saturday morning encounter

Saturday morning, thanks giving weekend. Sitting in studio in front of the computer deep in thought with Mr Rhinoceros 4.0.

“knock knock”. I glanced over to see a few shadows lingering outside the studio door. I walked over and opened the door for them. A couple, a teenage boy and an older man walked in.

“What year are you?”

“uh….I’m an exchange student actually. Second semester second year.” It’s always hard explaining what year I am since we start school start of the year, I usually just say third year/junior.

They started looking around as I returned to my spot to work.

“Where are you from young lady?”

I looked up to see the grandpa standing next to me, two hands behind his back looking at me through his golden spectacles.He looked so familiar, so friendly, maybe because he was asian haha.

“New Zealand.”


“NEW Zealand.” I repeated, a little louder.

“Oh, oh, I see, oh wow. Good for you.”

“Thank you.”

“I graduated from the old building and my son graduated from this building.”

The convo began with something like this. Turned out they were here to show their son around Berkeley in hope of inspiring him to be an architect.He was an architect himself, and both he and his son studied architecture at Cal when they were college students. We went on talking about the school and some other things, before he mentioned:

“My son works for SOM – in Chicago.”

At that point I recognized the name..but couldn’t translate it to the firm..som som som..Took me a while to realise he was talking about the world famous firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Dang. Wish I caught up with them and asked more about what it’s like working there and all. Craig W. Hartman – architect and design partner of SOM – San Francisco office, will be coming to Berkeley this Friday to speak about his design of Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. It is the first cathedral to be built in the 21st century. It was originally supposed to be designed by Santiago Calatrava, but Hartman’s design was chosen in the end.

So point of this post….of what I thought was just another long day in studio, turned out to be quite interesting due to this short encounter. Life is indeed more interesting when you get to know more people, even if it’s just for a short while. And that the big names of architects and firms I only read of back in NZ, seems so much more real and closer since I got to the States. I’m inspired myself to keep going..keep working hard and grasp all the opportunities that come my way.

Back to it. Mr Rhinoceros 4.0 is waiting.


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