What the year 2022 was

Looking back at where I began this year (2022) and reading the last year’s reflection, I feel I have come a long way – both in terms of my study and work. It was also a year that made me incredibly grateful for the time and generosity of numerous people who lent me hands along the way.

A retractable screen above the steps at Kotohira
Made business cards using drawings

Among all the exciting experiences I got to enjoy, I must say one of the highlights was the time to go and see something new, especially in Japan. The trip back to Japan during winter break (summer in Japan) was predominantly for visiting architectural projects, both contemporary and traditional. As always, sketching details of places helped me observe and appreciate cultural landscape better. In addition, the volunteer guide at Yoshio Takuguchi museum, the staff members at Naruto City Council, and my auntie, uncle and cousins who welcomed me to stay in Kyoto – meeting and talking with them shaped my perceptions of their built environment. I’m sure architecture-oriented trips with an A5 sketchbook will continue to be a significant part of my life into the future.

On my way to my second home in Australia…

In terms of the relationships, I think this year wouldn’t have been as fulfilling as it was if I didn’t meet or stay connected with many amazing friends and mentors. There have been nights when I felt moved just by thinking about the time I had the privilege to spend with them – pinching my face and thinking if those moments really happened. Some are more formal, and some are more personal. Some are momentary, and some are ongoing. So many unforeseen opportunities that I’m grateful for arose from having professional and private relationships. I hope I get to share more great news and achievements with them in years to come…

From the final thesis crit

2022 was also the final year of my tertiary education, and this holiday (right now) is the time to shift from being a Student to a full-time Graduate of Architecture. It feels as transformative as when I finished high school and began my university life, like another six-year cycle of change (middle/secondary schooling between 2011-2016, then tertiary education between 2017-2022). I look forward to how much I can grow in the next six years. I’ll also see how it goes with work-life balance and bringing back some of my habits and routines from the pre-masters degree time.

It is incredible to feel fulfilled about 2022 with a sense of warmth (partly from drinking more than enough soju tonight) and be optimistic about 2023. I’m sure it’ll be another massive year with lots of fun and challenges.

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