I don't mean to be pretentious at all - but architecture to me, isn't just any old job. It is a job, but it is also, and more importantly, a lifestyle. We're constantly surrounded by it, there's no switching off, no escaping from it. It is a passion - you really have to be passionate about the whole sphere of architecture, and in love with it, to survive ('Survive'? Okay, a little bit of exaggeration there).
I went into architecture school not expecting anything, and I think that has helped me - in that I haven't been disappointed by the reality side of it. It has its ups and downs, as with everything else; but at the end of the day, if the passion and interest is there, it's all worth it. I'm not just saying this because everything has been handed in either. That said, however, I think there is a danger in taking architecture too seriously. It's excellent, of course, to work hard and make something out of nothing (which is incredibly powerful). Sometimes, though, we need to stop, take a step back and reflect ... and enjoy.
Looking back at this semester's work, I realised I've injected a large amount of 'me' and my interests outside of architecture into architecture. I love that - when non-architecture develops and becomes something architectural. Earlier this year, I attended the annual PAM Architecture Conference in Malaysia. One of the practices that stood out was Howeler Yoon Architecture (or MY Studio). I've been reading their publication, Expanded Practice. They create amazing architecture, the kind that I would like to be able to do one day - where process, applied rules and parameters result in the end product. Absolutely incredible. MY Studio does more than just buildings (hence, expanded practice) - one of my favourite from the book was Three Degrees of Felt, which purpose was to "take the existing canonical space of the Guggenheim (NY) and attempt to transform the experience through a material intervention which mediates subject, object and space". The sculptural surface was to hold The Aztec Empire exhibition in 2004. The process was meticulous and driven by several parameters. Head over to their website for a better understanding. Here are a few photos, from the practice's website.
Howeler and Yoon have also explored the role of architecture (more specifically, the relationship between surface and shape) in fashion. They employed the Mobius strip to "reexamine surface as a seamless transformative condition between interior and exterior" - the result is the Mobius Dress:
I really could go on forever on the practice of Howeler+Yoon. I like that much of their work involve hands-on exploration and reexamination. Lighting is another element that they explore. You may have come across their lighting installation for the 2004 Athens Olympics, White Noise/White Light:
So these are fibre optics and speakers, responding to the movement of people walking through the space. They trace the pedestrians, emitting white light and white noise - ultimately, in Howeler+Yoon's own words, "an interactive sound and light field". Absolutely brilliant and incredibly evocative - amazing, amazing, amazing. The practice is so inspiring and engaging (to its context, environment, users and observers), but I'll have to stop writing here.
Expanded practice? Yes, please! Oh, and on a last note, the book is very well written.

All images from Howeler Yoon Architecture.

This evening

Something brilliant

Wallpaper*, Aug 2009.

More bricks

Took this photo yesterday while out in the city looking for beautiful brickwork. This one was off Lt. Bourke. Does anyone know how I can put larger photos on here? It's rather frustrating because they look rubbish when they're this size. Click on the photos to see a larger version - I'm thinking of getting this (and the previous photo) printed A3 size and framing them.

One Fine Afternoon

There are so many things you can do with bricks. I've been exploring ways of expressing brick as a material. It's rather fascinating. Here are a few photos. There are a score more that I've taken, but final crit is this coming week, so it'll have to wait.

Albert Park

Hadrian's Villa - correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the inside of a brick wall, rather than the face.

Hadrian's Villa, overwhelming!

Hadrian's villa, opus reticulatum and opus latericium

The Pianica

A self-indulged post:

I was watching the video of Coconut Record's Microphone, and what does Jason Schwartzman find under a pile of rock? A pianica, of course! Anyway, it simply reminded me of when I was in a band (yeah, ha ha, very funny) and I played the pianica. We played La Bamba and won third place in the state. By 'state' I mean Kuala Lumpur, and by 'won' I mean amongst the primary school bands that were involved (yeah, ok, laugh some more). But hey, we won a little trophy each, and it was very exciting at the time!

A very quick one. I indulged in some guilty pleasure last week and saw Night at the Museum 2. Can I just say that I very much enjoyed the interpretation of artworks? OK, so the Thinker part wasn't great ... but Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog was! Just prancing around delightfully. Yes please!
Image from Jeffkoons.com

This model is one small section (the bathroom and kitchen area, to be precise) of the award-winning Wheatsheaf House by Melbourne architect Jesse Judd of JLM Architects. It was a bit tricky to get the curves and angles right when constructing the model, I must admit - but worth it, definitely. This house is located outside Daylesford - main features include the beautiful and elegant use of steel and Colorbond cladding. How fantastically vivid are the interior colour palette! It creates an amazing contrast against, but somewhat also complements the dull surroundings that is the bush. If I remember correctly, this came out of the initial image/idea of a whale's rib cage (or some kind of rib cage ... shark?). 
Indulge in some architecture porn:
(Images of Wheatsheaf House from Freshome.com)

Finally took some photos of this 1:20 scaled domestic timber and brick structural model. I learnt an incredible amount building this. Literally every time I pass by a residential construction site, I have this smile on my face, I stop and I look at the structure. It's fantastic to see what I have learned applied to a real structure. It comes to live, what I've learnt becomes real! The process of construction excites me, just looking at how bits join, come together, to form a habitable space.


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