Way Wen Chew [waywen87]
What is your specialization in architecture?
I have not specialized aspect in the architecture industry yet as I have just graduated but I hope to focus on minimalist, sustainable and tropical concepts.
Is there a web page or blog where one could see something of your work?
Work in progress currently
What is it for you a good architectural design?
A design which is practical, useful, eye-catching and sustainable.
What era of architecture most fascinates you?
Brazilian modernist architecture and colonial architecture interests me.
List the name of a famous building which you don't care for.
Bird Nest Stadium in Beijing, China
What hardware and software do you use that you deem as indispensable?
Softwares: AutoCAD, Sketchup, Adobe Photoshop
Hardware: Sketchbook, Scale ruler, Felt-tip pens, Mechanical pencils
In which city do you live or work and why?
I like in Klang town, about 30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I work in Kuala Lumpur because it is the commercial hub for the country.
What do you think of competitions? What types of competitions do you normally compete in?
I have only participated in two competitions so far, which was to design a simple dormitory for school children in the rural areas of Sabah and another one which is to design a science laboratory for a secondary school in Kuala Lumpur.
I think competitions are useful as they are the design studios of the working world.
Mantaining the signature of a building, how is the identity of the surroundings respected?
Designing with the surrounding context in mind and have localised input/ opinions ie. population needs, movement, landscape
Which architects, past or present, do you admire?
I admire Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe from the past.
At present I admire Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, Daniel Libeskind, Renzo Piano, Wolf Prix, Santiago Calatrava, Rem Koolhaas, Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, Bjarke Ingels, Peter Zumthor, SANAA and Eduardo Soto de Moura.
In your professional philosophy, what comes first, function or form?
I always try to follow the principle where form follows the function as much as possible when designing.
Do you view suburban sprawl as an ecological threat and a waste of resources? Do you advocate for more vertical and denser town planning?
I think there should be a well-balanced development of the suburbs and town planning. While vertical town planning might be able to save much more space, it causes congestion and over-population. However, developing the suburbs without any form of control can lead to an ecological threat as well.
What will the single-family home of 2050 be like?
It will be interesting to see what 2050 will be like in terms of architecture. I envision cities made out of high-rise and skyscrapers for living.
For you, which new materials provoke the most interest?
My personal preference would be to use traditional building materials as much as possible with steel and glass for the aesthetics.
Bioclimactic architecture, domotic systems...do you think we are approaching a profound revolution in architecture?
I am not too sure about this, I havent really read much on these few topics.
In the development of a project, do you feel closer to the client or to the public as a whole who will use the final product?
Logically, we are closer to the client as he/ she is paying for the whole project but we should also take into consideration of the public needs. A fine balance is needed here.
The pharahons built pyramids, and bankers skyscrapers: will architecture always be a symbol of power?
Architecture will always be the symbol of power, especially in political and financial terms. To show power and success, the country's leaders could commission something for the later generations to be reminded of him.
Imagine your ideal house. Where would it be? What would it be like?
My ideal house would be in a moderately temperate climate, facing the ocean with the hills behind it. I would base my design on minimalist ideals.
Can one copy and still be original?
Yes, one can copy and still be original. But one shouldnt copy entirely.
Where is the balance between deeply-rooted architecture and that which responds to its particular era?
Spectacular architecture: do you believe that buildings are becoming more and more media phenomena?
What motto would you like to see inscribed at the entrance of the university's department of architecture?
When all else fails, GO TO BED
What would be your dream project at this moment?
I would like to design a memorial for any historic event, a visitor and scuba diving center or a private residence.
Who is your favourite artist?
No particular favourite.
Which websites about architecture do you frequently visit?
Arch Daily, Archello
Way Wen Chew