2014 Thesis Foreword

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

Noam Chomsky

As our students cross the threshold of CUHK, I hope they will bring the spirits of architectural education in their hearts to wherever they go.  Although one aspect of the learning is to prepare them for the practice, it is not the sole purpose.  Other intentions perhaps a broader and more important one, involves the nurturing of an optimism that one could make a difference through clear purpose of intention and instrumental persistence of action.  The glimpse of works exhibited in this thesis booklet demonstrates a seed of that optimism.

Essential to the thesis project is a curiosity that speculates and provokes the topic under investigation with an unrelenting questioning of what if?  Beyond the typical rigor required in the architectural pursue, such curiosity would not endure without a leap of faith and relies profoundly on a spirit of optimism.  An ideal that the research and design of the thesis could expand and refine architectural thinking, with the aim of contributing to the discourse of architecture and potentially beyond.
This spirit of optimism- of learning through making, of instigating opportunity from constraints, of generating qualitative values from the quantitative figures, of revealing potentials from the mundane- forms a critical part of the education that does not limit itself to the design of a building, but could be the enabler for many aspirations in life.   Thus, I hope they never forget the ideals of optimism that lies within the core of their architectural education and to make a positive difference in the world, no matter how big or small it might be.