Tua Tua Keladi #3 Concrete Matter – Joyee Lee

Concrete Matter is an online platform for the architecture community of Malaysia to share their theses and built projects, debate topics of architectural education or just have conversations about the field.

The set-up is simple: a two-hour Zoom call with two presenters, during which the first half comprises a presentation, and the second half is reserved for conversation. The community began in April 2020, with a few friends having a chat after work, and this has grown to over 70 people joining the conversation at the height of the pandemic.

A Long Journey to be an Architect

“It is interesting thinking some of the awards in the architectural industries have benchmarked the age 40 as the threshold of young architects. Architects aged beyond that will not be considered as young but aged below that will not be regarded as mature or experienced but why is that?

In comparison strictly to other creative counterparts such as graphic, fashion, product or advert designers, architects seem to take a longer time to grow out of the cocoon and I believe those who have dipped their toes into the water already know that it takes more than just an architectural education to be a successful one.

Unlearning to Get New Perspective

“Apart from it being a lifelong process of learning all the knowledge and skills of designing and building, it is also a process of unlearning all that one known to solve problems in new perspective. By unlearning, I meant questioning.”

Informal Way of Learning Architecture

As Albert Einstein aptly put:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

The importance of questioning is often overlooked in the past when knowledge is fixated on textbooks and exams.

However, in the age of internet where information is overloaded and debates are celebrated, we should take the advantage to question and to seek the right question. And this is preciously all the young literacy platforms are about today, spreading knowledge as well as changing the traditional learning and teaching method.


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Joyee Lee

Joyee Lee is a current postgraduate student in the University of Westminster (UK) and has four years of working experience as a Part I assistant architect at EOWON design in Malaysia and FDAT Architects in Singapore. She founded Concrete Matter as a discourse and research digital platform during lockdown in…


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