Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the international young planner's forum

the international young planner's forum

i will be one of the panelists
and we will be discussing, from a young person's perspective, what makes a city livable

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

tokyo : a dialectical approach

deconstructing the japanese aesthetic

the nothing and the everything

a single train line that separates the two worlds that are impossible to be so close to each other. as juxtaposition takes place at the turn of the head, the experiences of walking across both of them, seems itself a bizarre unification of the polarities of tokyo

the schizophrenic identities, as one living humbly in the aristocratic, hierarchical system, but also as one that lives in the self indulgent, violent and pragmatic Shogun system

commercial message displayed in opposite aesthetics. on one hand, the essentialization of the brand towards a deliberate purification of the aesthetic that becomes the appeal. an on the other hand, an overwhelming display of information that is transformed into an aesthetic of its own.

by faiz akhbar and max li

hypothetical branding exercise

hypothetical branding exercise for subject
architectural practice b

To penetrate Abu Dhabi’s architecture market, our brand engages with the two prominent languages in the region – English and Arabic. Our practice is named Atelier Akhbar.

“Atelier” in English means an artist’s studio, work room, or a workshop.

“Akhbar” is a culmination of two common words in the Arabic language.

Akbar (in Arabic: ر ب ک ا ) is the Arabic elative of Kabir “great”, as used in the Takbir: Allahu Akbar (God is Great), an Islamic exclamation called the Takbir in Arabic.

Ahbar refers to: An Arabic plural word (Arabic: ر ا ب خ أ) meaning news, and therefore present in the titles of many Arabic newspapers, television newscasts and so on.

This word therefore lends itself to two immediately recognized definitions. The Arabic spelling of “Akhbar” chosen (Arabic: ر ب ﻩ ک ا) is an alternative to the two words mentioned above as to avoid controversy and at the same time allowing multiple interpretations.

The logo is derived from the cursive script of Arabic calligraphy. It is made up of clean straight lines with strict curvatures extracted from the sections of three varying circles. With the distinctive straight lines and curves that form the word “Akhbar” our logo suggests the brand’s engagement and understanding towards Abu Dhabi’s Arabic origins, locality and culture without losing sight of the country’s need for further modernization. This ensures our brand logo to be relatable to our Arabic clients while maintaining the appeal of an international design firm – embracing the pragmatic needs of making architecture and respecting identity and culture. The logo is a gesture of our permanence in this region and it is also distinctive enough to stand out within a crowd of international firms vying for architectural opportunities in Abu Dhabi.

faiz akhbar (kuala lumpur)
peter muhlebach (melbourne)
shyn cheah (melbourne)
chern wong (tokyo)
max li (melbourne)

Monday, August 30, 2010

nova: exploring the new media

digital malaya project dialogue: digital art, illustration & photography
galeri petronas
may 22, 2010

digital malaya


poster design for talentime
directed by yasmin ahmad

Thursday, November 12, 2009

eden: on demolition.

The Yarra, for a very long time had no longer existed in the public consciousness of Melburnians - until an extensive urban intervention was undertaken by the council - reimagining Melbourne as a waterfront city.

"Waterfronts have become places of urban transformation with potential to attract investment and reverse patterns of decline ... it is also the new battleground over conflict between public and private interests"
- Kim Dovey, Fluid Cities

The redevelopment of Yarra's western precinct commenced with the construction of the World Trade Centre in the 1970s. Widely considered an "economic, architectural and urban design failure from the start"(Dovey), the bulky concrete block has effectively limited the public connection to the Western precinct and blocked views towards the river. Its extension, the World Congress Centre and the 'Eden on Yarra Hotel' further worsens the public interface along north bank by projecting literally on to Yarra to afford its patrons panoramic views along the Yarra, at the expense of overshadowing the river and its public pathways.

The World Trade Centre has long superseded its original function to the two Convention Centres on Southbank. It served as a temporary casino since June 1994 until the completion the Crown Casino. It now serves as a museum for the Victorian Police. It is also interesting to note that the Crown Plaza remains the only building in the CBD still built over the Yarra, considering Melbourne’s considerable efforts to return the river for the enjoyment of its citizens - for example, with the demolition of the Gas and Fuel Building, and the reclamation of the turning basin, the train yard, and an elevated freeway along Flinder’s street.

Further commercial developments on the west of the World Trade Centre developments have expectedly not been a runaway success, due to the lack in visual and perceivable physical connections. Currently, a group of five separate buildings along the north bank is being rebranded as the WTC Wharf (http://wtcmelbourne.com.au/). The rebranding excludes, interestingly, the World Trade Centre itself and the Crowne Plaza, two buildings that these newer developments would have certainly benefited from without.

Urbanity is inevitably linked to the idea of people, inhabiting and encountering within a public domain. The urban is currently (unfortunately) experiencing a gradual polarization and a blurring between what is public (and collective) and what is private (and institutional). Regardless, let us make it clear that in the grand scheme of things, we are ultimately (proto-) architects, and not urban designers or planners. To think that architecture could change the world or actively change the way people think is a naïve sensibility that fails to grasp the simple concept that the field has for a very long time been subservient to power and capitalism. There are things that architecture simply cannot achieve. Therefore we do not endeavour to produce an urban agenda, but rather an architectural gesture – an architecture that embraces ideas of urbanism without the determinism of the authoritarian. An architectural education feeds on the brave pursuit of idealism and allows us the opportunities to initiate multiple dimensions of discourse: it is a speculative activity.

We therefore propose a demolition.

Demolitions, from such key developments that have positively shaped the city’s urbanity, for instance Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, would not have existed without.

Demolition, as an alternative to further ‘institutionalizing’ the Yarra’s public open spaces, in what would have been a backward move - a regression of what the city has achieved as far.


Demolish the World Trade Centre.

Reclaim the visual connections.

Demolish the ‘Eden On Yarra.

Reclaim the Yarra from Eden.

Re-invigorate neighbouring commercial developments.

Design a fashion school.

Introduce retail opportunities.

Re-establish urban and private interfaces.

the eden project. copyright WAA(+)s.
thank you to darko, kim dovey, rob adams, reiser+umemoto, andy yu & sanaa.