#38: LIFE AND DEATH OF ARCHITECTURE

June 10, 2016

One of my favorite projects was recently demolished. From the team at Poon Design, Vosges Haut-Chocolat in Beverly Hills is no more.

A month later, another work of ours demolished: Saffron, an Indian restaurant. Years ago, 8 Fish, our design for a sushi joint also met the demise of a bulldozer.

Of two hundred completed projects by Poon Design, only these three have confronted this fate of a demolition crew. That these deaths are retail and restaurants, and knowing how often such businesses fail, I do not fret over the casualties within my portfolio. I am however amazed by my reactions: bereavement, relief and optimism.

#37: CELLULOID HEROES

May 27, 2016

Why are there so many architects in the movies and on TV?

In most cases, the fact that an actor is an architect on the small or big screen is superfluous to the actual plot. Though a popular trope, the role of the architect is no more than a characteristic, a trait assigned to the male lead, and in fewer cases the female lead, only to provide substance and gravitas.

This matter—the truth and accuracy of how architects are portrayed by Hollywood—is frequent coffee room or cocktail hour chatter among practicing architects. We are at turns offended or flattered, but always perplexed.

#36: THE WORLD FAMOUS I.M. PEI AND THE BEST JOB I NEVER HAD

May 13, 2016

Though the job interview at I.M. Pei’s company started normal enough, it was over before it began.

Arriving in Manhattan, I only had a couple hundred bucks, my cousin’s sofa to crash on for two weeks, and my architecture portfolio. I needed a job. Badly.

Having just graduated college, my resume pathetically displayed only three months of professional experience, which consisted mostly of practicing how to write nice letters. I don’t mean correspondences and memos. I mean literally writing letters. I practiced my A’s, B’s and C’s.

#35: ARCHITECTURE FROM A TO Z

April 29, 2016

ALLOWANCE
Allow creative ideas to resonate in your head. Like wine aging in a bottle, the clamor of an idea seasoning in your cranium is called imagination.

BE
Be original. Be remembered. If you do the same thing over and over again, you will always get the same results, of which, most have already been done, or might be boring and forgettable.

CREATE
The medium of our art is not just pens and paper, paint and canvas, or software and megabytes. The medium of our art is life itself. Design your world.

#34: MASSACRE AT HARVARD

April 15, 2016

I looked up at the packed house, my heart racing.

Students, faculty and interested parties filled the uninspiring concrete theater. Fifty onlookers growing to a hundred. Almost sadistically, the review of our mid-term work at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design is a guaranteed public spectacle. A few stars would be made that day; others might go down in flames.

#33: IS TV FOR REAL?

April 1, 2016

I don’t usually make time to watch those TV reality shows on design. The unrealistic scenarios and oddball decorators/designers drive me nuts. Also, it all complicates my work life.

I find suspicious that some of these shows carry a disclaimer, something like, “Consult your professional architect, engineer, general contractor, and building official.” This sounds a lot like, “Don’t try this at home, kids.”

But here is the irony. These DIY channels inspire the audience to try this literally at home.

© Poon Design Inc.