So you want to know about me.........
1974 to 1978 - Studied at School of Architecture, University of Singapore
1978 to 1990 - Design Director, Architect
1990 to 1994 - Temasek Polytechnic
1994 to 1999 - Course Manager, Interior Architecture & Design
1999 to 2001 - Manager, Academic Support. Awarded Full Scholarship to Study at Pratt institute
2001 to 2002 - Summer Art and Design Teaching at Lucca, Italy
2001 to 2003 - Pratt Institute, Art and Design Education. Awarded with Pratt Circle Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement
2003 to 2005 - Temasek Design School
2005 to 2010 - Manager, Design Integrated Studies
2008 to 2009 - Manager, Design Integrated Studies also Course Manager, Product & Industrial Design
2010 to 2013 - Course Manager, Interior Architecture & Design, also Course Manager, Environment Design
2013 to 2017 - Artist-in-Residence, Centre for TransCultural Studies, Temasek Polytechnic
2017 to present - Retired and continued as Artist-in-Residence, Temasek Polytechnic

one day in my life
teaching reflection written in 2000
a personal journey

I grew up in Singapore, where my love of architecture, paintings, and music was developed.


1974 - 1979    Architectural Training
My architectural training in the mid 70s equipped me with a high degree of rational professional skill and maturity. With the solid architectural foundation training, I am still constantly seeking to throw off the cloak of emotional fanaticism that may come with the search for the origin of creativity. I wish that I would be able to walk steadily and surely, untiringly pursuing a goal to be a committed and dedicated art and design educator.


1979 - 1990    Practising Architect and Designer
The personal journey since my days as a young Architect to today's senior lecturer at Temasek Design School is not an unexpected coincidence but rather an inevitable course. In May 1979 even before graduating from School of Architecture, University of Singapore, I was recommended by the School and successfully survived the stringent interviewing process to be offered a job as an Architect involving in urban design and city planning at Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore. Being the only newly recruited architect who had obtained the honours degree for my first degree, I was selected and presented a Scholarship to pursue a program in a university at Rotterdam in 1980. It took me quite a while to decline the offer, as I wanted to practise architecture and attain professional registration as a registered Architect in Singapore. On reflection, I can see the traces of pride and satisfaction of a purposeful effort in my entire career as an Architect in the beginning and later as a Art and Design Educator.


1990 - 2000     Temasek Design School
It is interesting to recall the interview session in May 1990 with Dr Varaprasad, Principal and CEO and the top management of Temasek Polytechnic. I must have impressed the interviewing panel not only with the range of my portfolio encompassing both architectural and interior design projects, but also my solid foundation through the private art training received from Mr Liu Kang for a ten-year period. In addition, my active involvement in the 70s in two private art and music societies in which I was the founder member might have provided me with the pride and confidence required for the job. Mr Liu Kang, the pioneer in the arts scene, staged one of his last exhibitions in USA at the age of 90 in Jun 2000. He died at the age of 94 in 2004 and was credited with developing the Nanyang style. Here is a painting Balinese Dancer by Liu Kang completed in 1995.

Thus, throughout the years, I was engaged in art, science and music, through my involvement in the art and music societies, as a practising architect in the early 80s, I was a practising architect and later also a Design Director in an interior designer firm in the late 80s, I was also able to set up my own architectural firm with the blessing of my employer in the interior design firm in the later years.

a scholarly pursuit

I liked art and music and longed for producing my very own art creations alongside with my architectural and design careers. The pursuit in artistic activities had taken a back seat due to work pressure and family commitments in the 80s. To be a art and design educator in the 90s provided the opportunity again to pursue artistic activities jointly with the students. However, the administrative pressure alongside with the course manager's job in mid 90s makes it impossible for one to pursuit any creative interest. Despite the busy schedule, I would accompany the students for the outdoor drawing sessions where we can have artistic discourse. During these sessions, I can also demonstrate my drawing skills to the students and provide informal discussions on my intimate understanding of art, creativity and design.

I went into the architecture profession, fulfilling what is expected of me fully and satisfactorily by clinching a Singapore Institute of Architects design award on my original design for the Clementi Indoor Sports Hall when I worked as the Executive Architect for the Housing and Development Board. As I went through one architectural or interior design project after another, whirling in the hustle and bustle of human affairs associated with the project management in this frantic environment, my interest in the creative and design experiences increase with time.

An architect or designer has a social and moral responsibility to do well in that particular field. I am happy to be able to be given the choice of being a design educator who is to inspire the young to the creative and artistic happenings.

what's next

I will like to :

....immerse in a studio environment to pursue theoretical, practical and creative advances in art and design,

....enhance my understanding of current issues in educational theory and practice pertaining to art and design education,

....develop alternative perspectives and strategies on a basis of reasoned critical reflection, and apply such analysis to educational problems in my work as a design educator,

....build and strengthen my confidence and ability to undertake education research while working in the polytechnic,

.... prepare to take up higher and challenging responsibility in issues pertaining to art and design education schools.

What's on my mind.......

For all art and design educators, we aim for excellence in higher education. There is one observation that has immediate bearing on the work of design educators today; that is the task is no longer to teach but to facilitate studio activities.

A design educator needs to engage in constant re-training and life-long learning activities. The re-training program should support the art and design education in the effort to become an active participant in culture, searching for locally significant coherence and connection.

For a professional like myself who had architectural and design practice of ten years from 1980 to 1990, and sustained teaching experience of ten years from 1990 to 2000, it is time for an immersion program in a prestigious art and design education institute which will provide insights in initiating even better design programs and teaching methods for the polytechnic to meet the demands of the 21st century.

It is my fervent belief that I hope I can be given an opportunity to go back to a design studio environment to dirty my hands and challenge my mind.

I will like to be able to pursue new knowledge and skills in art and design education in order to be an effective art and design educator in the 21st century.   Top

 
 drawing of temasek poly


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