Hermitude - The Buzz feat. Mataya & Young Tapz
(Song chosen by Nathan Allet)

Calling yourself an architect will take three years bachelor, two years masters and a few more years getting accredited. Like many students reaching the end of first year, I find myself speculating the years ahead of me. I have a natural admiration for students finishing their third year and I wonder how architecture school has influenced them. Chelsea Chan, a third year architecture student, is in her last semester and I'm delighted that she's agreed to share her wisdom. I've known Chelsea to be a passionate student that I consider my inspiration when it comes to work ethic and design talent. Here's a glimps inside Chelsea's knowledge. 

What are the steps in the design process, and how are they organized? I generally start with the site analysis and pick out what affects my design, then the plan; program organization is an important part of designing.  At the same time, the process does become a little bit ambiguous; I do try to find a main concept that I’m trying to showcase in my design, and generally it is a relation with nature. I  do get inspiration anywhere from in my dreams at 3am to in a lecture in class so I always keep a pen and paper close. Models are also a great way for exploring concepts. And I do enjoy making them.
What would be your ideal working environment? Depends. But for designing probably with some music, a pen, and sketchbook / roll of trace is all I need, really. But during the rendering stage of my designs; in the computer labs with couple of friends and banter, It keeps me awake. I’m pretty good at zoning out background noise, plus the company of friends during stressful times is great. 
When are you completely satisfied with your work?Never. To be honest, I had never been happy with my designs. I feel like there is always room for improvement.  But guess you always have to stop somewhere.
What’s the magic formula for success?
Really try to keep a balance with work and play. And always keep yourself surrounded with inspiration and people who really support you and your goals. 
Would you encourage other people to start architecture? Depends. Architecture isn’t for everyone. But if you have the passion for it. Definitely go for it. It is such a rewarding profession. I know that people think it is a form of art but there is so much more than designing pretty buildings. There is so much thought that goes into designing spaces for people.

If a kid walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be? Never cave in to peer pressure. And do what you love, if you have the passion for it, It will definitely get you somewhere.

Chelsea Chan's recent touchstone concept model part of a group assignment





Last Dinosaurs - Honolulu
(Song chosen by Chelsea Chan)

It has been a week since architecture school started again for another semester. I've nearly filled a sketch book with paint, stuck on papers, sketches and ideas; it is a reflection of my every thought and a skill I've improved and am still improving in. 

Thinking out loud, before I started architecture school, was meet with an eye roll. I remember going through high school with friends occasionally forced to listen to my complaining and repetitive description of events both past and present. I think too much and plan too far ahead. In saying this, my essays and reports as a high school student greatly reflected my constant speculation and I'd like to share a portion of these with my dear reader, you. 

While cleaning out my old laptop, I found a bunch of old essays; so old I don't remember when or why I wrote them. My grammar in high school was less then adequate, arguably still needs improving to this day, so I've edited the following excerpt. I've decided to only share a small paragraph so I shan't bore you. 

I find if you think too much you never find the answer. Life is easy and simple and so the answers to life must be just as plain. But some answers are a little harder to find. Like how would you describe a person? Am I a person? Am I even real? Well, I would describe a person as a being that is capable of free will and has morals and virtues. Do I have free will? Can I choose my own path? This is not clear to say, because many aspects of my life control my decisions. But I can say that I do have morals and thus I have virtues and in saying this, the decisions I make are good and right and I am confident that when I do choose and when I do accept responsibility, it is with goodness.




Miracle - Never Gets Old
(Song chosen by Glenn David Amudo)
(I couldn't find a cover of this song so I put the original because it is 
pretty good. Maybe a special reader might be able to do a cover for me? :)

I have always been a keen photographer. With my contrasting life living in Iraq and growing up in Australia, I have found that I often see life in a different light to those around me. It began to be a habit in which I frame the things that I see in my mind, and transfer my world into images which I later share with the world. I've been doing this for years and I've been fortunate enough to meet some of the most inspiring people though social sites such as blogger, tumblr and twitter. It's also been years since I've posted anything that is beneficial to anyone. This post is a small yet humble effort to try and redeem myself. 

The following are photos I took when I was 14-15 years old while I was living in Iraq. These and more can be found on my other blog which I've not written in for years. 
Iraq from a plane.

Sunset in Baghdad, Iraq. Tigris River.

A photo I took for a school project.

Neighborhood street. The wires are old, broken phone lines.
You learn to not see them after a while. 

Fancy architecture in Baghdad.

Took a snap while I was in the car on my way to Najaf, Iraq. 

Sadly, some neighborhoods aren't as clean as they used to be.

This is a power generator that is used when the power is out, which is 80% of the time.
Basically we live off power generators. 

Old Iraqi architecture. This is a famous street called Al Mutanabi
street very famous for the wide range of book stalls. 

More phone and electricity lines that don't work.
Very famous Iraqi architecture called shanasheel. 
Book stall in Al Mutanabe street in Baghdad.

Fried fish made by my grandma. The best. Also note that I have not added a
filter on this image but rather this yellow haze is the result of weather..

Making food to share with the whole neighborhood!

Chai. All day. Everyday.

These barricades popped up during the war. Where the palm trees
could once be seen, are now hidden.

Iraqi palm trees produce the best (in my opinion) dates. 

Having an opinion on topics that concern everyone and voicing these opinions on a social website is not unusual and is easily neglected. Having a voice that is then heard and listened to, now that is a voice that can change the world. 

It's not often that you flick on a local station that present unbiased and fair news. This is why many look to social sites to form their own opinions; their own voices. A voice of peace and equality. The latter is worth investing in. 

This is a snapchat story showing my adventures at the Perth Art Gallery. Have a look at the WA Focus exhibition that was just a pleasure to experience.

But when a voice that is pure and good is so easily not listened to in a noisy world filled with prejudice, hate and war, then whom should you listen to? Of course it is the one you feed. 

Even though ways of communicating these voices have changed and might be unavailable to everyone everywhere, the majority are making a change and it is happening right now. You might not see it, but they are there. Voices of change and hope and light. As the great Albus Dumbledore says, 
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

I have my inspirational people and I've decided not to share them since I cannot possibly include everyone. Instead I ask you to go and find someone who inspires you to be the best you can be or perhaps you will change the world yourself.  




Gabriela Gunčíková - The Pretender (Foo Fighters)
(Song chosen by Tom Allan)

I recently went to see Inside Out with my friend for her birthday. You'll be happy to hear I won't provide you, Dear Reader, with gory details of our crying spell throughout the feature, although I can express to you my complete admiration for the director, writer and crew. My gratitude to have viewed this masterpiece is endless.

This leads me to ponder, have you, yes you person who is reading this, ever wondered what someone is thinking? We’ve seen movies with protagonists reading minds of others and we’ve seen the consequences, but as my friends know I am stubborn and I wish to read minds.
Google knows what people think.

When you are alone with no head peering over your shoulder, you search for answers, for questions, for cat videos. Google can decipher what you are thinking. The words that you keep in your mind are then typed up by your lone self and searched when you hit enter. Google has made a list of most searched words. I have this list in front of me.
I told you I shall read minds.

Let’s see. Most searched word. 2015. “Facebook” is at the top. 2004. “Free” is at the top. Okay, what encrypted secret thoughts you lot have.

Let me try to decipher this information. You are social creatures who need to be cared for and respected and loved and admired. Therefore a website such as Facebook can give you an exclusive social circle. One that makes your peers at school envious of your ever growing friends’ list that exceeds one thousand (all but 25 of which you have never spoken to in person.)

Comparing this to the past, this is a good leap forward. We have moved from our constant desire for free products which are of course illegally free. An oxymoron if ever I heard one; you are free yet not free since you are illegal. We are numbed by the ease of “free” products that we forget the people who make, design and sell.

This is all revolutionary to my mind reading skills, but of course I haven’t read your mind yet.
I hope I won’t start reading brain cells when my superpower comes after these words I type are posted and long forgotten. When there is no use for them anymore. So, my loyal reader, look at the people around you and tell them, instead of waiting for powers to be rendered out of silence, speak.

I shall leave you with a quote from the article: Become an Architect!

          "A great architect will be a visionary; an artist with the highest technical knowledge and understanding of how structures work, and why. Using this, a great architect will sculpt forms and matter around space, or vice versa.That great architect will be conscious of the end user, the neighbour, the geographic location, the culture, the economics, the politics, the environment, the weather, the light, the textures, the sound, the smell and the sight. Just that. Easy."




Dropbears- Elusive
(Song chosen by Fraser Nightingale)

There are certain etiquette's required in writing a blog. One is to have a topic in which to write about the other might include a regular posting time. I have been known to disregard these unwritten rules and either sway between subjects or post at unruly times. Every time I am not consistent with my work, I stop writing. I feel as though I have betrayed my reader in not presenting consistent and reliable posts that are true to the theme of the blog and so I stop.

It's been about three hours since I wrote the above and I've lost my train of thought so I apologize for moving on. 

I have just been to Leederville with my brother-in-law to get gelato. As one does. Artwork so conformed, so huge that I didn't see it at first glance. A little shop, that is not so little, Gusto Gelato possess a certain atmosphere. Elegant slashes of watercolor print laced with alternating light bulbs juxtaposed with rugged industrial bricks. What a pleasure. 
Unfortunately I was enjoying my surroundings so much so that I had forgotten to take snaps. Instead, enjoy art which is humbling the city of Vincent. 

Artwork in Leederville, Perth.




I Always Knew - The Vaccines - Cover by Luke Spiller (The Struts)
(Song chosen by Alsace Thompson)

Starting new blogs I always think to myself, how can I combine words to form sentences that either inspire or benefit a person? And like clock work I remind myself that I am merely spilling my thoughts into words for my own accomplishment, assessment and, with much delight, for the motivation you give me, dear reader. 

What is the purpose of this blog? A question I ask myself. +ive Studio (pronounced Positive Studio) is a small space of web I have made my own where I write.
I plan on writing about my experience in Architecture school. Notice how I capitalize Architecture? I plan on writing about the people around me. I'll relive you of my endless drone occasionally and interview interesting people. I plan to show you the design process. Most importantly I plan to be the portal of understanding for people who don't know what an Architect does. 

It is important to note that I am merely opening my eyes to the world of Architecture as I am a first year student. Join me and together we shall explore and wonder.