Saturday, May 25, 2013

Picking Your Brain

Last month, a former acquaintance rang me in the middle of the day and wanted to meet me, I was busy trying to finish some projects before we left for Europe so I told him I would ring him back. I rang him back later thinking he was going to ask me something over the phone, but he needed to meet me, he explained that he wanted to 'pick me my brains' about a project that he and his family members were contemplating. And when I told him I could only meet him after my return from Europe several weeks later, he got a little testy - and this is from someone that I have not heard from for a long time. This got me thinking about the etiquette for seeking and giving advice.
He used the term 'picking your brain', which I despise as it  implies that he would select choice bits of information and advice that I may impart and discard the rest depending what suited his purpose.

But I should not be so touchy - several days later I was guilty to doing the same albeit in a more civilised manner; by attending a design conference where for a payment of RM 100, I can seat in comfort and hear four exponents of 'environmentally sensitive' talk about their work.

bamboo bridge
Elora Hardy from the Bali Green School uses bamboo and local craftsmen to build houses, bridges and even swimming pools - her design are organic in plan with free-flowing sections. The design are often built in bamboo scale models first before being transformed into the real building; also built in bamboo.

the roof becomes landscape and is used as a vegetable garden

Vo Trong Nghia from Vietnam is also well known for his bamboo buildings, such as the Wind and Water Bar - although his approach in bamboo construction is modularised and structured. This time he spoke more about his projects built from more conventional materials; showing that his skills are not limited to bamboo buildings only.

using trees as facade for wedding boutique

The speaker who impressed me most was also the youngest; BC Ang from BuildingBloc talked about their (his wife is the other half of the design team) innovative and witty design that usually include nature as part of the solution.

It was a nice morning's work, made more enjoyable by Sean's company - later I took the bus to the airport and he took the train back to school.

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