28-29 May 2010. It was a huge surprise on the first day when all 3 speakers turned up at the last-minute set-up venue despite of the political situations. Luckily they did not wear red. The next day, half of the speakers, even as near as Malaysia, decided not to come. Nevertheless, I had architects from NYC, Seoul, Sydney and Mumbai telling their stories. The Mumbai architect, Bijoy Jain searched his root by practicing design in the remotest Indian village where there is no electricity or water supply. So we can forget about CAD and 3D printing there. He worked with his team made up carpenters and construction workers. I was completely taken away when he showed so much faith and pride to his team workers.
There is a local farmer in a remote village of Thailand building the most ecological houses using handmade clay bricks and recycled wine bottles as ‘glass-blocks’, with his bare hands. I found out that he will be engaged to build a small library facility for the community project and I was asked to look at his sketches – which was close to none. It has always been one of my wildest dreams that one day I will also go to one of the furthest village and help to build schools or playgrounds (like a superhero architect) and perhaps with my bare hands.
So I decided to put his design into CAD drawings. But honestly, he probably does not really need one… but I feel somehow nearer to my dream…
26-28 October 2009. There were more than hundred speakers mainly from the West to ‘open’ the eyes of young Chinese designers and students. I was one of the ‘older’ guys who is not really from China but was equally hungry for design, outside the field of architecture. And yes, I was excited and inspired, listening to designers who create interactive graphics, movie trailers, commodities, signs, installations and so on…
One of them even made me cry. She made an extraordinary entry, by being very unsure, unlike other enthusiastic speakers. Her name is Ma Ke Wuyong. She is an unusual fashion designer, living in almost self-exile conditions, somewhere remote in a village where she has her craftsmen making every single fashion pieces by hands only. She made an emotional speech not just about her journey as a designer, but also a woman in search of truth.
Decoration Guide April 2009 Issue 8 Sala Visitor Center
IDesign April 2009 Issue 90 feature of SALA Visitor Center.
Anywhere March 2009 feature of SALA Visitor Center