Thursday, July 26, 2012


Last Wednesday, I presented a short talk at the PAM centre - in an attempt to explain how a roomful of architects of diverse backgrounds, interests and preoccupations come together to produce a body of work that enjoyed success at the Design Awards. I say 'an attempt' because we have tried this twice before - the first time when Huat Lim of ZLG interviewed for an article called "Analysing DNA", followed by a presentation called "Re-analyzing DNA" several years later when we tried to do the same. On both occasions, we did not succeed in shedding any light.

This time, I used 15 of our PAM Awards entries to describe the common design pre-occupations to we share such as 'memory' - an interest to retain and extent the personal history of the site; to use local craft and materials in craft our buildings; challenging accepted norms and typologies to name a few.

Due to the earlier start-times of the talk, only about 40 persons attended, amongst them was Dato Dr. Kenneth Yeang - his GM spoke about their winning scheme in Singapore "Solaris Green". Mingi spoke about the Facelift and his two Showrooms.

Mingi presenting his work

The time given for the talk was 30 minutes which was rather short - I plan to revise this presentation and add more material for an hour's worth of information for my next session of architecture students.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I have been working...honest!

House in the woods

Pavilion in a garden (under construction)

House near a canal

House in farmlands

Shoe shelves and seat from material recycled from renovation
The drawings above are proof that I have been working quite hard despite insinuations from close friends that I have "living it up" in Bangkok; while that may be true - these drawings are A3 size and theoretically could have been completed on the train, plane or automobile.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bangkok Sketch Crawl

I believe that the term ‘sketch-crawl’ is derived from the term ‘pub-crawl’ – the latter involves going from pub to pub, drinking; meeting people in a new place. The ‘crawl’ could be taken to mean the leisurely pace at which matters are conducted or the position one ends up in after the numerous drinks.  

A sketch crawl is conducted in much the same spirit; with participants agreeing to meet at a destination, then moving from place to place; sketching.

In Bangkok, a sketch crawl takes on a different meaning with the downtown traffic snarl slowing things to a crawl literally which can be frustrating unless you make hay while the sun shines. These sketches are done as the bus we were in moved in instalments of twenty metres every 3 minutes – we were late for our planned dinner show which had to be postponed but at least one person is happy.

The happy troupe at the Teak Mansion

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wat s up?

On June the 30th, everyone (almost) from DNA got on a plane and flew to Bangkok for a holiday together - three generations aged from 2 to 72 and many other numbers in between. For 5 days, we shared a bus and a hotel (the 4th floor of the Bangkok Ecotel); tried Thai food and experiences. I shared in their excitement, but mostly I was happy to observe while shopping sprees were planned and conducted; food tested and re-tasted. And happy to sketch from the window as our bus crawled through downtown traffic.

I am happiest with my sketches of Wat Arun ' Temple of Dawn' - across the Chao Phraya River; they did not need further touching up and was finished in the time we were there. 
I had a hour and used it to complete these three pen sketches while my colleagues climbed to the upper tiers of the temple structure.

Arlene took a photo of me sketching at Wat Arun