Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Never Stop Creating

Never Stop Creating

As I continue in my career as an architect and product designer, I often find myself designing and creating things without second thought. This is likely due to the way that I’ve trained myself to push through moments of doubt and uncertainty with my projects. You know, those days when we keep trying to imagine a design in our minds or through hard lining in a BIM or CAD software and we seemingly get nowhere? To avoid this vicious cycle, I often revert to hand sketching and/or physically making something without doubting myself and criticizing my ideas. Check out some of the products that I designed and handmade this week for Mars Leather Company.

Four Sided Leather Tote Bag

Earlier this month, I had an idea for a handmade leather tote bag that would be cut and stitched together with four sides instead of the typical two sided tote bag. To help you understand this better, a typical two sided leather tote bag is stitched inside out where one large piece of leather is folded in half and the edges are stitched. Once complete, the bottom of the bag is flattened and stitched to add depth to the bag. When the stitching is done, the leather bag is turned inside out and you have a two sided tote bag with a base.

For my leather tote bag prototype, I wanted to create it using separate pieces of leather that were all stitched together at the edges. I also learned from making several tote bags in the past that having pockets is a necessity. Rather than overthinking the entire process, I took the idea, drafted it in CAD, and cut each piece out of my favorite red leather. Then, I went straight to stitching and brought the bag together.

In the past, I would’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out every detail of the leather tote bag, but I’ve learned that the best way to understand my design is to physically make it and hold it in my hands. I also learned that if an idea enters my mind and is vivid enough to remember, I immediately pursue it and jot it down on paper or in my computer as quickly as possible.

Mars Bracelet

While working on the leather bag, another idea came into my mind for a leather bracelet. I envisioned the way that it would come together so clearly and immediately drafted a design on my computer. The bracelet idea was simple; create a rectilinear band of two pieces of leather that are stitched together to form a border around the entire bracelet. Within the border, I chose to put Mars Leather Company and name the product, Mars Bracelet. However, I’ll likely allow people to purchase a blank version and/or custom engraved bracelet.

When this idea came into my mind, I was in the midst of working on the leather bag. However, I was nearing a good stopping point and I knew that I had to pursue this leather bracelet idea to the end.

Oftentimes, we come up with great ideas in moments when we least expect them and many people simply let those ideas slip away. To keep my creativity alive, I keep a daily journal where I jot down my best ideas every day and when I find myself stuck on a project or to come up with a new one, I go through this journal and read each of my ideas. In most cases, I’ll find one that I can build on and it becomes my next project.

Conclusion

As architects and designers, we almost always have a creative idea lingering somewhere in our minds that we know is worth pursuing. Finding the motivation within ourselves to pursue those ideas, nourish them, and see what they blossom into is the hardest part of making something intangible, tangible. It took many years for me to get to this point with architecture and I’m happy that I’m able to translate it into my product design hobby. The best thing I’ve done to keep my creative energy is maintain a daily journal where I log all of my best ideas of the day.

I hope you have your own method for keeping your creative energy alive! Feel free to share your method in the comments section below!

2018 Update On My 30x30 Projects

2018 Update On My 30x30 Projects

Why Prototyping is Important

Why Prototyping is Important