Collective residences

WEN HSIA

From Monday, 12 March 2018 to Sunday, 25 March 2018

WEN HSIA
Architect and Professor
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Bio

Wen Hsia is a practising architect and visiting lecturer at University of Malaya and Singapore University of Technology and Design. She has a passion in promoting lateral thinking in design within herself and students.

She makes up one half of WHBC Architects, a design practice which strives to find the right idea and inspiration for each and every proposition they work on. The practice believes design is an intricate balancing act of utility, technology and emotions in its specific place.

Their recent works include a house crafted from old telegraph poles, a dog hotel, a durian collecting shed and a communal bath for the indigenous people. Their curiosity and tireless experiments have won them international awards and had their works exhibited and published in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Project

The project in the residency will be articles on ideas and thoughts of architecture and thinking as a means of educating students and young designers. Various ways of thinking and the methodologies will be studied and analysed in writing.

There will be research on architecture, landscape and the community of Olot. The subjects will be recorded in writing, photography and drawing. The study will be developed through field study in Olot and discussion with the Faber team and residents. Insights and ideas from people of various fields and different regions will generate diverse viewpoints and diminish tunnel visions.

Unforgettable Olot

I travelled for 18 hours to Barcelona and then another 4 hours or so to get to Olot. Despite being terribly tired, I can’t stop myself from being blown away by the beautiful journey and the town itself.

Lined with parks and enriched by rivers, I discovered new pockets everyday either in the town centre or around. Frequently I found myself stopping by the sides of the river or bicycle lanes for too long just to wander off in the landscape and lose myself in the nature.

I was deeply touched journeying through the valley of Olot, layers of vast farm lands surrounded by mountains at all sides. It was so quiet and calm that you feel as if you were at the centre of the universe and you have to breathe and walk lightly in order to keep the peace intact.

Besides the beautiful landscape, the people in Olot were extraordinary. Almost everyone I met in Olot were kind and friendly to me, be it the shopkeeper who helped me with the SIM card, the beer maker who described to me how he produced all sorts of ales by himself and the school teacher who is very passionate about the town she is teaching at. Not to mention Fransecs, Gavina and Pau who will go to great lengths to make sure each of us feel at home. While the staff in the hotel from the reception to the kitchen and the helps showered us with warmth and hospitality.

During my stay, I was fortunate to meet many residents from different disciplines. They are scholars, artists, writers and dancers. Each night, the dining table was filled with laughters and I can’t remember when was the last time I met so many interesting people. Visits to Wattia and LC Paper surprised me with their ingenuity of making a difference in the world with their tireless efforts and passion.

I have left Olot now but I will never forget how every morning I woke up to a view of mountains that changes colours everyday, from dusky red, misty blue to snowy white. It is a home I will miss dearly and always longing to go back.

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