Juhann’s Canvas.

Over the weekend, we’ve decided to document some interesting art pieces produced by our eldest… Everyday, he never fail to amaze me with his creativity & wild imagination: My hair clip is a “crocodile with a big mouth trying to eat my hair’; Put 2 tiny buckets filled with water and voila, it’s a ‘rotating cement mixer’, a little towel clipped on the back of his shirt is a makeshift cape (as he pretends to be Darth Vader’)… I know in time, his imagination will wear out, as he slowly grow up to be a man, therefore I’m keeping this precious moments here in this blog and here. Do visit!

Design Lessons.

I haven’t written anything lately because I’ve been super duper busy with work, it’s crazy! Currently I’m working on 2 big project (probably the biggest 2 in my life) and the amount of drawings, 3d renderings, design research, detailing is insane! Not to mention I’d also have to oversee the costing, scheduling and the PM side of it. That said, I’m not complaining, it’s good experience and it’s good portfolio. I just need to work harder.

As much as I lament about my work sometimes, I feel blessed to be able to work in my present company. We have a great team of people, conducive environment, location that are real close to home. Work wise, yes, its challenging, it’s tough but that’s what keeps you going, what made you better. I had decide to note down the greatest lessons that I attained in my short period of 21 months working in this firm:

The Power of Visual Impact
One thing that my boss taught me good is that visual is everything, especially when your clientele consists of royalty and billionaires. There had been many instances we redo and redo the presentation slides just because we can’t get the whole look and feel right… it is true when they say, ‘picture speaks a thousand words.’

Design First
Where I was trained previously, cost and time comes first, cost especially. In this firm, it was Aesthetic, always. I was taught to put design first and everything else will have to work around it. I was so confused at first, but now I learn to accept that its only when ‘Design First’, you are able to create design breakthrough, kinda like the philosophy behind Apple, if you know what I mean.

Design and Change
I guess every designers regardless of any industry will experience the amount of changes involved before we see the end product, whether it’s coming from the client, the boss, the contractor or supplier. However, the changes on this project that I work on is particularly appalling. The design of the space has evolved radically since it was first drawn and up till now even during construction. I took a course in my MA last time called Change Management. And the first line in the textbook was: If there’s anything that’s constant is Change. So true. As much it’s against every cell of the regimented and habitual personality that I am, I’m starting to grasp and accept that change is inevitable, and it is only through change, we are able to progress and advance.

Design is about the Story
I have met amazing people when i started working here and there is one particular gentleman that touches my heart whenever we have a conversation. He was our supplier who been assisting us with the sourcing and purchasing of all the luxurious and regal influenced furniture from Italy, Germany as well as across Europe. He once said that design is always about the story, how it connect and touches with the people, the key to a successful presentation is not how great your design, but how it really touches their heart, kinda just like  Ratatouille

It’s been awhile…

img_20160922_084543Off late, my firm had been swarmed with proposals…both big & small job. It’s been awhile since we’re asked to submit proposals & presentations. Times were bad and design consultancies were surely impacted. Anyways I’m just glad to be involved in design again.

Bangkok Trip

Last Labour day weekend, I spend it with my colleagues in Bangkok. It was our annual company trip and it was pretty fun exploring the district of ThongLo, ChitLom, and Bangkok Central. I’m very impress with the Thai’s rich culture, and how they are so advance in terms of design and technology. The country is so self sustain with their burgeoning consumerism. It was an eye opening experience (the last time I was in Bangkok was more than 10 years ago!)

We spend 5D4N there and I miss home like crazy! If there’s something that I miss greatly about Malaysia, it would be the weather and the traffic. No kidding! The humidity and the traffic and the crowd in Bangkok is really unbearable.

Below are some of the highlights of the trip.

Us at Thong Lo BTU station

Us at Thong Lo BTU station

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Emprive Club Cinema – One of the most posh I’ve seen.

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The Commons – Definitely one of the trending and hip place that is a must visit if you’re into food, music and design.

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When in Bangkok, do tuk tuk.

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Our first meal when we landed… at a Jap restaurant

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The thing I miss most about Bangkok – fresh cheap tropical fruits!

My HK experience.

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  • Cost of living is skyrocket high, property value are even higher.
  • Super amazed with the Eastern Harbour Tunnel that was built underwater, in 1972!
  • Discover lots of other cool furniture brand such as Bene, Sedus, Hag…
  • Went up 118th floor Ozone Bar at Ritz Carlton. The view was breathtaking, just like what we see in HK movies.
  • Had the most amazing Wonton noodles when we first landed, and had it again just right before we left to catch our flight.
  • People in Hong Kong are really well dressed.
  • Hong Kong is nothing but skyscrapers.
  • Super impress with our partner/associate’s office set up.
  • Love that all the public toilets are super clean and equipped with toilet seat cleaners, extra toilet papers and napkins.

Do I want to live in HK? Definitely no.

Inspiration through pages.

Screenshot_2016-02-13-16-05-35Today, we went for brunch at a new found cafe & coffee bar near our home. I would describe the place as: simple, intricate, sun-drenched with an adorned setting. Both hubbs and I were so in love with the black & white adorned setting. I looked at him and sad: “if we were to own our cafe, this is exactly how it’s gonna look like. The food was scrumptious and coffee was good! Besides my toddler who refuses to eat his food, everything else was perfect. Then I stumble upon an issue of antholgy, which was one of my favourite design magazine, besides anthropologie, wallpaper & cereal. As I flip through the pages, it reminded me how did I fall in love with art & design in the first place. Every page, every visuals vividly reminds my passion and love for design. Almost a decade since I finished college and started working, I’ve gotten so immersed and attuned to getting the job done that sometimes I kinda forgot the fundamentals of my career – to design with a story. Its amazing how those few minutes of reading and browsing can do to inspire me to be a better designer.

Thank you, Caroline.

It’s been almost 2 months since I left my ex company & the thing I misses most is my boss. Thank you Caroline, for all that you’ve taught me to be better. I hope our path will cross again and wish all the best in whatever you do. Below is a little note that she wrote to me on my last day of work. image002
Dear Codellia,

Thank you for the beautiful card you left on my desk. From the first time we’ve met during your interview, you’ve left a great impression on me. At such a young age, your dedication, poise and commitment shines through and you’ve proven to be such a great asset to Mediconsult. You’ve made my job so much easier for the past 10 months. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to say thank you, for being part of the team. Do forgive me for any shortcomings during your tenure here, and I wish you well the very best in your new career. Continue to chase your dreams and blaze the trail, girl.

Caroline

(Another) New Job.

2 days into my new job & I am swamped with work! Gosh, I really need to buckle up and start picking up pieces that I left off 9 months ago. First off, my 3d skills had been rusty and I really really need to get back in tune with it. It didn’t help when my previous work files are not compatible with the current version that my workplace have. It’s been 9 months since I last contacted design and it felt strangely unfamiliar. I just need some time to get back on the horse.

I made this decision for the betterment of our family’s future. Better quality life, work life balance & most importantly to expose and challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone & learn things that are not within my realm of capability. So, Gambateh Juan, you can do this!

 

On going back to Design.

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So last Monday was my last day working at Mediconsult. It’s been a good 9 months, where I learn about lots of things about the healthcare industry and medical planning. I have Caroline alot to thank for, for she had guided me and taught me so much about healthcare facility planning. I took up this job because I thought I’d give myself a try as medical planner was a niche profession. Guys from JKR told us that there’re only about 10 medical planners nationwide & Caroline was one of them. I’d always thought that designing hospital is very noble compare to other projects, heck I even wrote my thesis about healthcare design. However, I think there are some setbacks within the country’s mentality, regulation and procurement system that makes it really challenging for planners and designers to produce good design.

Being a firm believer that design can make a difference in human’s daily life. unfortunately it is rather difficult to inject design in healthcare project, especially in government hospitals. That’s when it prompted me to scrutinize on my MA thesis on evidence-based design and healing environment. There’s too much red tape, rigid regulations that prohibits constructive ideas that can better enhance the environment that could potentially provide better care for patients and hospital staffs. Especially for D&B project, contractors are all about cost saving in order to yield higher profit.

The design itself are very much generic. because everything follow by the book/manual/regulation. It’s difficult to break the mold and try something new, because it will cost more time & money. Not to mention, healthcare facility’s construction takes a long time. A small scale 100 beds hospitals takes a minimum of 3 years from design to final construction and the process involves a series of T&C, TLA before it can be handover.

Nevertheless, it’s been a really great learning experience and I wouldn’t have chosen any other ways. I sincerely hope that one day, tides will turn and local hospital will be designed the way it is deserves, and not just about politics affiliation and yielding profits.

{Part of my job includes printing, folding, organizing and compile thousands of drawings/documents for submission}