My early memories are those associated with moving between three distinctly different places which have shaped core aspects within me. Born in Macedonia in 1967, migrated to London shortly after and relocating to Australia in the early 70’s traveling on an ocean liner. I later entered the University of NSW in Sydney to study Architecture. My interests were divided between architectural philosophy, art history, social sympathies and design. Upon graduation in the early 90’s and as advised by my tutors, I embarked upon an extended international journey to experience and document important art galleries and architecture. A journey to learn about; materials, process, craft, forces of landscape, tradition informed responses, and spaces of timelessness.
In order to sustain this adventure I found work in a small design firm in London after a year of travel. In the mid 90’s a unique opportunity arose to work for a major British based architectural practice on the largest building being built at that time, the new international airport in Hong Kong. This phase enabled the challenging experience of being part of a large design team working on an immense scale and rapid program, which I found stimulating. The design methodology at the firm centered on embracing bold concepts, clarity, engaging technology and precise detailing, all of which resonated with me. This approach continues to be my focus within my work.
Upon completion of this project in the late 90’s my journey continued to experience living in the world cities, of New York and subsequently Singapore, which I call home today. The direct exposure to a rich spectrum of ideas, cultural spaces and events which world cities are platforms is both energizing and sensorial for me. It seems my earliest memories of adventure, voyage continues to set a strong tempo which is my path.
The critical words and manuscripts by the visionary Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller strikes a chord and generates both energy and focus within me and my work as an architect. Important wisdom that should be considered when exploring one’s personal idea of what true passion is. Bucky wrote of the possibility “to make the world work for one hundred percent of humanity, in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation , without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”
There is also my passion for the activity of cycling within the mountains. The symbiotic and unique relationship between the physical endurance of cycling set against the jagged peaks and cols of mountains. The sheer scale, physical beauty and changing moods and indifference characterized by the weather all bring an aspect which is essentially primeval and pure.
There are many sources that teach and inspire, the following is a brief distillation; the lessons from Japanese philosophy and architecture past and present. One particularly which resonates strongly is the absence of what is unnecessary .
Artists such as Donald Judd and the idea of the “specific objects” and beauty. Richard Sera’s art work and the exploration of how it can create spaces in which a viewer can experience universal qualities or weight, gravity, agility, and extending to the possibility of a meditative response. The work of Chilida and the study of material with regard to full or empty space.
Designers such by Dieter Rams, who describe “good design is as little design as possible. Back to purity , back to simplicity”.
In architecture the key principles such as the argument for the importance of “serenity” in buildings. Extending to the focus on quality space, proportion, light and materials as a means to support a quality of experience. The approach and methodology which strives to “do the most with the least”.
The artist Mark Rothko described a concept of art as communication, art as an exchange. The idea was the creation of an imaginary space of communication between the artist , the painter and viewer. Taking this inspiration and beginning to consider what qualities a space requires to allow the possibility of ideas , powerful communication and exchange to take place.
The quality of serenity, and the relationship in which a space can evoke a sense of ease and calmness was the initial thought. The vision is that if there is serenity within space 2B , there will also be peace which can allow the possibility for people to feel good, look good, and inspire them to communicate openly.
The intent is for a distinct interrelation between a calm space, which is the inside and the eventfulness of the outside.
Two ideas for me that can be considered when seeking to describe what to live simply can be are; “to be in the present” and the notion of “calmness”. To help define these notions the following two passages best achieve this;
“To see all things of the present moment is to see all that is now, all that has been since time began, and all that shall be unto the world’s end ; for all things are of one kind and one form.”
“Withdraw into yourself. Our master reason asks no more than to act justly, and thereby to achieve calm.”
Both passages are from the private journal of passing thoughts and wisdom by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius titled Meditations written in the 2nd century AD.
Where mindfulness can be described as the ability to direct one’s mind to an intended direction and to be present with what is happening now is essentially an activity based practice. Meditation is the key to access mindfulness and there are several forms of active meditation practices, one of which can also extend to cycling, which is a passion of mine.
Essentially this possibility requires the rider to be present and not actively think about what’s ahead or random thoughts. In order to experience this state of “flow” the cyclist first needs to attain the right balance of skill and physical fitness. Upon achieving this foundation and combined with a challenging environment such as a mountainous area the desired sweet spot feeling of “flow” might be achieved.
Further to this, research of late with elite athletes have described the benefits of daily meditation assisting with managing the mental demands of continuous strenuous physical training. Building upon this concept of mediation in cycling, research of late with elite athletes have described the benefits of daily meditation assisting with managing the mental demands of continuous strenuous physical training.