Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A story of my Country

In the early 1900 or even before, the British brought in an influx of Chinese and Indian immigrants. All looking for a better life as they see great opportunity in a land fresh to the modern concept of 'development' and 'commercialism'.

In Malaya they faced lesser competition compared the densely populated lands of China and India. These immigrants traded more among themselves than the local Malays ; the Malays didn't see much reason to trade considering that their land is abundant and they are contended with their way of life. The sultans too were always looking after the Malays as they were the rakyats of this country.

As time passed, commercial centers started to expand into cities. The recently developed methods of buying land enabled the cash rich population to expand their territories. In those days, most of the cash rich were either Chinese (for being master traders) or Royalty (Inherited wealth). The common Malays were starting to feel the pinch of the modern life. They did not take part in the development process and were left out from the growth.

At the time of the independence, the ruling government started by addressing the disparity between the Chinese population who has money... and the Malays who did not. The government did well in enabling the Malays to compete in the modern world. Malays were given education and jobs. This provided them with money to survive and the tools needed to grow.

However, a large number of Chinese traders were already millionaires by then and were controlling the marketplace. The government stepped in again to push a handful of Malays to achieve wealth that enable them to compete with these wealthy Chinese.

The government using its muscles to push rich Malays to even greater riches to compete with the super wealthy Chinese.

Which brings us to today....

The 2nd, 3rd and so forth generation of immigrants have now called Malaysia their home. Being as hard working as they are - Statistically, they are still richer then the Malays, but it is equally as hard for them to compete with the countries' wealthiest.

The Malays wouldn't have had the opportunities they have today without the government intervention. However, they will have to realize that no amount of government help will help them if they do not work hard to better themselves. Educated Malays also realize that only a handful will get government support to further grow their wealth. All these people now fall into the middle class.

Most of the population are no longer included in the game of wealth played by the extravagantly wealthy. 

So where do we go from here? 

The urban population voted for more equal playing grounds.
While the vast majority of sabah and sarawak voted for government help.

If our taxation methods are correct, I don't see why we cant have equal opportunities of growth for everyone (to compete with the world)...and at the same time provide aid to those who need it, no matter their racial background.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tribute to Loki

I haven't written in a long time. makes me feel old. But this week has been a week of life and death for me. 

Loki has passed away. And i want to send him a final tribute...

Loki was an interesting creature, almost pure black. A real shadow in the world. Yet he lives in a world of his own. A figure who kept us company. In our darkest hours. Always keeping us alert so we would be weary of his presence. Ever so weary, till sunlight shines once more. 

I reckon the name was chosen wisely for him. Loki. "The patron of mischief" brother of Thor... I don't think the avengers was out yet then.

Loki. A very good friend. My Richard Parker.

His shadows will linger as we continue to resume our life without his presence.
May we offer the passing of his soul a prayer. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spirit of Bali

Bali will enchant whomever who visits.
Visitors and locals alike will feel a connection to this island.

Bali thrives in its art, be it anything from cooking, painting, sculpture, landscape to architecture. Their artisans work with conviction to produce ornate details in their work. Similar to Gaudi, they intend to produce items that seem to flow and grow.

They live closely with their resources. Their craft is unique, shaped by a shared reverence for the Island. One can sense the pride these artisans have for Bali. Living in their paradise protected from the chaos of chasing a modern way of life.

The growth in their art can be traced back to the spirit of Bali which lives within the Balinese people.

I do not intend to use the word 'spirit' in the 'other worldly' sense. However, here in Bali one cannot dismiss the correlation between a high local spirit and the respect the Balinese show to the islands 'spirits'.

To me, it doesn't matter how people define the word 'spirit'. As i see it :

(connection + conviction + flow and grow + live +  reverence + pride = paradise x  spirit of place)

Monday, January 16, 2012

life in record

The last time i posted in my blog was about 9 months ago.

Time just rushed by as i get consumed in my work.

Among the things ive done since then:
travelling europe, starting life back in malaysia, meeting up with friends that i havent contacted in a while, prepare job application, set up my own company, setting up a restaurant...

Ive always been the type to work hard to get things done so i can enjoy some peace of mind after. I know what I want to achieve,and i would figure out how to get there.

But unlike my student days, the goals i need to achieve now is not as definite. I dont know when i can reach my next goal in life. There is a possibility that its gonna take forever, or it can come in an instant.

Most likely, if i work harder, it may come sooner... the mere possibility pushed me to work harder and harder.

For now im stuck in a phase thats running on overdrive. The time is ticking for me to achieve my goal... and i havent even got to my first major check-point.

At my next check-point, ive got to strategize how i should go about life. This modus operandi is just draining me.

Probably i should add a monthly goal or set more specific project goals. The actual work is keeping me from doing the management aspect of my life.

I should hire someone to do the labour for me.

I need time to be a manager. I need to develop my personal mission, and vision statements. Adapt myself to current situations. Redesign my operational flow chart. Audit myself so i know if im performing efficiently. have my own performance review.

well lets see if i can do it at the next check point.

till then...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Growing an architect.

Yet another post on architecture.. well, thats just my life lately. In fact that's what i guess my life's gonna be like for a long time. Ive studied architecture for 6 years now. Its almost as long as medicine... Why should it be that long? What have i learnt through all this?

I went through 6 years of education, and yet, unlike other courses, i didn't have to memorize much. I had to tackle every design task the lecturer gave me without question. (although they did provide briefs as to what the assignments learning outcome is, i didn't bother reading it).

So now close to the end of my education, i suddenly feel like a design architect. When did this metamorphosis happen?

Year 1 - In the first year, I was thought the basics of design. Amongst many other basic design principals, i was thought of how lines, geometry and forms interact with each other, and I learnt also of the way form and colors could evoke certain emotions on everyone who interacts with it.

Then i looked at how these lines, geometry and form, could also have a function.With a function, these elements becomes objects and spaces. I learnt that objects and spaces could have relationships to one another. Which object should be placed next to the other? Which space should be within or next to another?

Year 2 - Entering my second year, I experienced how these spaces and objects, in a built form, could then interact with its surroundings. I tried my hands on a large open space project as well as a tight spaced one. How would a built object affect its surrounding and how too will the surrounding affect the built object? This interaction is part of what makes a building a piece of architecture.

Later on, I had to take that principal of interaction and apply it to a larger scale. How will a piece of architecture interact with the community, town or city? How do i encourage people to visit it? Will it bring any benefit to the community?

Year 3 - The following year, i learnt of another form of architecture. Architecture could be a space not to be in, but merely an intermediate space, a space to come and go. The architecture would then have to interact differently with its occupants.

With that much design knowledge i head out into the working world of architecture. I returned back to school after half a year for more architectural education that i didn't even realize i was getting.

Year 4 - At the start of my fourth year, I was given the opportunity to experience design with repetitive spaces. Then designing for a target group of people. With every new project, ALL of what i have mentioned as well as the ones i forgot to mention comes into play. Every project calls on new challenges.

I now know how to apply what i have learnt onto any architectural challenge. With the knowledge to design a building, i graduate with my BSc.

But architecture education isn't over yet. There are 2 more years of official architecture education to go through. Bullocks. What more can i learn? - So i thought.

Year 5 - In the fifth year of my education, i didn't design a building at all. Fair to say, i already know how to design a building... so why teach me again. The education i got thought me how to appreciate architecture. I spent a whole year learning how to appreciate materials and practiced the craftsmanship of building technology.

Year 6 - Finally on the last stretch of architecture education, I delved into the art creating beautiful spaces. While doing that i learnt to appreciate the history that goes into a piece of architecture.

Ive still got a few more months to go, but hopefully by the time i graduate with my Bachelors, i would be a better architect then i was before. With new and constantly updating appreciation for the world.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I wish i could see my design constructed

I wish i could see my design constructed. It must feel good to be able to see something that you thought of come to life. I mean like one of the most amazing feeling you could ever feel.

It was once just a figment of my imagination. I thought about how id like the the visitor of the building to feel in each transition of spaces. I would have even designed the approach to it. Each step of the way i had planned the view each visitor should see.

I nursed my design from nothing but a square box to a fully constructed entity which i had guided to be this building that i hope to be perfect.

And the feeling I would get to actually be able to go through those spaces. The feeling of success for pulling of such a master plan.

"Did it turn out as i had hoped for?"
"Did it make its occupants behave like i wanted them to?"

My grand scheme which took years in the making is right in front of my eyes.
If it became as i had wished for it to become, then that must feel really really good

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My building, my home

Throughout the 6 years involved in architecture, ive never tried designing my own house... wonder what the end product would be like.

As anyone in architecture or design know, design is not something that just materialize when you think of it. It is a process. With just a year and a half working in firms, i wouldn't say I have got plenty of actual experience. But i do think that I've had quite a bit of experience designing for studio... I know that the finish product would be far from the idea that first came to mind in terms of form and what not. They would only stay in terms of concept.

So for my own home, what would that concept be.. what would the initial brief be like.

Might be nothing special, but what would i choose to define and house my lifestyle? What is my lifestyle? Is it something that i would design according to my current needs (whenever that time wold be) or would i design it to what i want my lifestyle to be like. Since im the architect for the building, my design style would find a way to manifest itself onto the form of the building. No lecture, boss nor client to stop me and my design ego. Hopefully by then i would design more maturely.

Then again its not just gonna be my life involved in it. Ive got to consider what my girl wants as well.. will two architects make it even more complicated? Furthermore, there are functional requirements such as a workshop for myself or a pool. Perhaps a slightly larger garage to fit more cars. Study room and a library for ska.

The building i design would also have to capture natural light and air, therefore it would be highly influenced by site and surrounding.

I guess the design process is just too deep for me to even imagine what my house would be like without enough information on site, cost, brief. But i know that when the time comes, the house will be my statement to the world regarding my life, my individuality and my career.

It will set out from the very beginning to awe

... hopefully within budget