Original Artwork by Papa, Azhan and Nine (click image to link)
‘In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. By Time, indeed humanity is in a state of loss. Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of truth and in the mutual teaching of patience’ (Surah al-`Asr, 103:1-3)
"Professional Architect lives almost by faith. When called upon he can do the job without fear or favour. He possesses aspecialized skill and lives by a code of ethics cloaked in honour andintegrity. He is expected to speak his mind and give his views. Whenfaced with absolute wrong, he can resolutely disagree and walk away." quote from THE PROFESSIONAL MAN by Ar Dr Tan Loke Mun PRESIDENT PAM

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

QUEENSFERRY- schematic retail park process

This is an example of schematic design for possible sub-division layout of an existing retail park which is designed using a consistent colour code to represent each retail units; a simple design process with high practicality in mind.

The existing layout is indicated by single colour. It helps to show the actual volume of the area.
The first proposal is to maximise subdivison of the building and ensure its maximum usage. Service lane is provided to serve each units.
An inner service corridor is proposed. This will serve the unit better without having the difficulty to drive thru a narrow service lane. It will also reduce the number of service roller shutter. However it will slightly reduce the unit size. The area losses though could be added on the mezzanine.
This option is to give the best possibility in terms of the practical units width. The previous proposal had a narrow width units which is not too practical and would end up vacant. This however reduces the numbers of retail units but increases the area of each units with a more practical width.
This option is a reflection of the first proposal which has a service lane at the back of each unit. With this option, the width of the proposed retail units remains.

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell, The Philosophy of Logical AtomismBritish author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

RGP have an innovative approach to architectural design. We have no dogma, no standard answers and we are spirited and fun to work with

Monday, 24 September 2007


This could be the simplest 3d work that I had ever done for the firm. The visual is required by the client. They are willing to pay xxx pound for it. For such simple building and a bit tedious photo impose (especially view between the leaves and branches) I'd managed to complete the work in 1/2 day. Thus XXX pound budget from the client was a good pay for the company.

It reminds me of some of todays' architects who are likely to absorb the visual works as part of their architectural service. They try to put such added value to their services. But in reality it will only increase the architects' work load and cost while reducing the profit itself. The firms would eventually need to hire architects that could do "expert" 3d visual with very demanding salary and not to mention the needs to purchase the expensive 3d software and powerful computer processors to support the "experts". Instead of spending more time resolving architectural issues, architects now would have to spend more time preparing and revising advertising material (3d visual, coloured plan, animations) to feed the hungry developers' demands.

This is such an insult to architects. What should architects do to educate the client about the cost for those added value works? These high end artworks fees should be added on top of architects standard fees. Or, should it just be outsourced to the real experts for their advertising needs?

The architects only need basic visual to convey their ideas and to visualise the client's dreams. Basic 3d software (free-ware) is now frequently used to replace old days' sketches and drafting works for more productive process.

I keep this project as an example of the proper way the architects feeds the clients need on their hunger for a high-end visuals; a win-win situation for both architects and client.

site photo
super-imposed 1
site photo
super-imposed 2 revised colour versions.
RGP have an innovative approach to architectural design. We have no dogma, no standard answers and we are spirited and fun to work with

Friday, 21 September 2007


This is one of my earlier works while I was working part-time at SNO. Eventhough I hadn't fully completed my studies, I had to work on part-time basis in order to support my family. Under Zafarrullah's supervision I've explored my own potential. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to see the project finishes.

After years of development, the project is finally completed and open for sale. I manage to visit the developer's website; The design has been changed from the original scheme, but certain vital essence of the building feature especially the plans is kept intact.

Based on the information stated in the website, only a few limited units are left for sale. I would really like to have one of those houses that we designed using our aspiration and best idea. However looking at the range of selling price, it is still not affordable for me as the designer to own one. Up till today, even though I 'm working abroad, I'm still not making enough money to own one of these luxurious property!

An abstract from the developer's website:
"The de’ Galleria Collection comprises five crafted masterpieces of architecture, each with its own distinct and very exclusive characteristics. The bungalows, painstakingly built to perfection, are designed with tasteful and quality finishings, and lush green playgrounds. All designs emphasise luxury, space, and comfort, creating a harmonious balance between humankind and Nature."
We manage to create designs that emphasise luxury, space, and comfort, creating a harmonious balance between humankind and Nature ; design that we architects could not even afford to live in it!

CD cover designed for my own filing

Detailed Sketch by Zafarrullah based on my initial 3d model

Detailed Sketch by Zafarrullah based on my initial 3d model

Detailed Sketch by Zafarrullah based on my initial 3d model

Monday, 17 September 2007


Monday,17 september. Today my son is not feeling well. He's having a flu fever. I'm about to take a leave due to his illness, so that I will be able to watch over him.

As usual, whenever I want to take a leave I would call my direct report to inform him about my emergency leave. During the conversation with Paul, I asked him if there is any urgent work that needs to be done for the day. I told him that I could drop by the office to get the file and do the work from home since it'll only take me 3 minutes to get to the office. "At the moment there is no urgent work for today, however I will ask others if there is any urgent work that they need you to do for today. I will call you if there's any" he said.

After a few minutes, he called me saying that there is work that needs to be done for Mr. Chew. So, I went to the office to get the file needed and scope of work. I saved it in my thumb-drive. Suddenly, our IT manager Mr. Pridgeon came to my workplace and asked me, "Are you going to work from home? I will set a remote programme on you computer so that you will be able to access the computer from your home." "Ok" I replied, assuming it was just a simple network programme that would allow me to access only the files just like the standard network connection. After he installed the remote programme, he showed me how it works. I was amazed, because I will not only be able to access the files but also change my personal notebook desktop to the office's desktop. Virtually, I would be working at my own workplace from home.

This is a fantastic experience. Imagine if I work from Malaysia, to an office around the world! Say goodbye to the need of working late at the office because you could use the pc from a remote programme at home. Say no more to the need to return to the office to check whether the long rendering hours has finished or not or has any error that needs to be adjusted and those adjustments could be easily done remotely. You don't need to save the file into a thumb-drive or email the file to transfer it elsewhere, it works there and then.

LogMeIn Free gives you the flexibility to access and control your PCs from anywhere. It's safe, easy and completely free.

But there's a slight disadvantage of this programme. The IT manager said that "anyone who has access to your pc or the remote programme could see what you are doing. Whether you are working or surfing, or playing solitaire!". I think this is a good way for managers to monitor and synchronised work better than before. I believe a need for trust is vital when you do this kind of work in remote situation. Maybe it would be better if the programme is inclusive of a webcam and video conference software. However, like Mr. Friedman said in his reknowned book, The world is flat, "If you wanted to summarize the net effect of all these institutions,cultural norms, business practices, and legel systems, it can be reduced to one word: TRUST. They crete and inspire a high level of trust-and a high level of trust is the most important feature any open society can possess." The world is being flattened.

Friday, 14 September 2007


I got an email from one of the directors at my office. A memo to inform me that they've finally located my car! Yes my new elegent Saab93 with my nick name on it FAZ 873 (my nick in UK). An unknown photographer had captured my car during my travel in Europe. I was on my way back from a ski trip (can you see the snow on top of the mountains). I always display the humble side of me, a low profile kind of personality so that it would not be a competition to the directors. Well I've tried my best, but they've finally spotted me.

Funny though cause none of above is true (but I would like it to be true). It was just a coincidence that they saw a poster in some site hording featuring a car with my nick on the plate number. What a lucky picture! The reality is that I don't own a luxury car; not even any kind of car in UK, I walk to the office, use public transport to town and rent a car for travelling.

Talking about lucky picture I try to find the meaning for the plate number which is 873. Could it be a lucky number? It might sound superstitious but there are certain cultures that believe in lucky numbers. I do have my own lucky number which has a great meaning in chinese culture. But as a muslim, I don't depend my fate on numbers but only in God. However I still use the lucky number for a certain reason..for a good blessing. It's like your name which has certain meaning, and by having that meaning when people always call your name it will be a blessing from others to you.

So, driven by curiosity I try to find out what is the meaning of the number in chinese culture. Basically it means:

The word for 8 in Chinese (Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "fortune", "prosper"

The number 7 often considered divine in Chinese astrology. It also symbolizes "togetherness".

The number 3 is considered a good number because of its association with San Cai, a collective term for heaven, earth and human. In buddhism it is associated with triple states of past/present/future

Therefore 873 would mean PROSPER TOGETHER FOREVER . I guess...I should try to ask my chinese friends about its true meaning but I'm still waiting for an answer. Anyone?

Anyway, although it was just a joke for the day, I do appreciate the trouble my collegue had gone through to snap a picture and email to me. Next time I do hope it's going to be for real!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


This is another design development for the project. As usual I was given the responsibility to produce the presentation material. Apart from that I need to produce a basic 3d visualisation of the project. The massing of the model will be shown to the planner on the impact of the development towards the surrounding neighbourhood. This is like one of the days back in the university years; making a study model/massing model out of cardboard. I miss the feeling of holding a real building model. Even though advance rendering software could make a realistic visual it somehow does not really capture the sense of touch. Maybe in the coming future!

Among the requirement for planning submission is to provide a "Design and Access Statement " of the proposed project. This document however is prepared by one of my colleagues and it shouldn't prevent me from learning the needs of it. The basic contents of the document are :

1.00 Introduction

2.00 Assessment & Physical Context

3.00 Social and Physical Context

4.00 Site Evaluation and Layout

5.00 Building Design

6.00 Accessibility

7.00 Sustainable Design

8.00 Landscaping & External Works

By the end of the day, I only rendered a simple animation based on the modelling I had. It was just for my own amusement. I believe that the animation part is the next joy of making 3d. It is one way to make your model alive and take the full advantage of the modelling effort made.
3D modelling is like sketching a potrait of a illustrate it with your own hands.When it is rendered in a photo realistic mode, it is like taking a photograph of a family...It brings a selected wonderful memories to life. Then the next limit of joy is feels like watching a family video when everyone has grown up...It captures everything! RGP have an innovative approach to architectural design. We have no dogma, no standard answers and we are spirited and fun to work with.

Monday, 10 September 2007


Special super-imposed advertisement-like card made by Adam Pridgeon and all of us signed at the back . Now everyone can fly!! , she does look young to be retired.

Today on 08 July 2007, it's the day to celebrate another very long serving RGP family member's retirement day. She has become more than a staff; a family member who has served the family for more than 20 years!

Again I'm really touched with how the family members appreciate the work done by others. I'm so amazed with so much love and care that they display for each member. Do we really deserve to be celebrated like this?

I'm not sure when will I retire. I'm not supposed to think about it that much in my late 20s; I should focus more on strengthening my skills. Maybe when the time comes I may not retire at all. Maybe I prefer to work for the rest of mylife (but at a more flexible time and place). I may even be spending my senior years giving lectures to students regarding architectural journey. But I know for sure I don't want to spend my golden age by resting and sitting and doing nothing, decaying with time that passes by. Mostly, I do hope Allah will invite me to witness the most sacred places in the world (hajj) before moving to the eternal world. Amin.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


Back in November 2001, this is another earlier work of 3d visualization and animation during my study years. However, this project was totally unrelated to the school requirement and it was done during my semester break. It was also not a freelance job. So, if it was not a requirement and not requested by anybody why did I do it? Simply just an effort to learn and sharpen my skills. It was hard to just learn something from the manual without doing any exercises and practice of a real work. I would also equip me with a better start for the next semester. If I could master the tools faster and earlier I would have more time on design and creative process...keep learning.