bad student


Bad Student

29 Jan , 2016  

I’ve failed studio, more times that I think I probably should have by now. And because of that, fortunately I began to enjoy the parts of this that I do, as oppose to make it through that in a sort of torture.

To be honest, I felt like a kid when I create buildings. There’s some sort of explosive joy of creation when I make three-dimensional representation of them, or just sketching some plans or construction and ideas down my sketchbook. That way, it’s good for me because the studio become some sort of space where I rely myself upon the things that I do in terms of creating.

This is all probably why I don’t consider myself to be a good architecture student.

These childish joy that runs through me, sometimes can be all over the place. I have moments where I wouldn’t create with the intention of the finale. I don’t always know what exactly is going to come out of it. So when other people criticize, judge or simply just reading through my works, it’s always interesting to hear.

In architecture, or at least in the sphere of architectural experience that I’ve encountered academically, there’s a one-dimensional quality in designing that can lead onto many things: Is it right, or is it wrong?

In light of that, I think we’re dealing with two different conversations. With the academic studio in the university, I get a strong feeling that there’s the one-dimensional quality that I mentioned earlier. It’s always relative when a work is good or bad.

But when we talk about right or wrong, it’s always going to be there because architecture is scientific. Right-or-wrong is absolute because although architecture can be artistic, architecture is not completely a form art. There are contexts and aspects to consider. Not to mention the different perspective others can have for your work.

But with free expression, or free designing, I’m just a vehicle for my own creative consciousness. It’s completely separate with what I do academically, and that’s where the lines are getting confused. Knowing whether it’s right-or-wrong is imperative. It’s crucial. In art I can feel that there could be no limitations and just free expressions. It’s a free world, but in architecture being free means something else. You can always be free, but there are always going to be standards to consider. There’s the mentioned right-or-wrong to keep in mind because we are dealing with people and the lives of many.

I also felt strongly that being a student is okay, though. The education of your teachers or lecturers and the knowledge that you’ve learned is not unimportant. Every consultation, every draft you’ve drawn, and every book you’ve read. You can channel that history into the things that you’re creating. And that what makes the intention available, for that it will runs straight to the center of the earth. Rooted to the core.

It’s some sort of a trance where I design and express the things my creativity, my conversations with all of the icons and share it with other people. And I hope that those icons will somehow come to me and say, “It’s okay, you’re allowed.” Those design pieces gave me some sort of experiences to breathe through it and have a tremendous honor and understanding the artist’s created works. In a way I’m curating my own live with my designs, as oppose to make it just a curriculum vitae of my designs in college.

When I look at them, the great architects of the world, people asked me if I wear them like a hat. Do you put them on and take it off? Do I have to put them in my designs and make sure it’s embedded? Do you need to make sure it’s in the design?

Honestly, I do and I don’t. Because I think we’re getting back to defining architecture into genres and sticking it in particular places. It’s exhausting to have yourself feel the projection of people of what you should be. I want to free myself from all of those things.

I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if the things I’ve created are any good. The one thing that matter is that it is, that it’s there for you to feel, and be, and to experience.

And I’m still very young, in the duration of my work. And if you look at the works of many designers, like Kanye West who did his latest record, Yeezus, after gazing onto Le Corbusier’s works, or Tadao Ando who was a boxer and Zaha Hadid who has a degree in mathematician. These creators are travelling spheres through many mediums. And you can see them channeling and imitating, bringing along other creators that they’ve admired and learned in their lives. Later on in their career paths, that’s when they’re amazing works starts to happen.

What I’m acknowledging is the potential. I am saying that it’s worth it to be a student. And to not be a student is to suggest that I should create in a vacuum, with no knowledge, with nothing, like floating in space with no gravity or oxygen. Later in the future, that’s perhaps something I’ll learn how to do.

I have yet to meet any great designers, or you know, just my friends, where we’re not looking or admiring at artworks, buildings, or reading books or talking about the things that have happened before. So I guess you really should just have trust in your teachers that they will guide you.

They give me combination of what they represent to me. They guide me in their views of where we are now, and I just discovered it’s meaning now. It’s almost like a lifestyle. I choose to receive their experience. Other students are probably different, and made a separation between them and the work. But because I study from them, I have a sense. I have an awareness of their knowledge and I receive so now, I need it. They’ve injected me with this knowledge that carries through every design process in my learning years, until I can stand up in my own two feet.

And for me to compartmentalize my work from them is dishonest. Some teachers, I can feel their intense joy in teaching. You should also remember the fact that your lecturers are also human. They make mistakes, and they forgot about things. We can always check the validity of what they share to us, like going back to books or do a field check. Because then you make this inaccessible for everyone to know if you love something and you apply the discipline and eye for the creativity of it, and then the integrity of the intention is what my work is all or the function about.

I felt that it is important to be aware of your variables. To give them full attention so you can be fully aware of the context of designing. I always try to center myself, to get through these long durational tasks. Because otherwise, I can have no reaction to what’s going on. It’s important to be intelligent about your audience when you communicate with them. Designing for academic studio is not the same as designing for a contest because it’s not the same canvas. Academic studio becomes a workspace for me to leave that helps me find my true elements and my design process.

I don’t know if anything I’ve done is very good. That’s not really the point. I’m not really the point, if that makes sense. What I do know is that I’m on a journey to discover more passion. I’m on a journey of discovering the design aesthetic that I’m going to make, and I don’t know if I made it there already. It’s most likely in the future, probably, when I can finally say that I’m a good student.

Here’s hoping.

Written by Ray Shabir
Visit his instagram and his blog


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