24 Aug Intern in Singapore: My First Days
Place and occasion mean more,
since space in the image of man is place, and time in the image of man is occasion.
A city is not only made out of the place itself, with the Architecture; Buildings, infrastructures, roads, subways, but most importantly, it is made out of the people and the society within it, creating the vivid city and making it come alive. Architecture is one of the widest industries around the globe and we all depend on it as it is what creates the ‘Space’ into the ‘Place’ that we all live in. As the industry is growing bigger and bigger everyday, different Architecture companies around the world have their own stylistic preferences and firm structures. An architecture firm might have both a common baseline as well as a shared vision. Hence, connections between the diversity of companies are essential Not only can the company participate in projects or competitions to gain more experience, they can also benefit by creating connections within the field.
I was indeed very excited for the first day of work, even though it was quite nerve wracking as I haven’t worked abroad before, and in an architecture firm, they tend to always have their own style so I didn’t know what to expect. My firm is UK based and the Singapore office here was the only one based in Asia, so here they mainly work on the projects around Asia. As soon as the lift door opened, it was already the entrance to the office and there wasn’t even a hallway to walk through.
Every Monday morning there would be a small get together office meeting to update each other about the ongoing projects So when I arrived, the director, supervisors and other colleagues were all gathered in the small glass box room at the end of the office, looking up one by one as the lift door opened upon my arrival. A quick introduction was made and I sat down to join their meeting, getting to know a little more about the current projects they are working on at the moment. The office environment was nice and chilled, unlike other typical offices, it did not have single cubicles, but an open office which was good as everyone can interact with one another. I was provided with (at least) a 30 inch wide desktop screen to work with, along with my
own telephone line which had my name on the screen !Around the office are renderings and images of past projects hung onto the wall which was interesting to see as it illustrates the kind of style that the firm provides. Also at the back of the office is a small pantry with two toilets and even a shower. Funnily enough I actually did expect a shower cubicle to be in there as Architects always pull allnighters due to the heavy workload during project deadlines!
Throughout the first two weeks of work, I mainly assisted in a project located in Malaysia, building 3D models and drawing diagrams for new decisions and variations of the designs. It was not too difficult as I have touched upon the 3D programs before to build models (Google sketchup, Revit) even though during the time in school I used a different program although it is somewhat still similar. Last week, I was lucky enough to have a colleague bring me along to a client meeting in Malaysia! It was a quick one day trip, which was convenient as Singapore was so close to Malaysia (JB) and it only took an hour car ride to get there! It was my first meeting ever, and even though I was just there to listen, it was interesting enough! The meeting was mainly based on the decisions for clients about the furnitures and setting up production dates for it. The project was a University in Malaysia, not only designing the exterior of the school building, the company undertook the interior designs of the school, as well as furniture designs. After the client meeting we then headed to the site of the University building and looked at different parts where the mass productions of the furnitures can be moved and allocate to specific places. It was indeed quite fascinating to visit the site which was still ongoing and under construction!
Generally, work has been quite fun as I do enjoy what I am doing everyday, and luckily it is not boring at all in the office as I am provided with work to do ! It has been an eye opener to see what international firms are like, to have collaboration projects as well as local projects and their way of organization and development in terms of the involvement of more local projects!
Last but not at least, the location of the office located in central Clarke Quay ALL THE FOOD ! Even a ten minute walk would get you right to Lau Pa Sat/ Chinatown and Raffills place! My colleagues were all nice enough to bring me around to try different cuisines and various famous local hawkers during the short lunch hour. We even went to a new food court near by one night after work for Happy hour and got free beer! 😉