Inspiring People. Founder of CASE: Patama Roonrakwit

I was doing a little research just now at work. And I came across this. and notice that add on the words (who I wanna be?) yes because this person really defined Architecture so much that I meant it when I first step into USM answering the call to study Architecture. Why so?

It’s never about Money, It’s never about the Name, it’s never because of Arts of the building, but I see Architecture as the key player to change the future. Because we design where we live, and if we are talking about sustainable design, it’s really meeting more than the eyes as many Malaysians today underrated “Sustainability”.

What I learnt from Internship Lately.

I learnt that it’s not easy for Architect to say go green, then green design, Most firms today are really still depending on Demand and Supply, we design what the clients need, but we don’t propose a better plan to go green and show the market returns when we could. It’s a daily routine thing to design the same design over and over again and having endless projects flooding in. With this i respect few firms who take up green design seriously and making each of them a touch of perfection, or even simple concepts in design like cross ventilation and sunlight would help much without going detail into GBI scores. Houses today is different from yesterday, same goes to people. Let me tell you why.

Meet Patama Roonrakwit. which I call her Community Architect. Well, she founded CASE aka Community Architect for Sustainable Community. Read more here.

She defined what I want to be in the future. Community Architects. The big difference of this is that,

She is a living example of an architect devoting herself to the job she loves, working closely with people in urban poor areas since 1996. Unlike the common image of an architect, Patama appeared for the interview in her usual office uniform of T-shirt, shorts, and sandals.

Yes, dress normal, go down the streets, know the people and what they want even if it takes years and work on a design which is specifically design for the need. However, in here, architects today are changing to be a faceless architect, where you don’t really meet the direct users or even knowing what they really need. Community Architect is about heart, in fact, I choose Architecture without ever thinking of the pay. It’s just lame.

So she did mention something about Community Architects today.

Currently, the idea of community architects is becoming a major trend in architectural practice; more and more architectural firms are looking toward this field of work. However, Patama admits that most of the approaches do not always involve working together with the community

Pretty true with firms who just sit on the chair and with their buttons clicking here and there without knowing what’s happening at the site. But also it depends on.  This also means that if the community is not ready to participate or to take on the task itself, it will lessen the chance of success as well as the chance to sustain the changes. Economy, society, and environment are three essential aspects of concern in sustainable development. The relationship of these three aspects is a vital part of the sustainable development at all levels of the community. Being an architect, the aspect of environment seems to be the most common of all, since the work generally involves creating built environments. However, there is also room for architects to incorporate the aspects of economy and society as common practice.

We need this changes. I am currently enjoying a lot of things in Internship, however not to my expectation on learning GBI in the corporate world. I just feel that the design and construction industry in Malaysia have yet to move forward unlike TR Hamzah which, Ken just got his Dato’ title and listed as 25 people in the world that can save the world. Goodness, that’s gonna be my next internship place. Nothing beats my passion in going for this area. another one will be ClementWongArchitects, bump into his page just now afternoon. Awesome stuff too =) small but I bet it’s big in future!