Design observation tower overlooking the mysteriously beautiful Grjótagjá caves in northern Iceland
We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “SKYHIVE 2019 Skyscraper Challenge ” competition - Jonathan L. Ong from United States!
Jonathan L. Ong from United States
I am currently an undergraduate student entering my fourth year at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Prior to this, I completed my diploma in architecture at Singapore Polytechnic and worked for several architecture firms in Singapore. I have always admired concept artists and matte painters for their ability to generate worlds and environments in a short amount of time. They offer a lens into a reality that resonates with recognisable elements, but at the same time remains all so unfamiliar. This strangeness has the potential to generate discourse within the field of architecture.
The projects I have been involved with are mainly theoretical due to the nature of being in an academic setting. I tend to gravitate towards projects that challenge the perception of reality, and more importantly its relationship to human nature. The scale of the projects fluctuate depending on the school’s criteria, but they all attempt to promote the uncanny artificiality between the built environment and society.
Architecture is simply an extension of the mind. With that being said, I believe that architecture is part of a systemic construct that relies on the collective consciousness to function. The architect needs to be able to reach into this aggregation of perspectives to effectively create space that resonates with multiple realities.
As students of architecture, we spend a long time engaged in theoretical discussions which are essential in developing the mind. Much of this development is left behind as soon as one graduates and enters the workforce. I believe that architecture competitions are a way to consistently challenge one’s perception of reality. This allows the mind to develop beyond the regimentation of monotony and extend into the discourse that promotes change in the practice.
One should note that competitions enable one to experiment with concepts and express their individuality within an environment that is free from constraint. More importantly, competitions develop a voice that gives you a position to participate in the discussion and make a stand. This helps to build the mind and break free from the monocular gaze established by modernity.