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.

Newsletter 038

Newsletter 038

Now that I’ve started designing the affordable housing project in Hong Kong, I set a constraint for the project that will guide its development. The constraint for the project is to design a skyscraper that will be no larger than 1000sqft per floor. In addition, a primary objective for the building is that must have the ability to grow in relation to the need for affordable housing. Here’s how my design is coming along so far.

Now, without further ado, here is this week’s Friday Four!

1. Lesson of the week – There’s a thing called life that needs our attention

While working very hard on developing projects for my 30x30 goal and in the architecture office, I’ve been putting off other tasks and obligations in my life that are unrelated to architecture. One task that I’ve put off for about half a year now is the plumbing in my bathroom. I’ve renovated everything in my house except for the kitchen, bathroom, and basement.

During the cold days of the winter, I noticed a slow leak in my basement that occurred after anyone took a shower. As it turns out, this was an issue when I purchased my house, but this leak wasn’t apparent. Now, the leak is still there and the drywall behind the tile in my shower is crumbling and the tiles are coming loose.

While juggling multiple projects and a full-time career, I must find time to fix the leak and potentially finish all the projects around my house. So, in the upcoming weeks, I’ll come up with a game plan to finishing my renovation projects inside of the house, set a start date, and deadline.

Is there anything in your life that unexpected came up and needs your attention? How are you dealing with it? Let me know by responding to this email.

2. Best moment of the week – Quality time with friends in a different town

After a few months of hard work on multiple projects, I planned a short weekend break in a different town with my best friends. During this time, I turned off the architect part of my brain and was both physically and mentally present as I spent time with my friends. You might be wondering, “what does he mean by physically and mentally present?”.

Most of us are always thinking about something in our lives; projects currently on the boards, chores that need to get done, notifications from Facebook, Instagram, and on and on. Although we’re out with our family, friends, coworkers, or at a networking event, we’re constantly bombarding our brain with so much information and thoughts.

When we’re able to identify these distractions as they come up and schedule time on a different day to take care of important tasks, we’re able to push aside the distractions and slowly free up the mental capacity to focus on the present moment and life around us.

So, I organized my thoughts and focused on spending quality time with all my friends. We completed an escape room, caught up on what everyone has been up to, and saw some waterfalls in Ithaca, NY. When I returned home, I continued relaxing and letting my brain take a needed mental break.

What’s on your mind right now? Can you compile all the minor tasks and set a time and deadline to complete them now or later? Try setting them in order from most to least importance and get rid of the ones that don’t matter to free up more time for the ones that do matter.

3. What I’m currently listening to – Wrongful Convictions Podcast by Jason Flom

Last week, I listened to an interview with Jason Flom and learned about his career finding music artists such as Katy Perry and Lorde. Midway through the interview, Flom was asked about a new podcast that he started called Wrongful Convictions where he interviews people who were sent to prison for crimes that they didn’t commit. Although it’s unrelated to architecture, there’s so much to learn about the American society, our justice system, and what it’s like to be in prison. While listening to some of the stories, I had moments where I contemplated pursuing a 30x30 project on redesigning the American prison. This podcast is definitely worth a listen!

4. 30x30 Project Update – Developing the 900sqft floor plate micro housing project in China

As I continue to develop the micro housing project in China, I’m encountering lots of design issues because of the constraints that I’ve set for myself. One is that every floor plate cannot exceed 900 square feet. This constraint makes it very difficult to develop living units because the elevator and egress will take about ¼ of every floor. That leaves roughly 700 square feet for living units, which is typically enough for a 1 bedroom apartment in America. I’ve come up with a solution and I’m excited to pursue the idea. More to come next week!

Newsletter 039

Newsletter 039

Newsletter 037

Newsletter 037