[ new project: after zero ]

[ : commentary ], [ projects ], [ writing ]

Sorry for being MIA the last couple of months, but good news is that I have been getting a new writing project called ‘After Zero‘ started.  This blog will continue to function as a personal blog focusing mainly on design-based topics, but as my new project is a collaboration it will not be incorporated into this one in any way.

I would like to encourage you guys to check it out though as I myself am super excited about it.  It is a ongoing story based on a real person.  Unlike many ‘true life stories’ we get these days, the intriguing part about this one is that the protagonist is neither famous nor spectacular.  It is a story about a girl in the city of Hong Kong, just another person who you could walk past on the street and never remember.  She is not the kind of person you would look at once and never forget.  But her story is.  She has been through and made choices in her life which the average person may judge, but hasn’t everyone?

Every day we meet so many people in our lives, but how many secrets are they hiding?  A person crying could be weeping tears of joy or happiness.  This protagonist is just a normal person who has chosen to strip herself of that facade, and present her own story.  How many of us are brave enough to tell our own?

architecture_ reality // fantasy

[ writing ]

I never really thought of myself of a dreamer.  I have always been aware of the difference between the world we live in and the world which lives in our head.  But the more work experience I accumulate, the broader the spectrum of fields I try, I have come to realise that working as an architect may just be about the last thing I want to do.  Having done a bit of freelancing graphic design, a bit of advertising and whatnot, the job of an architect can be a tad saddening under comparison.

As students we have great aspirations as we toil away in the dark depths of our reclusive studio.  Designing something to be built, to last, to stand even after our existence is like the silver lining to our efforts as we meticulously craft our creations, imagining cardboard models to be real.  But that is not the real world.  Blinded by the asylum-like blank walls of studio where it is permanently day within, it is so easy to forget that there is day and night outside, just like how there are a trillion other competing students like you outside, and that there are office politics and annoying contractors and that only a handful of architects rise above to reach that silver lining.

In reality, when we are no longer students but are “architectural assistants” who are almost as insignificant and just as plentiful as a speck of sand on the beach, we realise that dreams sometimes don’t come true.
You work on the technicalities of designs which are not yours.  You work on the drawings of designs which are not yours.  You look at documents and regulations and laws.  You come up with designs which get banned.  You thought you were good at your job but apparently not good enough when everyone else is equally good.  You don’t get overnight pay.  You have deadlines every week which demand to be met.  You have to work with other departments – creativity needs to integrate reality before becoming design.

And as such, I simply do not think I want to spend my time like this.  I am a freer soul than this job demands.  I love design, but this is not for me.  So just as a word of advice to anyone who may decide to spend 7 years or so for an architectural license, just think again.

about_ creative rights and morality

[ snaps ], [ writing ]

When was the last time you bought a CD?  Or walked into a bookstore?  Or, if you’re a gamer, actually bought the real copy of a game?

WIth torrents, audio books, music albums and whatnot roaming free on the vast Internet, it becomes a chore to buy the actual damn thing.  If one button is all it takes to acquire a ripped version, why bother paying or making that deadly walk to the stores right?  Might as well save some of that hard-earned cash from your exhausting job with super long hours.

But what about the people who worked to produce what you just ripped off the Internet?

They are living breathing people who work an equally tiring job, who pay their rent and buy groceries just like we do.  Is it fair to pinch down on their income just because we cannot appreciate their creativity enough to make a purchase?  Freelance workers may take the brunt of the blow, but so do major companies and their hundreds of employees.  Just last year around February, HMV was on the verge of closure due to the increasing competition from the Internet.  

And consideration, morality aside, I like the feeling of flipping the pages as I read.  I like imagining a book as though I was directing a movie in my head.  I like seeing the official album covers as I listen to music.  I like playing GTA and Battlefield and taking note of how impressive the graphics are and the timeless hours which must have been put into it.

If we pay for meals at a restaurant and drinks at a bar, it is surely the same logic with creative content.

the_ dream studio

[ snaps ]

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The dream studio.  Israeli architects Ranaan Stern and Shani Tal has redesigned an artist’s Tel Aviv apartment into a compact, flexible studio.  Tailored to the artist’s needs, the modular drawers were made to custom sizes to suit pieces of art with varying dimensions.  Storage, work and living are also incorporated as an integral part of the block.

The beauty of this particular interior revamp design is that it is highly simple in structure but so unimaginably complex in terms of the consideration for the user.   The team actually measured each object of the artist’s collection of art, before categorising, then designing storage units accordingly.  There’s the small boxy drawers for papers and materials, then there’s the long sliding drawers for larger canvases perhaps, and the shelves hidden behind a movable panel, and so on.  The perforated panel is an especially neat trick, as work can be pinned up allowing it to serve simultaneously as a display.  And as we all know, nothing beats having a bed when you’ve worked until the dead of the night; in this case a single bed is stored behind that same beautiful panel.

What really gets me going about this studio is that it is just so minimal and efficient.  Giving off the appearance of randomness with the oddly sized storage, yet made to be familiar and personal to the artist.  It is like a puzzle which only one person can decipher.



link_  dezeen
ink_  designboom

: humans of new york

[ : commentary ], [ snaps ]

Humans of New York, HONY, creates a photographic journal of the stories of ordinary people on the streets.  Be it sad, moving, happy, or just something so ordinary it touches us more as it could easily be us.  Nothing much to say, perhaps the best people’s photographer I have ever seen.  Here’s two out of the hundreds that really moved me.

These two were acting like complete teenagers. When I walked up, she was nuzzling her head against his shoulder. She giggled the entire time I talked with them, while he kept a big goofy grin on his face. And whenever I asked about their relationship, she clutched his arm, looked at him just like this, giggled, then said: “We’re not telling!”

“What’s your greatest struggle right now?” “I wouldn’t have volunteered if I’d known this conversation would be so long. But to answer your question, I’ve got a wife that’s sick. And I wish she wasn’t sick so that I could live life with her, and so that I wouldn’t have to be alone.”


link_ humans of new york

being _late

[ snaps ], [ writing ]

Everyone’s been late before. Unexpected situations happen to everyone. Personally I am late quite often when it comes to 09.30 morning lectures, or dinners with unwanted relatives. But just like how a day can be quantified by twenty four hours, and an hour can be quantified by sixty minutes and a minute by sixty seconds, similarly “being late” can be quantified into varying degrees of severity.

To be late to class, yes that’s not exactly good conduct, but it concerns yourself more than anyone else. To be late to occasions which negatively impact others though, is simply impolite. As I am typing this I am sitting in Starbucks sipping at an empty drink, watching people come and go, and waiting for a friend who was supposed to be here an hour ago. Why do people take this patience for granted I wonder? Is it my fault for tolerating it every time that they believe it is perfectly acceptable? How does it make sense to ask a person out yet be outrageously late? How is it even possible for a person to live an hour away be on time and yet the one who lives fifteen minutes away is not?

I can wait five minutes, fifteen minutes, in fact half an hour is within my tolerance level. Over an hour though, isn’t that breaching the point where “being late” simply becomes offensive? And I mean offensive, because the only reason a person is late is because the occasion is not important enough for them to be on time. When something or someone is important enough, you will be able to manage regardless. For a friend to stand me up for so long, I am not even mad anymore, just insulted at the realisation that I was worth this little.

update: waited for two hours …

purpose of religion

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“I’ve been a deep believer my whole life. 18 years as a Southern Baptist. More than 40 years as a mainline Protestant. I’m an ordained pastor. But it’s just stopped making sense to me. You see people doing terrible things in the name of religion, and you think: ‘Those people believe just as strongly as I do. They’re just as convinced as I am.’ And it just doesn’t make sense anymore. It doesn’t make sense to believe in a God that dabbles in people’s lives. If a plane crashes, and one person survives, everyone thanks God. They say: ‘God had a purpose for that person. God saved her for a reason!’ Do we not realize how cruel that is? Do we not realize how cruel it is to say that if God had a purpose for that person, he also had a purpose in killing everyone else on that plane? And a purpose in starving millions of children? A purpose in slavery and genocide? For every time you say that there’s a purpose behind one person’s success, you invalidate billions of people. You say there is a purpose to their suffering. And that’s just cruel.”

– Humans of New York

Why did this happen? Estranging myself from my mother.

[ un_defined ]

Originally posted on katie naum .com:

Why did this happen?

There is no answer to that question.

There are too many answers to that question.

If your childhood was unhappy, if there was someone who hurt you when their role was to protect you, you may never know why it was that way. It may not be possible to reconstruct how their weaknesses and angers and sorrows were weighed, over and over, against their strengths and sense of responsibility and their love for you – and why they all too often came up short. It is dead weight you will carry on your back, in your mind and your heart, without ever seeing it in full. It is dark matter pulling unseen at the stars in your sky.

If you estrange yourself from them, you will grieve this loss for years, like the death of a beloved. Giovanna Calvino, daughter of Italo, spoke of timelessly mourning…

View original 919 more words


[ : commentary ], [ artwork ], [ snaps ]



Product “B_01” sneak preview.  The first of a line.

Handmade coasters, made to age with style.  Keep it, gift it and use it until it wears away as proof of your coffee addiction.

d.i.y _space

[ snaps ]

One of my old structural models built with wooden sticks is now home to most of my jewellery, perfumes and lipsticks.  Extremely easy to do-it-yourself, and tailor-made to your own needs.

porcelain bangle with gold engraving  __  The Peak Galleria
semi-matte rose gold bangle  __  H&M 
plain rings  __  Zara
‘O’ of alphabetical set rings  __  number 9
dream, love, believe’ bracelets __ H&M
top hat and moustache necklace __ Langham, HK
perfume  __  Tokyomilk