Sabtu, 29 Mei 2010

0 Bloggers in the Archive

I'm thrilled to say that I will be blogging all summer from the late-lit northern evenings of Montreal, where I will be hosted for two months by the Canadian Centre for Architecture as part of their 2010 Visiting Scholars program.

[Image: From the drawing instruments collection of the CCA, courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture].

For the most part, I will be writing about many of the items in the CCA's collection—films, models, photographs, manuscripts, architectural tools, and more—and, for good or for bad, publishing the results on the CCA's own website.

There is a truly mind-boggling amount of material to explore up there, from the archives of Gordon Matta-Clark and Cedric Price to a collection of antique drawing instruments and souvenir models, John Hejduk's Bovisa sketches, photographic plates from English India, Canadian fire insurance maps, speculative proposals for river lighthouses, massive archives of stage set designs and dramatic scenography, and a beautiful manuscript copy of the Plan of St. Petersburg, among far, far more than I could possibly mention in one post. Konstantin Melnikov. Aldo Rossi. Three airports by Lloyd Wright. Travel sketches by Louis Kahn.

[Image: "Unknown photographer. Konstantin Melnikov (1890-1974) and his wife stand before their house" (1927); courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture].

The overall idea is something that I've been calling "Bloggers in the Archive," a program I'm starting with myself as a guinea pig, and that I would love to bring to other institutions elsewhere in the future.

In other words, there are architectural and design archives all over the world, full of astonishing things, but these same collections are often unexplored in their entirety, even by members of the institutions that have collected them. Even more commonly, many of these global collections are open only to scholars who stop by once every five or six years—if that often—to write niche monographs or academic publications about specific aspects of an archive's contents.

But what if you could install an architecture blogger—or a film blogger, a food blogger, an archaeology blogger, a fiction blogger—in an overlooked archive somewhere, anywhere in the world, and thus help to reveal those items to the general public?

[Image: From Scenes of the World to Come: European Architecture and the American Challenge, 1893-1960 at the CCA; courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture].

Why not put Archidose up at the National Building Museum, for instance, or Frank Jacobs in the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Library, Colleen Morgan at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, or even give Clastic Detritus a guest residency at the central archives of the USGS? Maud Newton, temporary blogger-in-residence at the British Library.

Call all of it part of "Bloggers in the Archive," and suddenly collections all over the world are being appreciated and seen by more than the five professors who have been deemed qualified enough to explore a specific phase in architecture, design, or landscape history. Put Tim Maly up at the Reuleaux Collection of Mechanisms and Machines for two weeks, or Bruce Sterling at the National Science Foundation.

After all, are academic essays the only textual form appropriate for archival exploration, or does the relatively ad hoc, point-and-shoot blog post, motivated less by scholarly expertise than by curiosity and personal enthusiasm, also have something valuable to offer? Somewhere between front-line archival reportage, historical research, and what we might call popular outreach.

[Image: "William Notman & Son, Building encased in ice after a fire, 65-83 Little St. James Street, Montreal" (1888); courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture].

In any case, in addition to surrounding myself with the CCA's seemingly endless collections—international expositions and fairs! winter festivals! fortified cities in colonial North America! Roman archaeology!—I also hope to find time to explore the landscapes around Québec (including the megascale hydroelectric stations peppered throughout the province's subarctic forests, such as MANIC-5—leading me to wonder if Hydro-Québec has ever been the subject of a minor architectural retrospective, and, if not, if Pruned could perhaps be hired to curate one...).

[Image: A "telescopic" book from the Great Exhibition in London (1851); courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture].

So stay tuned for regular posts beginning late next week from Montreal—and also watch for updates on the CCA's website (I'll have specific info on exactly where my posts for the CCA will appear soon). And, of course, huge thanks to the CCA for making this summer possible!

Jumat, 28 Mei 2010

0 How to Really Begin Adding Value

Many of us have been brought up to think that there is only so much to go around and we must grab what we can before other people get our share. But there is another paradigm which insists on the importance of community, emphasizing our interconnectedness and interdependence. In this view, helping others, giving something of ourselves and reaching out are the keys to success and happiness.

Einstein wrote, ‘Only a life lived for others is worth living.’ This idea can sometimes be called adding value. Why is this way of looking at things so valuable?

  1. When you add value, the whole that you produce is greater than the sum of the parts which produced it. Unlike the ‘not enough pie to go round’ paradigm, the adding-value paradigm insists that when you enrich the life of someone else, the pie gets bigger and there is more for us all.

  2. It makes the world a better place for all of us. When you help someone, you add value to their life and you make the world a better place. Whether you’re a teacher who helps a student to pass an exam or encourages him to apply for university, or an author who writes a book that helps thousands of people, you make the world better for all of us, including yourself.

  3. You’re going to get a whole lot in return. This is not the reason for doing it, of course, but it’s a fact – when you give you receive. Maybe not in the way you think, but when you really try to add value with no expectation of reward, the rewards start rolling in. Life is strange like that!

  4. It makes you feel good. Steven Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, speaks about an inner darkness which is created when you live a life without integrity. Living a life of integrity and value is the only way to truly feel good about yourself.

  5. It brings opportunity. If you become known as someone who always helps, always tries to find a solution, you’ll win friends and influence people. There are two kinds of person, my friend (can you guess the movie?), problem people and solution people. Which are you seen as? You future success could depend on being in the right category.
So how do we add value? What can we do to experience this rich and rewarding way of living? Here are some examples of how to make sure you are adding value in every situation as much as you can.
  1. Make sure you know what you can do. What are your skills? What are you good at? These are the tools which will allow you to add value.

  2. Do what you love. When you do the things you love, adding value comes naturally. Look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Madonna, or any number of rich and successful people: what do they have in common? They do what they love! And they are successful because they add value naturally.

  3. If you’re not adding value, get out! If you’re in a job where you don’t feel you’re systematically adding something, either you need to change the way you’re doing things, or it’s time to quit. You can do better.

  4. Adding value will guide you to the right job or enterprise. If you have a choice of two or more paths, be they career paths or anything else, always choose the one that allows you to add the most value. This will keep you in alignment with your true purpose in life and will, ultimately, bring you greater happiness and greater reward.

  5. Keep on learning new things and expanding your comfort zone. This is how you learn more skills which will enable you to add more value. Go on a course, do a part time degree, put together a website, write a novel – but do something new.

  6. Don’t be scared to fail. When you do something new, you’ll do it badly and you might even be afraid to do it at all. If and when you do fail, you might not want to go through the experience again. But if you push through that initial failure, pick yourself up and keep going, you’ll start to improve and eventually you’ll be good at what you’re doing.

  7. Encourage other people. Try to get the best out of people – encourage them to be the best they can be. This will inspire them to take their own risks and add their own value to the world.
So there are seven ways of adding value. I could have made a list of ten, twenty or even more. Perhaps you have more ideas?

Written on 5/28/2010 by Mark Harrison. Mark Harrison writes about personal growth, communication, and increasing personal wealth. Check out his new book, Thirty Days to Change Your Life.Photo Credit: Wonderlane

Kamis, 27 Mei 2010

0 Exclusive Pixar tour for Toy Story 3

Finally! Toy Story 3 is about to come out in Singapore and I have seen it already when it was like 98% finished but I'm so excited to see it again in 3D!

(Even though I'm not a big fan of 3D but that was because for my first and only 3D film I watched Avatar from the front row and it was horrific.

I believe that 3D should be for cartoons instead of normal films too! Coz in cartoons the lines are so much more defined mah.)

Ok I'm rambling on because I'm so excited.

Anyway to recap for people who didn't already know, I auditioned to be one of the 15 bloggers chosen WORLDWIDE (very hao lian must put in caps) to get an exclusive tour of Pixar and to get a first watch at Toy Story 3.

I've always been a big fan of Pixar (my absolute favourite movie is The Incredibles) so this was like a dream come true I tell you. Seriously.

And so I went, all the way to Emeryville, San Francisco.

Flew Philippine Airlines with the plane mostly filled with Filipinos. Transitting in Manila airport was a breeze, got personal escort one! And the filipinos are super friendly!

Was supposed to fly SQ but only Philippine Airlines could drop me home in time for the Nuffnang Symposium.

(On a side note I think I've figured out the difference between Philippine, Philippines, Filipino, Filipina, Pinoy and Pinay!

Philippines: Country
Filipino: Citizen, male/general
Filipina: Citizen, Female
Pinoy: Slang for Citizen, male/general
Pinay: Slang for Citizen, Female
Philippine: Inanimate object from Philippines

I think!! So confusing)

Here's my flight get-up. I normally have extensions and slap on some blusher + lipstick and gloss.

No foundation or mascara coz confirm get smudged and get very uncomfortable when you sleep!

Dude sitting beside me was a farter. -_-

Inside my bag... The big brown pouch contains Gillian's $3,000 video camera knn I was so stressed I would lose it or damage it.

And this Pixar trip was made into a Guide to Life episode which was filmed entirely by me! It wasn't easy filming yourself, let's just say that.

On a cab en route to Four Seasons Hotel! Gotta love USA advertising.

The hotel was crazy posh and super hugeeee!! Must go up 2 different lifts to get to your room from the lobby -_-

First thing I did: Shower, and order room service... Courtesy of Disney! ;)

And this is what I had - Pan Fried Halibut with creamy potato gratin

Comes with the yummiest creamy lemon butter sauce

It was so freaking delicious I ordered it for 3 dinners straight can you believe that? NOW I'M CRAVING FOR MORE OMG...

SLEEP! Day 2:


Spent about $400 on a four storey Juicy store. Oh well once a year.

Four seasons was in Market street which is where all the shops were!

Diesel ad

Also went to the flagship F21 building (yes it's a building by itself) and spent LOADS of money!! *sadface

At 5pm the bloggers/youtubers had to meet at the hotel lobby to be shuttled to Pixar... TO WATCH TOY STORY 3 OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG X INFINITY

I was responsible *ahem* and reached the hotel with ample time to prepare so camwhore first!

Loving my New Look jacket (super warm and chio!) + Hongkong nude pink boots!

Must try with the camera at different positions

In the luxurious toilet


Hehehehe will the camwhoring stop?


After a while we arrive at PIXAR!!

It was raining so I only managed ONE BLURRY SHOT of bloggers walking in... Lao sai.

Anyway it was very hard to juggle filming and photography lah... Obviously filming was my first priority!

We weren't allowed to snap photos inside for today so we just went into the theatre (yes they got indoor theatre in Pixar) straight!

Was Toy Story 3 any good? HELL YES IT WAS!!

Action-packed and won't even let you have a moment where your mind wanders off! It will make you cry (some of the bloggers did), laugh, get indignant, and filled with childlike awe. :)

Andy's going to college so how will the story wrap up? It's really an awesome ending imho.

Plus there are super a lot of new toys! Pictures of them later. Really lor, you know how you've been seeing Toy Story 3 trailers and ads around and sometimes the product doesn't live up to the hype? THIS TOTALLY DOES.

Plus I don't know how they did it but they also like polished up the animation or whatever so it looks chioer than ever!!


Day three:

Meeting at the hotel lobby again at 8am

Pic of two USA pixar bloggers... Left is 18 and right is only 16! The 16 year old had to have a guardian with him lor. It was their first time going into Pixar too and it must be even more a dream come true for them (coz they are passionate enough about Pixar to have a pixar blog)!

I'm sitting beside Natalie Tran on the bus... She is a famous youtube star. Erm the first day I tweeted that she is very hostile so on day 2 she said she saw the tweet (mad paiseh) and was trying to be nicer.


SULLEY AND MIKE~!! Monsters Inc is awesommmmme!

Sunnyside Daycare - place in Toy Story 3 that looks deceivingly cheerful :D

Toys scattered on the table. No idea whether these are real coz director Lee Unkrich has a penchant for collecting bootleg Pixar toys.

Pixar's office space is so big and airy and fun!


Huge Woody and Buzz made of LEGO! MUST. CAMWHORE.

HOWDY! There is a snake in my boot!

Pixar supervising producers Bobby and Mike were bringing us around and telling us more about Pixar's work environment, showing us the equipment (one huge room full of 6 feet tall computers just doing nothing but rendering all day long), and most interestingly of all, the offices of Pixar's animators.

These people are obviously very creative, so much so that no one could resist decorating their offices (they all have a room to themselves) VERY VERY EXTRAVAGENTLY!

It was unbelievable!!!

We saw an office decorated completely Tiki-styled with straw roof and torches etc... Pretty pale yellow with a baseball-picket fence coz the animator loves baseball... Other crazy designs - which unfortunately I couldn't video or snap shots coz it's not allowed...

THEN Mike and Bobby led us to animator Andrew Gordon's office. They led us in in groups and allowed us to take pictures.


Totally disappointed lor!





Vegas styled with a bar and casino poker table!

And all the celebrities who have been in this very room with Andrew Gordon... So many!

However this room was a bit cramped so I didn't have a chance to snap more before leaving to let the next batch in.

There was this super grumpy middle-aged Russian blogger among us who was giving a stupid black face the entire time. I can't believe there are people so ungrateful man, who is forcing him to go to this junket?! Some other kid somewhere would be soooooo happy to take his place for this once in a lifetime opportunity!

As Bobby and Mike were checking to see if everyone went in, they asked the Russian if he would like to go to, he just rudely waved Bobby away and glared into the distance.

I'd invite him to leave at this moment but Bobby just looked politely incredulous.

And then we had roundtable interviews!

With Bob Pauley, Art director, showing us the creations, paintings and drawings of many talented artists.

Some of the new characters you can expect to see in Toy Story 3! My favourite is a little yellow bunny (not here) that looks like Minilove!

Explaining to us how each character was conceived. Very interesting!

Christine Freeman, lead archivist, looking pleased to show me a sculpture of Jessie.

She has LOADS of paintings/toys/sculptures etc all showcasing the start to finish of each Pixar creation. She even showed us how Buzz looked like initially and it was not like the final thing!

And btw do you know why Buzz Lightyear is white, green and purple? That's coz his creator's favourite colour is green and his wife's is purple. Don't know about the white part I guess it just looks futuristic.

I love this gigantic painting of Buzz and Woody looking at Andy going away from them.

With no facial expressions even, one can feel the disappointment, sadness and helplessness of the duo just by the colours and that hand on the shoulder that says There, there, we can work something else out...

Very sad one!! Why am I so emo it's a movie -_-

And we break for LUNCH!!

Pixar staff are so lucky their work place is so nice!

Camwhore shot

We visited Hidden City Cafe, a small joint where a lot of the Pixar peeps used to eat at just coz it was near to their office.

We were real lucky to dine with Teddy Newton, who is an animator, storyboard artist and also directing the Pixar short film that would show before Toy Story 3, Day and Night!

Somemore he does voiceovers. He was the newsreel narrator in The Incredibles!

There he is with Bobby (second from right) and Mike (extreme right).

What's with the hats?

Eating with the bloggers. I like Bree, from Buzznet (right).

And still I didn't get any

And we got to watch Day and Night!!

Everyone went "woooooo!" when John Lasseter himself (CCO of Pixar) came to introduce the short film to us!!

Was it good? YOU BET. Pixar shorts typically don't have any dialogue and yet expresses so much! And this one is lagi better it is 3D INSIDE a 2D film!!

The black colour parts are 2D while the insides of the dudes are 3D!! It's realllllly amazing lah! I really love Pixar shorts it's like you paid for an awesome movie and got one bonus little movie really very wu hua *sobs

My favourite is Partly Cloudy and second is the lamb hopping one!


Me as a toy!! Well I'm already part silicon...

Maan, the disney rep from Singapore, also gives it a shot. I like her very much! Among all the strangers from around the world it is so comforting to see someone back from home being nice to you. :)

Disturbing director Lee Unkrich as he does someone else's video interview.

More camwhoring!


in a POD!! Hehehe so cute

With Jessie, one of my favourite characters from Pixar ever

Toy Story 1 and 2 in Blu ray!

Toy Story video game!

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson signing for their fan. I also had them sign something!

An alien!

Present for Ming in exchange for the Capella room he booked for Mike and I for our wedding. He loves this kinda stuff!

Love what Darla wrote. She is super cute!

Picture with Maan, thanks for taking care of me so well xoxo

Ming's pressies, bought from the exclusive Pixar studios store - merchandise there cannot be found outside!

Dug says hello!

Asked Bob Pauley if he could sketch a toy story character for me and he drew Lots-O-Huggin' bear and an alien!! I could keep this and he signed it for me too!

I am so, so proud of what Clicknetwork has evolved into...

3 years ago it was just a dream and look at us now!! *hugs Gillian to cry*

Last look at Pixar Studios


p/s: I know this entry is super long-winded but I have to record my memories of this awesome event! Hope all Pixar lovers like me enjoyed this entry! Confirm must watch Toy Story 3 you can hold me personally responsible if you don't like it! LOL but seriously though if you don't it's coz you have shitty taste.

UPDATE: Erm sorry to burst the bubbles of the peeps who said they are definitely gonna give Pixar a visit but the place is not open to public and they are very stringent about visitors!! Cannot be open to public lor it's a workplace so imagine if got people milling around all the time how can they work?!
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