Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Question of the beginning

Sunday, 8 November 2015
The timing of this post could not be any better. It has been about three weeks since I started my first job as Graduate Architect. Words cannot describe how gratifying it feels to have a job where I can actually utilize my architectural knowledge. So I thought what better way to reminisce about the project that inspired me to pursue architecture.
Acropolis of Athens.

The Acropolis of Athens probably does not need any introduction for an architecture enthusiast or student of the arts. The simplicity and the elegance of the 3 buildings on one site leaves one spell bound when visiting this site. When I was finally able to visit this site it did not disappoint.I must warn you though the next time you go there to make sure to wear shoes that are non - slip !

Looking at this site, makes you appreciate how fortunate we are to have technology. How do structures like this one stand the test of time despite being created before technology was invented? How do these buildings withstand the test of time better than some of our modern day buildings? Are we doing some thing wrong or have we lost sight of the things that are truly important along the way? Where should we aim to go from where we are currently at ?

This is certainly is food for thought.

Till next time :)
Keep your head up.Keep your faith.

The site consists of three important buildings the Parthenon,the Propylaia,the Erectheion and the Athena Nike. 

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series in which Bob Borson of Life of an Architect selects a theme and a group of architects who also blog all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. This month’s theme is My First Project. I chose to focus on the first project that influenced me to pursue Architecture. To read how others interpreted the theme please click the links below.

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
My First Project: The Best Project Ever Designed That Wasn't

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
My First Project - Again

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
first project first process

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
#ArchiTalks: My first project

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
The First One -- A Tale of Two Projects

Rosa Sheng - Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
Why every project is my "First"

Eric Wittman - intern[life] (@rico_w)
[first] project [worst] crit

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
Project Me

Jarod Hall - di'velept (@divelept)
Define First?

Anthony Richardson - That Architecture Student (@thatarchstudent)
my first project

Kyu Young Kim - Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
My First Project – The Contemporary Cottage

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
My "First Project"

Mark R. LePage - Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
Our First Architecture Project [#ArchiTalks]

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
"My First Project"

Michael Riscica - Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
The Early Years of My Architecture Career - My Role

Brady Ernst - Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
I Hate Decks

Sharon George - Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
My First Project - The First Solar Decathlon #Architalks

Daniel Beck - The Architect's Checklist (@archchecklist)
Fake it 'til you make it

Drew Paul Bell - Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
My First Project

Jeffrey A Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Top ten tips when faced with a challenging Architectural project

Aaron Bowman - Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
Community 101

Samantha Raburn - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
6 Major Differences between my 1st School Project & my 1st Real Project

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Working drawings of some of my projects

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Horseshoe bridge intervention in Perth WA

Cossack : From Ghost town to Rapid Response Logistics Centre

" I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror - the wide brown land for me! "   -  'My Country' by Dorothea McKellar (1904)

This peom demonstrates Australia's acceptance to  natural disaster and how dealing with disaster is integrated with the lands' "natural character". This is probably the reason Graduates of Architecture are taught to analyse the context first, then began designing. I fondly remember doing site analysis on a macro scale first analysing the region before honing it into the micro scale of the site. This process helped inform my design decisions. This way, the building's "whole of life" cost would be more efficient in responding to the needs of the region as well as the site. This would result in the added bonus of the building  becoming an investment for the occupant.

Macro scale  : Deciding on the region for the intervention.
Created by  The Contemporary Dragon Slayer (TCDS) on Indesign

With the increase in both man made and natural disasters over last few years, rapid response to disaster is becoming increasingly common. For my final year project we were put in groups and given a brief to respond to disaster. We wanted to create a "hub" in Australia that could respond to disaster and create a community for displaced people.First we researched the different states and concluded that the West Australia would be most suited for  this intervention because of its strategic location to the rest of Asia.We narrowed it down to the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions. Here, our research took us to the ghost town of Cossack. We thought rehabilitating a ghost  town would be perfect for a rapid response logistics centre as it also had the basis amenities and merely needed a nudge in the right direction.Thus we narrowed the site to have  a primary and secondary aim.

The primary aim of  was to rehabilitate the site. The secondary aim was to enable the facilities within Cossack to respond to disasters particularly within Asia.We choose a site further down Cossack Road near  the salt marsh and  away from the  Master planning intervention by Palassis Architects ( As we believed that their analysis would enhance the Rapid Response Logistics Centre (RRLC) that we were designing.

Created by TCDS on Photoshop and AutoCAD

Programme of the Rapid Response Logistics Centre (RRLC). 
2.Processing centre
3.Admin and assessment centre
4.Temporary shelters
5.Staff housing and Leisure centre.
I was assigned with the design and planning of the Staff Housing and Leisure centre, which I coined the 26th Parallel. In this post, I will attempt to take you through my design thought process , the relationship between the 26th parallel and the RRLC and  the operation of the RRLC  on a whole. I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below.

My design process

Created by TCDS with Hand drawings and Photoshop
My research lead me to identify three crucial elements about Cossack that I wanted to incorporate into my design. The first element  was the layout of the former Cossack settlement. It was arranged in a narrow spine or peninsula elevated above the surrounding mangroves and salt marshes. This was also observed in the jetty at Point Samson (see image below) which was not affected by the f.Thus I concluded that this construction method of the proposed permanent accommodation would be most suitable in withstanding flood levels. The second element was that Cossack is defined more by its landscape elements - land form,geology, vegetation and views - rather than its built form. Finally the third element was the sense of poignant drama that the historic buildings in the city centre created.
Create by TCDS with hand drawings and Photoshop

Permanent housing 

To gain inspiration, I studied the formation of a pearl. A pearl is formed by mantle injuries that lead to the formation of a pearl sae by displaced external mantle cells. This seemed appropriate for the site as Cossack had a reputation as a pearling industry. The  mechanism  used for the formation of a pearl resolved the complexity and security requirements of the proposed housing development which in turn resulted in the creation of pragmatic essential artefact.

In terms of materiality, the housing development was to incorporate adaptive camouflage  so as to blend in with the surroundings. In order to find the best possible solution, I  went through a series of exercises  to determine how the modules in the accommodations should be arranged.
Created by TCDS with hand drawings and photoshop

The core components of my staff housing include modular accommodation, leisure centre, parking and landscaping. The purpose of my design was to create an  flood "proof" climate - controlled environment in the dessert that could sustain itself. This was to be done by circulating and discharging air via a stack such as a borehole. The housing was to have solar mounted panels to generate electricity.It was to have stormwater management and be able to capture rainwater for non potable uses such as laundry and irrigation. In terms of ecology, I wanted to created a habitat to rehabilitate the coast.This habitat should be able to feed the residence of the of the permanent accommodation.

Created by TCDS
Created by TCDS with hand drawings and photoshop

Created by TCDS on Sketchup and Photoshop
 The design was to be a spine of modules staggered to  minimise the exposed walls on the eastern and western fa├žades. In order to maximize the use of the sun, it would be best to orientate the units in an east - west  orientation. This would provide shelter for the units on the floor below and minimise the area of exposed wall. A composite screening to an external breeze way would allows air movement around the house to minimize hot air pooling whilst shading from the southern summer sun angles. 

Created by TCDS on Sketchup
The Leisure Centre

When designing the leisure centre, I identified the facilities that the people in the permanent residence would need. These were then grouped into various activity pearls for  the design of the leisure centre.The most important design aspect to take into consideration was that the area was prone to flooding. The design response to this was to raise the leisure centre above ground level. Another important design aspect was that all the facilities were  located around the amphitheatre and were easily accessible from any point.It was to also be easily accessible to both the temporary and permanent residences.

Created by TCDS on Photoshop and AutoCAD

That concludes my final year project. I would like to hear what you think of the feasibility of this project or any other comments you may have in the comments section below. 

Till next time :)
Keep your head up.Keep your faith.

      Thursday, 8 October 2015

      Mind over Matter equals Magic and Miracles ?

      Thursday, 8 October 2015
      Today, I  finally caved and watched a self - help documentary. After hearing me complain my cousin A , recommended I Google "The Secret : Laws of Attraction" and watch it . As many of you know, I am currently going through an employment slump or what I now affectionately term my "sabbatical from study". I thought why not, what have I to lose and one and a half hours later, I walked away with the message that:

       thoughts become things

      Your mind and your thoughts are a powerful tool when working towards achieving a goal. When you are passionate about a subject, you attract  positive things into your life. Similarly, if you think negative things it sends out a negative signal and you attract negative events. It has been proven that positive thoughts are a lot more powerful than a negative thoughts. 

      Some of the quotes that stood out to me the most were:

      • "Whatever it is you are feeling is a perfect reflection of what is in the process of becoming"
      • "What you think, what you feel and what manifest is always a match."
      • "You create your own universe as you go along" - Winston Churchill
      • "The how will show up in the belief and commitment in the what"
      • "The power within you is greater than the power in the world"
      They went on to offer a  3 step solution :
      1. Ask for something
      2. The universe will answer
      3. You should take action to receive
      I learnt that if you generate the feeling of having  it now, it will literally help you have it now. The universe likes speed in regards to your response to a situation and that life is like driving at night with the high beam on. One has to shift their vantage point from the negative to the positive to gain control.

      Start by first, making a list of things you are grateful for.

      What am I grateful for ?

      • I am grateful for my family and friends who have supported me through this journey
      • I am grateful to be able to have healthy furkids in my life who provide entertainment on a daily basis with their antics
      • I am grateful that I have roof over my head and have a place to call home
      • I am grateful for the technology that I have access too
      • I am grateful for the places that I get to explore with Nikodemus
      • I am grateful for N
      Secondly, visualise your feelings when you materialize this goal. If you go there in mind you go there in body. Must do this on a regular basis every morning.

      Thirdlycreate a vision board like your own personal " catalogue of the Universe" to help you visualize already having it this will allow the universe to manifest what you wantThis needs its own post.

      Fourth,when you have an inspired thought, trust it and act on it.That is how this blog started.

      Things to remember
      1. Use PRO instead of ANTI
      2. It is okay to notice the negative but know to take attention away from negative.Focus on the positive.
      3. I am not is not good 
      4. Study wise people (stay tuned for regular blog posts on this)

      Till next time :)
      Keep your head up. Keep your faith.

      Friday, 2 October 2015

      Art challenge # 3 : A Childhood Memory

      Friday, 2 October 2015
      Created by TCDS

      This was probably the hardest so far. I struggled to pick just one image to draw to describe my childhood memories. Therefore, I decided the best way was to  do a collage of images to represent my childhood.

      Till next time :)
      Keep your head up. Keep your faith.

      Thursday, 1 October 2015

      Art Challenge # 2 : Kyrae the Cat

      Thursday, 1 October 2015
      Created by TCDS
      I know this is cheating but I  drew this awhile back.

      Till next time :)
      Keep your head up.Keep your faith.

      Wednesday, 30 September 2015

      Tuesday, 29 September 2015

      What should your priority really be ?

      Tuesday, 29 September 2015
      My opinion is based on my experience and may not apply to all firms nor is it a critic of  any the firms I have work for.

      Over the course of my studies, I have been blessed with working for a variety firms - architecture, hospitality and marketing. Here, I witnessed the positive and negative impacts operating procedures could have on a business. In this post I will attempt to bring to light of some these business practises.

      Firstly, the most important component of running a business in my opinion is good communication within the organization. I have noticed that communication is extremely important especially in a small office. I have worked places where the boss is the only source of contact with their clients. I've noticed ideas get lost in translation from the client meeting to the office meeting to the final presentation. I would like to suggest collecting a scrapbook of precedents that the firm aspires to achieve to use at a meeting and  then bookmarking pages during a client meeting instead of merely having a verbal discussion of what the client  wants. I believe that by doing this it will result in a more effective use of manpower and material.

      Secondly,  I believe that a company is a brand that is supported by its employees. Thus it only seems fitting that a company that encourages and provides incentives for its employees would tend to have a better performance. Incentivising employees would  result in a motivated and inspired team. In my opinion, this should and would result in a  more closely knit community where creativity would have a better chance at flourishing.

      The third issue that I have noticed is that I've never actually seen any architecture firm with a handbook for standardised operating procedures. However, this is standard practise in a marketing or a hospitality. I would like to put this forward as a solution to the umpteen different types of working methodologies that are found within a single architecture firm. Would it not allow for someone else to easy pick up where the job was last stopped ?

      The fourth issue that I would like to raise is being able to balance work and life Andrew Maynard's article "work/life/work" (  the importance of this balance. I particularly love how he tells "architectural work practices to grow up" but what stands out to me is how well he has articulated this issue by posing it as question which I thought it would be better to quote rather than try to explain it myself:

      Does contemporary architectural employment deny us our happiness; our friends, freedom and the opportunity for an analysed life? Many would argue that being employed in architecture and the pursuit of happiness are irreconcilable. It can reasonably be argued that most architects, and almost all recent graduates, are working in conditions that are unhealthy, unsustainable and exploitative."

      This certainly makes one question whether or not one have been balancing work and life. I for one know  that I have to rethink some of my  current commitments!

      Till next time :)
      Keep your head up.Keep your faith.


      Created by the Contemporary Dragon Slayer using watercolour and art line

      Sunday, 27 September 2015

      My bouncy little American Pit Bull Terrier X Staffordshire bull terrier

      Sunday, 27 September 2015
      Created by The Contemporary Dragon Slayer
      Owning a dog has always been something that has been on my mind for a while now. After completing my studies, I subconsciously started browsing through puppy advertisements on Gumtree and before I knew it I was dragging N with me to go look at puppies. I'll never forget how this one puppy came running up to the edge of the pen. It was at that every instance that I knew that he was the dog for me. The added bonus was that N liked him too.Thus began my journey with my little puppy,  Nikodemus. It has been full of challenges for the both of us and I know for sure that I would not change it for the world. He has been the best dog and I would definitely recommend this breed to anyone else looking for a furkid.The main reason I wanted to write this entry was in an attempt to neutralize the negative image the American Staffordshire Terrier or the Amstaff  have gained over the years.It is indeed the case of nurture over nature plus training and socialisation. In my opinion this breed has a bad reputation for aggression because of its dog fighting history but let me assure you that they are no different to any other dog breed.If your willing to give them a chance and put in the effort with their training I assure you they might surprise you !

      Till next time :)
      Keep your  head up. Keep your faith.

      Wednesday, 23 September 2015

      Art challenge

      Wednesday, 23 September 2015

      30 day drawing/design challenge:

      I have been wanting to do this for a while so starting tomorrow here we go for the next 30 days ! I will repost each post with a # and the number of the day. I would be wonderful if you too could join me in this challenge.

      Till next time :)
      Keep your head up. Keep your faith.

      My Graduation Holiday

      Friday, 18 September 2015

      Musings for a new beginning

      Friday, 18 September 2015
      After a long, tedious and interesting almost eight years of study away from home, I can finally say that  I have won the battle of  Graduating with Masters of Architecture.  As I  now prepare to fight the next battle on my war towards becoming an Architect, I am starting this blog as a pensive to pour my thoughts, inspirations and musing into.

       What I plan on achieving on this blog:

      1. a record of how my job searching is going
      2. create a collection of Architecture that inspires me 
      3. architectural competitions that I enter
      4. drawing archive
      5. collection of interesting buildings around Australia
      6. pictures of Kyrae, Akkiko and Nikodemus - yes my furkids name's first letter spell out my surname
      7. food recipes
      8. drama reviews

                    That's should sum up about everything for now. I'm off to go get my parents and brother from the airport via public transport- that should be interesting.

                    Till next time :)
                    Keep your head up. Keep your faith.

                    The Contemporary Dragon Slayer © 2014