Love Bonds' Spotlight on INNOVATIVE ARCHITECTS
Exclusive Interview with Jacqueline - an inspiring local architect, an amazing mum and a creative pottery creator
We are honored to have Jacqueline from Plystudio Architects Pte Ltd share with us who and what inspired her to choose this route to become an architect, the challenges that she face in her work and the skills needed to become a good architect! Incidentally, both Jacqueline and her husband graduated from the same Architecture school (Architectural Association of London) as Zaha Hadid, where she even attended some of their reviews!
Product feature on INNOVATIVE: Bravery Magazine Issue 8 on Zaha Hadid + Conversation Guides
Family photo of Victor and Jacqueline with their two beautiful daughters.
Jacqueline, together with her partner at work as well as at home, Victor, run their local architecture firm - Plystudio Architects Pte Ltd. She is also an awesome mum to two lovely daughters, 13 and 15 years old, and loves blogging about her family vacation travels. She started her ceramics journey in secondary school and has since been trying to hone her pottery skills @jacque_pot.
Who or what inspired you to become an architect?
From a very young age, I have always enjoyed creating. In Junior College, the options of courses in the University at that time to pursue anything related to the creative field was very limited. Architecture was one of the few courses available then. During my internship year, I worked for Tangguanbee Architects. Mr T belonged to the Pioneer Generation of Architects in Singapore and was the most inspiring mentor then (and throughout my architecture career). Through the years since, I've met many types of Architects, the most memorable were the ones who refused to conform to the status quo, and yet have the responsibility to still do their part in being inspiring role models to the younger generation.
What are the challenges that you faced when you were working toward becoming an architect?
The journey to be an architect is a very long and arduous one. It takes many years of studying, but in it, the challenges faced and overcome were well worth the journey. We learnt to embrace the process and to really try to learn from it every step of the way.
What are the skills needed to become a good architect?
One of the most important skill is that of perseverance and humility. To complete a building takes a very large team of people, and the Architect is merely the leader of that team. Although the vision comes from the Architect, we rely on the full expertise and commitment of the rest of the consultants, the builders and most importantly the client themselves. To be able to coordinate and deliver your original vision sometimes takes more than just pretty pictures; it takes tenacity in bargaining, cajoling, arguing, convincing and documenting. A project takes many years from conception to completion, and through it all, the Architect should also have the humility to ask for assistance and guidance from the different parties. All too often, the ability to listen and understand the often more analog processes on site, is a much more valuable lesson than spending days and nights googling for the solution online!
What are the joys of being an architect?
The joy of seeing the spaces we've worked so hard to build become living and breathing spaces. On a day-to-day level, visiting the work site never fails to bring my joy - engaging with the builders, the different consultants, solving site issues - the speed in which the works spring up from the drawing board to become a physical entity is something that never gets old. As the building process can take years - it is important to really take joy in the whole process, and not just in anticipation of the final product.
What are your favourite architectural works?
I have no immediate favourites, but the ones that are memorable are the ones that are well thought-out solutions that use up every single resource and innovate through a very tight budgetary constraint to create spaces that are different.
Plystudios Architects project - Rainbow Centre Extension. http://ply-studio.com/#/project/rainbow-centre
What is something that you want your children to always remember you by?
Bringing up a child is very similar to that of being an Architect - the 2 skills of tenacity and humility are of paramount importance as well. I hope they will know that we are in it together, and we learn from them as much as they do from us. Above all else, my wish for them is to be proud that we have tried in our own ways to make a change on our local Architecture scene. Our works will live on much longer than us, and through them, I hope their users will enjoy the spaces that we had created!
What advice would you give to children who aspires to become someone like you?
Never stop pursuing your dreams. It takes many years to develop the skills but never stop believing that it is possible. We are all a work in progress, and it is often easier to envy other people and be dissatisfied, than to slog it out through sheer hard work and determination. It might not show in the long days but through it all, the process is a long learning curve that comes with their own unique ups and downs. It is for the small and simple ups that we live for, not the highs that is often seen as the glamour of the profession.
Issue eight of Bravery is all about architect Zaha Hadid. Zaha's innovative and unique buildings stand in countries all around the world! Issue eight teaches about Zaha's life and work in a fun, engaging way through illustrated stories, fun DIYs, and educational activities that the whole family can enjoy. There’s even a parent section! With an illustrated cover by Manjit Thapp and contributions from over 18 talented artists, writers, and photographers, Bravery is both beautiful and functional.