Student Look - Alan Han

Student Look - Alan Han

Alan Han talks the development of his design mentality, his favourite previous design project & the favourite aspect of his graduation project.

1. Describe your proposal in 3 key words: 
Inquisitive, explorative and intimate.

2. How has your design mentality evolved over the 4 years? 
Over the past 4 years, the highs and lows all have contributed to the development of my design mentality. In particular, during first year first semester, I was told by a tutor to drop out of the course due to my poor performance and lack of development over the weeks. This was certainly disheartening to hear and eventually lead to a fail grade at the end of semester. I decided to stick with the course until the end of the year to see if I could turn things around. Surely enough, in the second semester, I persevered with a positive attitude by constantly reminding myself what I loved about architecture. This new attitude, combined with encouraging words from the same tutor who told me to dropout, lead to an overall increase in performance. From that point on, my design mentality hardened up and in doing so developed different approaches to upcoming briefs compared to the other students. This approach, at times did pay off and sometimes it didn’t. The times that it didn’t work out, I used as constructive criticism, to help further expand my overall knowledge and skills to see what I could have done and improved on.
I would say the blunt and direct advice of ‘consider dropping the course’ has left a mental scar that has compelled me to develop a ‘don’t give up’ attitude and work harder to achieve my desired results. At the end of the day, I’ve made it to 4th year and I am grateful for all the feedback and advice given that has gotten me to where I am today.

3.Excluding grad, what has been your favourite design project so far, why? 
Looking back, my favourite design project would have to be the Royal Botanical Gardens, artist in residence project in first year second semester. This was a relatively short project, about 4 week’s duration, which required students to be creative and decisive within a short time frame.
Back then, I was still experimenting and coming to terms with geometry and how it was all translated architecturally. As we were given free control on the overall form of the building, my design consisted of interlocking rectangular blocks which oddly enough developed into an outline and shape of a hand from the aerial view. This received interesting reviews as my tutor had a good laugh when he noticed the shape of the structure as he initially thought it was just another boring linear structure. Overall I quite enjoyed the project which is the key to producing a good design or project because why would you work on something you didn’t like? I also discovered (later down the track) that I tend to work well with projects that have a shorter time frame, coinciding with my interest in smaller structures or interiors.

4. Favourite element/s of your graduation scheme:
My favourite element of my graduation scheme ‘Project Ruin’ would be the overall explorative nature of the space. True to my design mentality, I decided to create a space from a different perspective instead of the creative hubs or art galleries that most of my classmates were proposing. With my current design skill level, I know that if I were to take the same route as everyone else, I would be outclassed in terms of execution and uniqueness. By taking the risk on my graduation scheme, I proposed a completely different interior environment, an interior that encourages the users to explore the space to able to capture the full experience of the project. The idea has definitely given me the drive to eventually complete this project and I am positively happy with the direction that 'Project Ruin' is heading towards. Hopefully the audience feels the same enthusiasm and interest as I do with it.

Interested in finding out more about Project Ruin? Check out Alan's student profile at: