Thursday, January 04, 2007


There's a point to everything if you feel for it - clearly, Kenghua has a passion for expeditions, like the Akha Way expedition he and Ngai Keong went for. It's hard to define what a "point" to doing something is, after all. I'm sure every endeavour has, in itself, a value, and the rewards of that value will eventually show itself in the life and actions of the participating individual/s.

As I speak, I'm talking to Ronald online about what he deems the third school of architects, rather than a third 'kind'. I'm guessing it has something to do with participatory, open-source design, and there's at least a sprinkling of social awareness into the mix as well. Hopefully, architects are beginning to evolve from self-centred bastards to culture-conscious individuals. People from the various IT industries are learning it the hard way, and I'm taking this as a cue from recent open-source phenomena - Second Life, Youtube, Wikis, Myspace etc. Think Time Magazine's Person of the Year, and think how this brings architecture into the whole picture.

I'm currently working on a project that deals with participatory design. For now, it's a media park in downtown LA that is to be wired up (or rather, wi-fi'ed up) such that the individual who visits the park is tracked, and given the data on his mobile device, is shown content that
pertains to his individual interests. (That may change through the course of the project.) I've been wanting to set up a blog on it, but been procrastinating like crazy.

Hmm I realise this isn't so much a 'response' as it is a directionless rant on my part, but what I was trying to get at is, what determines if there's a point to doing something? Does it have to fall within a capital structure that's set up for it, that will finance it? Does it have to fall within a gamut of mass-consumerist/public preferences so as it can have a value associated to it, and be deemed acceptable? (Organisations like Habitat for Humanity appeals to our collective conscience (and hence consciousness) and is therefore valued for its worthiness; other organisations with more specificity in their objectives may not appeal to us as such. Where does re:ACT place itself in such a wide-ranging spectrum of architectural vested interests?)

I'm throwing up these thoughts as re:ACT continues to find its voice (and eventual direction). We're only a year old, it's still the teething stages, and while this sounds unbearably cliche, it can't be more true - we'll have to first find ourselves as individuals before being finding ourselves as part of a collective. We do have a certain framework (no matter how defined or under-defined it may be at this point) that deals with public consciousness and social awareness that goes beyond the bounds of architecture as a self-subservient field, and hopefully that's a good place to start.

Happy new year, you all!