A Travellerspoint blog

Vision Week

The past week I've been busy with our last group presentation. To create a vision for our site in Malmo. This is by far the most planned design process. So basically the vision we created for our group would be the main concept or a goal for our individual projects, then we would each have our own sub concepts. So we started with a whole day of a "workshop" designed by us which included several brainstorming session. And they were really useful. It's like a subjective understanding of the site, but a very extensive one. Looking at the thoughts of others really opens up your mind.
Yang Yang pasting all our brainstorm post-its.
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After we had our post-its, we tried to group them into categories. It wasn't easy.
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Final Panel.
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It is fun to make a presentation that had no requirements. All we had to do was to convey our vision. See bigger image on picture panel on the right.

Over the week, I made apple crumble. My conclusion about baking is that it takes so much more effort than cooking. Especially when we don't have a beater. But the apple crumble is quite fool proof, wouldn't go too wrong.
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and amy made cupcakes. I helped with the decoration. Not this one though. haha.
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she made baked miso salmon. we had it with Paul's accidental creation of butter rice. Basically he was about to cook rice and they said they were already making potato side dishes. so he recalled how our Austrian corridor mate made his rice.. with butter and salt.. and threw them in. And wow it tasted so good with the miso salmon. Our kitchen adventures. I can say that the one thing I've learnt the most here in Lund is cooking. I'm lucky to have three other Singaporean friends (with extremely relaxing school schedules) to cook with everyday. Otherwise when you're cooking just for yourself, you probably wouldn't have so much motivation.

And look. Virginia's famous in Lund. She appeared on a newspaper.
The question was "How much are you willing to pay to study in Sweden". Don't know if I have mentioned it before but there is not school fees even for tertiary education, local or foreign students. The government is considering introducing a fee. I think if they do, the school will be badly affected because many of the masters students chose to come to Lund because of the no-school-fee thing. That is why Lund Uni has such a big population of foreign students. (which is great for me. to have met people from all over the world.)

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anyway. I appeared on the newspaper because one day I was walking through the University park with my friend when these two masters students approached us, asking if they could ask some questions. I wasn't that enthusiastic about it but my friend agreed. So ya we answered the question. Then when they said they were going to take a picture of us, my friend refused to and so I had to do it.

Posted by virginia41 02:38 Comments (2)

A friend.

I met Katy today. I knew her previously from the hiking trip and Sarah's party. She's doing a thesis about how cities affect public health was trying to look for an urban researcher in my school so I introduced her to my professor. We had a little chat. Katy's background is in nursing, but she's very keen about urban planning. She says that what she really wants to do is to look at how the design of cities and buildings affect the health and social life of people, especially in developing countries. She doesn't know yet how she can do that with her nursing background, but she's on her way.

I was amused. Because I've finally met someone in this world with the same dreams as me. Architecture students, kill me. But I don't believe in airy fairy concepts of "intersecting volumes" and "porosity"and whatever it is we've been trying to convince people in our designs. I don't believe in architecture for the rich and mighty. I don't believe in architecture that only architects can understand. I wish I could do architecture for a cause.

Posted by virginia41 14:43 Comments (5)

Kitchen creations

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my cabbage roll.. haha. tastes pretty good ok..should have cut it open and taken a picture.. it's my mushroom minced meat cabbage roll. I'm so glad they have these chinese cabbage in the supermarkets here. The vegetables selection here is miserable. There's so little variety. My friend went to the asian store in malmo and bought 3 packets of kangkung. so we had sambal kangkung that day.. with belacan from singapore.. it was belacan overdose. haven't had something so spicy for such a long time.

Amy and I baked cookies. She said that the last time she tried making cookies , it went very wrong. This time it turned out very nice. But it was so much effort. Thanks to all the beating. If only there was a cake mixer thingy. It took 4 people to take turns beating the mix before it was ready for the oven...

All the effort:
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Before and after!
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So now i know how to make cookies. I will attempt apple crumble next.

Posted by virginia41 12:44 Comments (5)

Amsterdam of course.

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It really wasn't easy going through 500 pictures and then picking the pictures to upload here. I think I took about 2 hours to do just that.

If you just want to look at the pictures from this trip, go to my photos on the right, click show as gallery, start from the last photo of the 3rd page, and click backwards.

Ok, the train ride.
It took 16 hours from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. My first time on a night train, I thought it was quite an experience. (and it kinda reminded me of harry potter. My friend laughed and said "that's a good way to think about it" )The room was really small for the 6 of us and it felt kinda claustrophobic for a while. We had to coordinate our sleeping times, organize our luggage and find some space for ourselves. I really can't imagine if I had to share the cabin with 5 other strangers. I volunteered to be on the upper bunk cos it's the only place you can have a space for yourself. The train ride to Amsterdam was pretty bad because the ventilation system wasn't working and we could hardly sleep. The train ride back was sooo much better. The ventilation was working perfectly and I slept through the whole ride. I actually thought it was really comfortable to sleep on the train.

That's our train, and my tutors.. 2 of them.
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We were bored on our train ride to Amsterdam. so we tried to see how many people can fit in one room.
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So basically the itinerary in Amsterdam consists of a two-day mad cycling around Amsterdam visiting parks, libraries and other public spaces to understand its urban planning. Amsterdam's a really quaint city. Everything looks so picturesque. (at least in the day). So the cycling was really pleasant, except during the times it rained. I was kinda taken aback when i saw that the bikes they rented didn't have handbrakes. To brake you have to push the pedals in the opposite direction. That took me a few hours (and some getting lost in the city) to get used to. No wondeerrr the bikes they sold in Lund didn't have handbrakes. I was wondering how people were gonna ride in brakeless bikes. ok. another swaku moment. Cycling in Amsterdam isn't difficult because most of the main roads have bike paths, and bike traffic lights. It wasn't dangerous or anything.

Us and our bicycles:
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We were really tired on our first day because of the bad sleep on the train. Practically walking zombies, or cycling zombies. And we were kinda drenched because of the so unpredictable intermittent rain. We were cycling in it. Glad that I brought my hat along.At night, we walked around town and some of them visited the "coffee shops". Well I did go in and watch but that was about as far as I wanted to do.

On the second day, it was finally nice and sunny. We visited the Amsterdam public library by Jo Coenen. Thought it was pretty nice. The computers were all mac. (Maybe that's why it's nice. heh.)
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Bottom pic: the multi-media library, Plug in the audio cds into itunes on the computer.

Then we went to NDSM, a former ship dock transformed into something like an experimental working space. So basically, a steel column + concrete flooring structure is constructed in the huge industrial building. A particular amount of space is rented by individuals or firms, mostly artists and designers who have the liberty to decide the rest of the stuff that makes up their office space, like the walls, toilets etc. It's an expression of their individualism and at the end of the day, you kinda get a collage of all these different characters. Everything is pretty rustic. There weren't many people cos it's a sunday.

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I don't think a place like this will ever exist in Singapore. If it ever does exist, the concrete will be plastered, the steel nicely painted, the walls cleaned and polished, and it will look like disneyland once again. I find design in Singapore too serious. It seems like more often than not, the Europeans will somehow include a dash of fun in their design or their presentations. Even in school presentations.

We walked through the red light district that night. It was kinda bizarre, but I do have some recollections of how it looks like from the trip to amsterdam about 10 years ago. I remembered we went past it in a bus. I didn't really know what was going on then. I thought that the red light district was literally a district with red lights. But yea it was an interesting walk. I was trying hard not to stare. But I stared when I see a man talk to the girl and then walk in. Like how discrete is that. I think that was what made the whole walk bizarre - actually seeing the men walk in.

The last day, we visited Borneo Sporenburg - a residential district that aims to redefine high density living. Again, individualism and variety seem to be crucial.
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Rotterdam and Delft

Rotterdam reminded me of Taiwan. Some parts of it reminded me of Australia. This seems like a consequence of the post modernism international style. So I wasn't very impressed with Rotterdam. We visited a mini exhibition that is part of the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale. There were different models depicting the different parts of Amsterdam, how it is now and what it could become. Like I said, they inject fun into architecture.

An urban model made of Lego:
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and candies...
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models that make us urban planners for a day:
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I met Elaine and Jeremy that night. They brought me to a Chinese restaurant that serves DELICIOUS food. My first thought when I had the food was, wow it actually tastes like Chinese food because the Chinese restaurant I tried in Lund served Chinese food that didn't taste remotely authentic. And I actually think that if the 烧肉 and
kailan and tofu were placed in the context of Singapore and Hong Kong, they would still be considered delicious. see their pictures in the right panel.
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I had a sightsee - delft-by-bike on Jeremy's bicycle.
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Elaine made me breakfast for my train ride. She's so cute. She even separated the veges from the bread cos she's afraid that they might get soggy the next morning.

Elaine and Jeremy, you guys were great hosts. I'll definitely return your favour when you guys come to Lund. And Elaine, I had to take pictures of the wonderful breakfast you prepared. Thank you so much!!

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Posted by virginia41 07:06 Comments (2)

Last entry before amsterdam

My room after 1 month. It's not exactly very neat. And in my opinion, not exactly very messy. My mum disagrees. Right mum? hehe. I had dinner at my friend's corridor today and I walked past this particular room. It was disgusting. And it smelt bad. That weird stench. I could smell it just walking past it. I've grown to really like my little cosy but very self sufficient room. I know I'd miss it when I go back.
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Nothing very much happened this week. My presentation went pretty ok. Wasn't fantastic, but we were obviously not expecting the best anyway. At least I wasn't. On the first day we met, I decided to try instigate a discussion and basically planned out the whole structure of the presentation. I really didn't want it to be a lack of discussion, no objective presentation again. So with the presentation structure, the execution was much simpler. not great. but fine at least.
Here's some pictures of my studio. I realize it has the same corridor-concept of the student housings here. So, instead of a large studio room, our studios are split into small cubicles containing 4 tables along a common space where we usually have lunch. My group's cubicle is the largest one at the corner, so it's not an accurate representation. I sneaked out after presentation to eat my breakfast. (that i didn't have time to eat because i was again, almost late) and took some pictures.
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It's getting really cold here. With an average of about 11 degrees. I feel no warmth from the sun, it really isn't doing anything. Aside from the weather, I think Lund is a great place to live as a student. It's generally safe because of its student population; and I heard from a Swedish friend that it has a large proportion of wealthy people compared to other parts of Sweden because of the many big companies (sony ericsson, tetra pak headquarters) situated in the outskirts of Lund. There isn't very much of a social problem. Malmo, with its large migrant community, is of course a contrast.

This is my first time seeing autumn. haha. All the orange. When the sun is out, it seems to be especially orange and it illuminates the red-bricked buildings with a nice warm orange glow.

So I had dinner at a friend's place... Was like a mini-celebration for the end of the project, and a celebration for the mid autumn festival and also in my friend's words, to "stock up our calories" just in case we'd have a lack of that while in amsterdam.

I'll be leaving tomorrow for amsterdam. After a long 16 hour train ride, I'd reach Amsterdam, and be back only on 7th. That's next wednesday. It seems like I'd be on the train half the time haha.

Posted by virginia41 15:57 Comments (0)

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