Thursday, April 28, 2011


My Target for the KK Half marathon this Sunday 1 May 2011.
I will keep you posted.
A time of 2:35 (argghhh!) means back to more training and watching what I eat.

from left, Sam, me, Sara, Sean, Pris and Eng Hooi

Nonetheless, the company was good and the girls did well; Sara and Pris did 2:40+ in their first Half marathon and Sam improved her PB without any training whatsoever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ain't that nice....

I came across this link when visiting Lucy Bullivant's website; someone from ThinkLab wrote a nice review about our presentation at DATUM 2010. I know it's almost been a year but when someone says something positive about your work; it's worth taking note.
here's the clickable link.
Sou Fujimoto

Friday, April 22, 2011

Building Details

These are details for a current project; usually a colleague and I draw them up on butter paper or on the back of old tender documents. Other times, I try to record my ideas in my sketch book.

I enjoy the discipline and the solitude of this task; in the office I put my headphones on to do this without interruption. Flying times are handy for this too; 3-4 details between Kuching and Bintulu while Kuching - KL gets you 6. Mostly these ideas are already sorted out in my mind, only needing to drawn up for discussion, pricing, etc.

The more troublesome ones have a way of working themselves out once they are set free on paper. I show the built items in a month's time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Religious Freedom

These are sketches of the St.Thomas Cathedral in Kuching; during several visits (re-visits) to this school-day landmark. I took some students there for a sketching exercise, and while there I thought about some recent discussions concerning freedom of choice. Specifically within the practice of architecture. We constantly use our projects to express ourselves and to test our ideas, and ultimately make our own mistakes. For the firm that wants to grow creatively, this is a practice to be encouraged, especially amongst their young architects.

They must have the freedom to make the important decisions for the projects that they run; the design approach, the datelines, even the fees to be charged and the technical support required to complete the project.
view from the front entrance steps
cross section through the church
showing the saw-tooth configuration of the side aisle

partial elevation showing the articulated wall line
from the inside, this translates into seating niches for 3-4 people.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time out in Kenyalang Park

Kenyalang Park is one of the oldest housing estates in Kuching and today still bears the hallmarks of its modern planning such the creation of pedestrain links and a self sustaining communal centre. The architecural langauage is similarly Modernist with its blade-walls as fire-breaks in between the terrace (row) houses and the terrazzo sun-shades in the neighbouring shophouses.

Since its inception in the 1970s, it has created its own identity and even its own sub-culture. This is been surpassed by the recent influx of shopping arcades but once every so often the local Kuchingite still venture to Kenyalang Park especially during Chinese festivals. Paper lanterns during the Mooncake festival; fire-crackers, banners and flowers for the Chinese New Year.

It is the underbelly of Kenyalang Park that I enjoy; the selling of privated DVDs, the seedy kopi-tiams (coffee-shops) selling cheap kopi-O to the horse-racing bookies and their clientele. The smell of desperation mingled with cigarette smoke is a powerful narcotic to many - judging from the number people clustered around the heavily tatooed gentlemen with handfuls of money.

I spent a little time and even less money (on cheap coffee and a Stabilo Point 188 pen) and sketched the shops with their terrazzo fins and glass (and aluminium) louvres in between for ventilation. The face brickwork adds colour and texture to the simple concrete framed structures. Later I wandered towards the traffic gardens and sketched the terrace houses flanking the park; there were children playing badminton in the streets, some flying kites.It was 6 pm; someone is frying fish for dinner and the smell reminded me that I was hungry. 

Time to go home.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Old Friends

There were two speakers from the Deakin University Alumni at the PAM Design Forum; Dr.Tan Loke Mun and myself - we discovered that we shared more common experiences while in Geelong than we had originally imagined - including working for a local builder-architect, Peter Lockyer and many anecdotes involving mutual friends. In the midst of our conversation, 'Doc' mentioned that he has copies of our ID photos when we registered as students in the Architectural faculty, and knowing my interest in photography promised to send me the copies. 

Here are an excerpt from them;  I was in third year in 1987 - in the same class as Brendan Mooney, Chong Lee Siong, Brenda Mckenzie and Chris Yip (I wonder what happened to him?). 

I emailed them to fellow class mates and others in Australia, and quite suddenly a reunion was suggested and organised for our 25th year reunion to be held in Melbourne. In the process, I got in contact again with Dianne (of the 3 Girls on Bikes fame), Simon Tiller and Sam Penfold (who kindly sent me a recent photo of themselves). Memories unfold and forgotten stories are remembered when I look at these black and whites. I plan to collect recent photos of themselves and complete an updated version of this list, perhaps in time for the reunion.
Simon and Sam

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dinner for One

A glass of wine and a good book is sometimes better company than a table full of business colleagues; especially after a long few days of meetings. I find that when dining alone the other diners tend to not notice you are there (as do the waiters) and as a result, they speak more openly. You can then eavesdrop in between the chapters of your book; for instance the three Indian gentlemen seated in front of me are treating their friend who is a new arrival from the home country; buying frozen chapattis for the chef to cook; the newbie has brought a jar of homemade chutney to share. He is the only one eating with his fingers; sucking them clean and running the flat of his knuckles on the plate and licking them to pick up gravy.
To my left, the wife has probably just flown in with 'bubs' to see daddy - Bintulu is full of people working 'on-site' away from their families - and they are having a quiet chat (too quiet to hear) while 'bubs' entertains the dinner crowd. The toddler walks from table to table 'talking' to the patrons. I sent him on his way with the 'medium rare' flag and a sprig of shallot garnish from my plate.