Wednesday, November 14, 2007

While we're at it...

...there's also the Alvar Aalto exhibition, by the Alvar Aalto foundation and NUS Museums, on-going at the National University Museum (that's at the University Cultural Centre),

...and T3 (no Kristianna Loken though (or Arnie depending on who you like); the closest you get to cyborgs are perhaps the smiling SQ girls) which is open to the public during office hours and weekends for the public.

(Images from rightful owners)

Check here for more details! (A little bit of input required.)

Exhibition and Public Lecture - Neues Bauen - New Architecture

Every so often, we architects / architecture-enthusiasts need something to remind us why we even sold our souls - and for some of us, even our (social) lives! - to the Underworld. (Literally, for times when we do things like design basement carparks.)

Here's one of those things - an exhibition (with a keynote lecture) on "New Building"! (Neues Bauen in German. The latter word rhymes with "Frauen", except it doesn't quite mean the same thing. ... Now, if there were a lecture on Neues Frauen.......)

It's based on a 1927 exhibition, International Plan and Model Exhibition of New Architecture, that placed architecture in an international context. That exhibition toured 17 European cities between 1928 and 1930 as a part of Die Wohnung (Habitation), a 1927 Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart, demonstrating the similarities and interdependence between the modern buildings from the US and Europe. (This paragraph adapted from publicity material)

Perhaps the throwback to 1920s architecture ideas - highly innovative at that point in time; still in vogue 80 years on (which can't be said of any 80-year-old Frauen!) would stir up enough nostalgia for us to get re-inspired should our motivation run dry, reliving the little wow moments amidst the snoozes in first-year architecture history courses.

On a side note, if the 1920s was "new", pre-WW2 "modern", post-WW2 (very loosely) "post-modern", the decades straddling the turn of the new millennium "contemporary", wouldn't we have run out of terms to define movements in art, architecture and philosophy say, 80 years downstream?

Anyhow, the exhibition runs from today til 6 January, with a keynote lecture this evening! ...

"Neues Bauen. What was so new about it in 1927?"

By Professor Karin Kirsch
Moderated by Dr Erwin Viray
7 to 830pm
Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore
Free admission

In conjunction with the Neues Bauen (New Architecture) exhibition, now til 6 Jan 2008; 10am to 9pm

(Image taken from the National Museum of Singapore website, hence the funny tags.)

Please see for further details.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Good Start to Something New

We just finished the Design My Place (Urban Creativity Workshop) over the weekend. It was nothing short of an amazing experience for the students, the facilitators, the organisers, and our supporters. It was very encouraging to see at the end how well received it was not just by the students, but also by our sponsors from URA, our supporters from Design Singapore and other guests that we invited as part of the jury panel.

Our greatest thanks and appreciation certainly goes to Khoo Peng Beng, our Chief Facilitator/ instructor/ teacher/ Akido instructor, without whom, the whole workshop would have been less energetic, less inspiring, less passionate and less successful. More on the workshop in the next few days. For now, enjoy some pictures.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

BLDGBLOG: Architectural Weaponry: An Interview with Mark Wigley

BLDGBLOG: Architectural Weaponry: An Interview with Mark Wigley
: "BLDGBLOG: It’s interesting, then, to note that all of the construction going on today, from Dubai to Beijing to midtown Manhattan, is specifically referred to as the building boom – not the architecture boom. There’s a huge difference there. To what extent, then, are we surrounded by more architecture than ever – or less architecture than ever before?

Wigley: I’m really tempted to say it’s less. You can have a building boom and it will actually be an architecture deficit. So architecture can be in decline at a moment of massive building. I think that would be a fantastic subject for debate."

BLDGBLOG: Architectural Weaponry: An Interview with Mark Wigley

BLDGBLOG: Architectural Weaponry: An Interview with Mark Wigley:

"BLDGBLOG: To some extent it seems like the lack of agitation in today’s architectural discussions comes from the format those discussions occur within. In other words, you get five people who already know each other and you put them on a panel; they then talk about something they’ve already talked about before – and, two hours later, nothing’s happened. So it would seem that, if we really want to introduce turbulence into architecture, as you say, then we need to structure our conversations differently, to explore new formats. If that is the case, what formats lie beyond the seminar, the lecture, the panel discussion, etc.?

Wigley: It’s a great question. I don’t think Marshall McLuhan can go far wrong – the medium/message thing. I mean, what you’re saying is: does the medium, the technology, of education and communication in our field limit the kind of things that we can say? And the answer is absolutely yes.

One of the primary roles to be played by the experimental activists in architecture is not to come up with new ideas of what architecture should be, but to come up with new ways to talk about it – new media. In that sense it’s absolutely crucial that we foster new techniques of communication – with all of the incredible care and precision that we use to foster new forms of design. We need equal care and equal attention to incubate new forms of communication. For instance, if a student project gets to be really interesting, but then we just dump it into the typical format of a magazine, or a monograph, then it can never do what it is really able to do. If we work with a bad medium, you know, it’s all bad.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Really Tuckshop

Last night's design sharing was a blast in more ways than one! For one, we had to blast our voices over the mike so that everyone could hear us. It's tough trying to share amidst a crowd of hungry packers more interested in their calamari rings and crumb coated chickens. I felt like I was back in the classrooms of one of the sec schools I used to teach at as SH tried his best to get the attention of the audience yet trying hard not to sound offensive.


"Sorry, sorry..." (sounding desperately apologetic suddenly).

"The presentation is starting so we would appreciate it if we could have your cooperation. Err.. Sorry to disturb your dinner, sorry sorry!" (In his head thinking: rats, why everyone so noisy... should have brought a loud gong to get their attention. Perhaps I could do an impromptu lion dance?!)

Ha ha, so I digress. In summary, the presentations were rather interesting. We had Dean sharing about some small projects in Jakarta; Sern Hong sharing his thesis project - the pirated city (no, not the pirated cd); Raymond redefining play for us; and Hsia Pin giving us his take on the anti-monument, which was based on the scenerio that if our beloved MM were to pass on, what kind of memorial would be fitting for him. I bet Hsia Pin went home a little worried that night. I remember him jumping ever so slightly each time his phone rang after the presentation. I thought I saw some bright red dots flying around, but then again, it could have just been the alcohol, or the fact that Mr Marshmallow Man was messing with my brain! (see pics later.)

Hsia Pin was sporting enough to bring his band down to play a short gig for us after the presentations. Achor's Door, fronted by Adrian (who didn't have an encore song) entertained us with songs from Lifehouse, Steven Curtis Chapman and the Smallville soundtrack.

Overall, we had a pretty good turnout today. It would have been great if there was a way of getting some discussion and interaction going between the presenters and the audience. But then again, who were we kidding fighting with the hungry growls of the dinner-time monster. Still, it was an interesting experiment and we thank God for Dean and his team who didn't mind us intruding that night. I pray we didn't scare away any of your regular customers!

Incidentally, I noticed that TUCKSHOP supports the Ice Cream Chefs! I liked the way you put it on your menu - "Because like us, they put in lots of love and passion into what they are doing." (paraphrased) That summed up the night for me. It didn't really matter much that the night was more of a blast than we could expect or plan for. What mattered was the spirit behind the whole sharing session - a gathering of passionate people coming together to make something meaningful happen. And that, I must say, produced the most beautiful symphony. Enjoy the pics.

More on Ice Cream Chefs here.

More pics soon.