In fact, I had never known about this company until I got into their place with my class. Our professor brought all the student in Professional Practice class to there. I did a little short research by looking around on their website. Although TsAO & McKOWN is an architecture company, they have done various kinds of design work. I dare to say that they are all amazing.
My friends’ behaviors to the nice and cruel professors are so different. Nice students always like nice professors, but bad students always look down nice professors. The bad students may consider that the cruel professors are smarter, so they can show off. These are only about the psychology in the class room that always happens.
We, the architecture students did visit TsAO & McKOWN architecture company. What’s cozy place?! How nice of people?! Wooden furniture in their collection is so friendly as human can feel to the nature. Did we think that they are not good enough when we looked at that artistic rough ceiling. Did we think that they are not good enough when they are talking with us. Please do not have a wrong attitude to the real artists. Check them out, they got the 2009 AIA Housing Award. This can be a much better guarantee better than my word.
I was the first guy in the class who went to the place, so I had a little more time to look around their collection. Their place is good enough to be named, “museum”. I asked them where the restroom was, after I travel to Roosevelt Island and Rockefeller Center in that afternoon. Whole restroom was painted black with a big round lamp on the ceiling. It is very hard to see all things on the floor and on the wall, especially the first come in. The nature of the eyes cannot adapt itself that fast. On the left, there was a long pocket. Surely, everyone will pick it. I did wish to tell people outside if they forgot their pocket in the restroom. Another side of the pocket said that, “Please leave this pocket in the restroom.” I was thinking myself if the pocket’s owner put a measurement tool inside to count how many times this pocket was lift up and down. It should be a cheap tool, as well as the one I use to count my steps when I walk in Central Park.
I admire their attempt to collect a lot of artwork, but I still have an opposite attitude when I look at other artist’s work. My belief is my brain can take the idea of other people unconsciously right at the first time I look at the work. This means, I will not open the architecture book when I need an idea for my design class. Although TsAO & McKOWN collects a lot of artwork, they do not copy its concept and idea. Most of their design is based on the function and the relationship of their work to the user.
The examples that they show us are one of skyscraper project with a creative mixing-brick facade, and a transparent lipstick box. For the skyscraper project, some students may compare it with their own work in design classes. Most of student in our class had been in the school since the school did not have a laser cut machine. When they worked by hand, professors encourage them to not do the box. Many of us have weird shaped models, and we got good grades. Some of us still dreamed to work on wired shaped building in their real life. Right then at the office, we listened to the real-time 90 degree angle building with 3 or more colors of brick on facade. One of our design professor always blamed that, the colors in 2Ds were just the decoration. Any things we had known about those words; now they are the real-time project. One of the reasons that my friends stopped doing weird shaped architectures is the school has laser cut. The student will design only flat facade and let the laser cut do the work for them. Another word is they are lazier than before.
I did see a guy in the office work on his paper. He just drew something with pencil and rulers, although all knew Auto CAD. This is the same as another guy in HTNB who can be successful in his architect career without Auto CAD. Auto CAD is just the magic pen, but the nature of human, design by hand is the best way that the brain can spread a good idea out. Many computer programs always force the users to use its tools. People just begin their design with the box. The right way to make a new stuff is to develop the concept to be the actual model, and 99% of the concept is not “box”. How the real-time building became weird-shaped again? Most blocks of the street are square, and most furniture is the square, too.
TsAO & McKOWN made it. They gave the answer in their showroom design. They spread the base of their mannequins as a drop of water splashing. How interesting of the arrangement did not disturb how interesting of the dresses on mannequins. We have to trust that men can do stuff women like, and vice versa. I heard many women said that the good womb doctors are male, and the good scrotum doctors are female. When I was in Mahidol wittayanusorn Science School, the teacher who looked for the women dormitory is male, and vice versa, too.
TsAO & McKOWN did design of women’s lipstick. They needed the women to know how short of the left lipstick. They also want their lipstick to be the first choice of a few lipsticks in the women’s bag. I feel like its shape still the architecture-like. Anyway..
TsAO & McKOWN office arrangement looks so simple. I saw their work of simple shape and simple shade of modern design. They worked for China, Singapore and also my country, Thailand. I am not sure if it is Asia Hotel. If people are interested in their work, they do not need to come to NYC. They can just search for their projects online, and go to the real place in their own country.
They did talk about how to contact people from faraway country, and the architect’s life to sleep in the office at night. Architects have to do the site visit in the project of other countries as well as they need to do in their own place. Site visit actually helps in their design and also can prevent many problems and risks. Doing it in different times of the day should be a good thing. The architects still need to understand the difference of cultures and season, too. I heard about Yin and Yang in China. Kevin Johnson, my business writing professor said that Chinese people thought that fry-potato snack was hot for the human body, so they would not consume it during the summer. The packaging designer had to use the water and sky theme on it bag, to show that the snake was not that not. In fact, it is not only design that architects have to understand about the culture. Architects have to have a good relationship to many kinds of people from different parties, and they are also different in different countries.
This is their website, so you can view their work online http://www.tsao-mckown.com/