, create and design.
Architecture for me, is an amazingly complex field and an incredible education in itself. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have no influences in society”, a quote from Mark Twain. This is truly how the reality works; just as we need clothing, we need buildings that clothe us. No matter how crazy an architecture looks like, it should be related to people's lives and always linked with the society. I hope to learn more on geography, as it would have opened my eyes further with issues that are happening in the society everyday, such as pollutions, ageing population and scarcity of resources. This knowledge would allow me to be closer with the society and become inspirations to design an enjoyable and sustainable environment for our generation and beyond.
During my last internship, I worked at a residential firm in Taiwan that mostly designs for the affluent. Often architects would be involved in the design of interior space; and from my point of view, the key design element for interior space is “the scale and proportion in relation to its inhabitants”. There are many studies on proportion throughout history, from DaVincis canon of proportions to Le Corbusiers modular man. How buildings reflect human scale is a key component in the works of architects, as a successful spatial design is to simply make people enjoy their stay and feel comfortable in that space. Another interesting thing that I learned from my internship was the choice between creativity and clients' opinions - how would an architect balance his/her own desire in order to satisfy clients' needs? This is also why I would love to continue my exploration on design, to create designs with with fewer constraints and also continue my exploration on spatial possibilities and new modes of inhabitation.
If I need to use one word to describe myself, it will be “Curious”, I love exploration and to reduce the “unknowns” in my life. I have travelled a lot throughout my life and in every city that I have visited, I found buildings which truly excite me. For example, the Absolute Towers in Canada, Bergisel Ski Jump in Austria, Lloyds Building in London, the Selfridges Building in Birmingham and the National Palace Museum in Beijing. I always wonder how architects could come to great ideas and develop them from a basic initial concept to the final piece. This is the priceless part of designing and I have this dedication and commitment to develop ideas in my future projects.
Since I grew up in Hong Kong, I always thought that this is the exceptional city that stands out from many other international cities, especially in the field of architecture. However, as I have travelled around the world, I started to feel that buildings in Hong Kong are dull and grey. “The Concrete Jungle”, a term used to describe the high rise buildings surrounding one another. The lack of space forces the people of Hong Kong to design with height (high-rise developments), which limits the creativity of architects and becomes the major design challenge in Hong Kong. The dense urban condition and the limits of architecture create conditions where interiority and crowdedness is the primary mode of existence. I know this is not going to be changed in the near future, but at least, I am determined to make a difference. If we can’t get rid of these packed high rise , architects could make them more eye-catching. I really want to prepare myself by studying further, in order to be qualify, to have the ability to build the fantasy in the reality, transform the dull design into inspiring architectural wonders.
Exploring how to combine the creativity and logical skills together effectively, in order to design human habitat in harmony with the environment, help me to bring my imagination into real life — is what I look forward in my future career.