This afternoon I met a Hong Kong-born, US-trained architect. We were talking about architects in the city, and it dismayed her how they don't have the guts to tell the client that their ideas won't work, or to push their design to influence their clients."They just listen to their clients who have no idea what design is, and instead give the clients what they want. That's disappointing," she said.
She recalled being appointed to the committee to oversee the redevelopment of her alma mater and seeing an obvious design flaw in the plans. There were two columns, one that came down to the ground, the other column was cut off right at the middle and there were steps there.
She sums it up to the general mentality of Hong Kong these days. "People don't have the shame to do bad things. If it's so obvious, why would you make such a mistake? It shows you're not thinking. Why would you give people the opportunity to tell you it's not good? But a lot of people don't mind," she continues.
Another example she cites was when she was young, competing in the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival meant practicing the passage to the point where the pronunciation of the words was perfect and memorized.
But a few years ago when she took her child to take part in the competition, the architect was shocked to find the young contestants didn't even remember the words to the passage, let along have good pronunciation.
"It's the parents -- they just want the certificate to say their child was in the festival. That's another issue. But if you sign up for the festival, you have to make sure
"Can we not arrange it now? Is it so difficult?" I asked, now getting really irritated. How hard can it be to find one personal trainer available at two different dates and times?