Graphics As A Medium For The Manifesto


Hyperospective:​ ​Heterogenesis

If​ ​structures​ ​were​ ​the​ ​potent​ ​legacy​ ​of​ ​Elysium​ ​Field,​ ​then​ ​the​ ​place​ ​is​ ​designed​ ​with​ ​the rhetoric​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​denial,​ ​Liberty​ ​and​ ​democracy​ ​are​ ​more​ ​over​ ​the​ ​icing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cake,​ ​speech and​ ​expression​ ​become​ ​the​ ​suicidal​ ​tool​ ​of​ ​the​ ​inhabitants.​ ​Where​ ​is​ ​the​ ​next​ ​place​ ​that​ ​is​ ​a​ ​no place?

We,​ ​as​ ​the​ ​citizens​ ​have​ ​once​ ​witnessed​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​voicing​ ​out​ ​political​ ​opinions/​ ​ideas​ ​as​ ​a responsible​ ​democratic​ ​citizen​ ​is​ ​dreadful​ ​in​ ​our​ ​context.​ ​Indeed,​ ​they​ ​said​ ​it​ ​was​ ​for​ ​the​ ​country safety​ ​purposes​ ​but​ ​Lincoln​ ​once​ ​said​ ​let​ ​the​ ​citizen​ ​know​ ​the​ ​truth,​ ​the​ ​country​ ​will​ ​be​ ​safe.​ ​The quote​ ​emphasized​ ​on​ ​transparency​ ​and​ ​democracy​ ​which​ ​every​ ​individual​ ​have​ ​equal​ ​rights​ ​to voice​ ​out,​ ​to​ ​know​ ​and​ ​to​ ​accept​ ​criticism.​ ​And​ ​freedom​ ​of​ ​speech​ ​was​ ​seen​ ​as​ ​an​ ​offensive​ ​act towards​ ​the​ ​government​ ​based​ ​on​ ​their​ ​recent​ ​action​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​people​ ​who​ ​provoked​ ​thru media​ ​and​ ​rally.​ ​The​ ​situation​ ​depicted​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​ground​ ​for​ ​dissent​ ​act​ ​and​ ​stage​ ​for​ ​public opinions.​ ​Hence,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​leeway​ ​for​ ​freedom​ ​of​ ​expression​ ​at​ ​all​ ​in​ ​the​ ​daily​ ​basis​ ​where​ ​an article​ ​by​ ​Human​ ​Rights​ ​Watch​ ​mentioned​ ​that​ ​the​ ​people​ ​cultivated​ ​a​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​self-censorship​ ​as an​ ​individual​ ​basis​ ​because​ ​of​ ​the​ ​repressive​ ​law.​

​It​ ​significantly​ ​caused​ ​the​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​voice​ ​and idea​ ​which​ ​it​ ​is​ ​so​ ​potent​ ​for​ ​to​ ​maintain​ ​nor​ ​improve​ ​a​ ​self-manage​ ​and​ ​collaborative​ ​society where​ ​it​ ​needs​ ​the​ ​opinions​ ​of​ ​the​ ​masses​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​sustain​ ​the​ ​social​ ​structure.​ ​And​ ​the​ ​only time​ ​we​ ​get​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​citizens​ ​voice​ ​out​ ​their​ ​inner​ ​opinions​ ​thru​ ​displacement,​ ​words,​ ​writings, drawings,​ ​speeches,​ ​and​ ​recordings​ ​was​ ​on​ ​the​ ​day​ ​of​ ​Bersih​ ​Rallies​ ​which​ ​the​ ​hetero-landscape that​ ​appear​ ​once​ ​in​ ​the​ ​blue​ ​moon​ ​allowed​ ​them​ ​to​ ​do​ ​so​ ​mainly​ ​because​ ​it​ ​has​ ​the​ ​power​ ​of​ ​the masses.​ ​It​ ​led​ ​us​ ​to​ ​hypothesize​ ​that,​ ​the​ ​Foucault-like​ ​heterotopia​ ​only​ ​appears​ ​at​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of mass​ ​occupation​ ​that​ ​manifest​ ​the​ ​power​ ​of​ ​democracy.​ ​However,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​impossible​ ​that​ ​mirage-like landscape​ ​to​ ​happen​ ​at​ ​the​ ​intimate​ ​level​ ​where​ ​we​ ​also​ ​wondered​ ​that​ ​the​ ​practice​ ​of​ ​speech should​ ​be​ ​on​ ​daily​ ​basis​ ​not​ ​by​ ​event​ ​basis​ ​yet​ ​the​ ​place​ ​could​ ​make​ ​that​ ​possible​ ​is​ ​a​ ​no​ ​place. Hence,​ ​the​ ​thesis​ ​was​ ​positioned​ ​as​ ​a​ ​form​ ​of​ ​manifesto​ ​nor​ ​polemic​ ​to​ ​let​ ​us​ ​question​ ​the vulgarity​ ​of​ ​the​ ​architecture​ ​and​ ​space​ ​since​ ​architecture​ ​has​ ​somehow​ ​become​ ​the​ ​public​ ​enemy that​ ​undermine​ ​the​ ​public​ ​rights.​ ​Nevertheless,​ ​this​ ​serves​ ​as​ ​an​ ​open-ended​ ​topic​ ​to​ ​discuss what​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​realism​ ​we​ ​could​ ​achieve​ ​in​ ​the​ ​near​ ​future.

Lunarisk with Edmund Tan, Ao Tang

Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon epitomised mankind’s boundless ambition for exploration. Indeed, a first step of the many to come, as we extend our thoughts on the colonisation of the Moon and beyond. Various agencies worldwide have proposed concepts of establishing infrastructure on the lunar surface. Yet, the process of setting up such a base is often overlooked, in particular the transport of resources to the moon.

Through decades of orbital missions, hazardous space debris have accumulated around Earth’s orbit. Travelling at high velocities, these seemingly insignificant debris can cause huge damage to spacecraft, causing danger to the cargo and passengers within. We present a novel modification to proposed supply chain systems between Earth and the Moon. The addition of a harvesting system to spacecraft flying on these routes allows the collection of these debris during the transport process.

Upon arrival on the Moon, the compressed debris are sorted based on their composition, similar to waste processing plants on Earth. Collected debris can supplement the main mining operations on the Moon, providing additional resources and keeping these transport routes safe at the same time.

These processing plants will be situated near lunar lava tubes, hollow areas left behind by ancient basaltic lava flows. Due to the lack of an atmosphere on the Moon, the lava tubes offer an ideal location for the establishment for settler colonies as they offer protection from various cosmic hazards and drastic temperature fluctuations. It is with great hope that such processing plants are a mainstay of interplanetary colonisation, allowing efficient use of resources and protecting critical trade routes from the danger of space debris.

No Man’s Land with Edmund Tan, Preston Liew, Thai Chee Yoong

Animal and mankind shared the same ground nor space on earth as a home to sustain the existence of their very own species. But for centuries of mankind perpetual strive to create and reinvent their own human-centric utopias that have neglected the coexistence of our fellow ally, the animals on earth. In the process of man-making their utopia to provocate their very own mythology of growth and progress, where it creates various issues like domination of spaces which it directly put some of our allies into the perks of extinction.

As facts and statistic retrieved from the humanitarian organization like the World Bank have proven that scale of human civilization are constantly expanding resulting more spaces will be needed to house the entire race of human beings. Many mainstream manifestos along the years of enlightenment seek to resolve the scarcity and the ownership of spaces from massive scale urbanization, self-sustain city to vertical city but not a single vision to insurge spaces for our animal allies to foster their own habitat after mankind has deliberately consumed their habitable spaces to solve our desire and shortcomings. We believe that mankind has the capacity to solve the population pandemic by claiming more lands and spaces that partially belongs to our allies then it is time to envisioned an intervention on making spaces for animals to foster its own habitats to prolong their livelihood.

Radical Mutation with Edmund Tan 

It is the epoch of digital consumption, a race between intangible and tangible realm. It is hypothesised that there’s possibility of architecture evolve into a new state. Perhaps the architecture evaporated itself from the tangible urban to the virtual urban fabric. And this manifesto will be about how the archetype of mall faced a digital revolution that could possibly cause a drastic mutation on the earthly urbanism. It is to argue that the evolution of a past ordinary to new ordinary will cause  a snowball effect towards the world of the built environment. But the evolution could be in the positive resolution and mutation. Shopping once holds a spectrum of intensifying programming will face the scenario of decentralisation because the society might no longer need to travel to a shopping mall to purchase their daily needs because shopping online is the norm by then. All they need is a gallery and hub. A pod. The moment when this space consuming complex decentralised and minimise itself into the smallest archetype which the pod. There will be more public spaces and more vacant space to solve the housing density issue as well.  Other than that, more public spaces and decentralised places mean more possibilities of explorations which the urban itself has no boundaries and all the programs are weaved together, Perhaps it is called the infinity urbanism which the urban itself become more and more like the virtual world and internet urbanism. Therefore, it is certain that the digital urban has collided with the earthly urban which you need a phone a new digital map for the exploration. In a nutshell, the archetype of mall faced a minimisation and it enlarges itself again by consuming the whole city whereby the city is the mall, the mall is the city. It is site-less, all cities are generic.

Radical mutation

Anchor and rover

When designing the backpackers hostel, the future of backpackers was the main concern especially when comes to the generations millennials and beyond the future generations to come . They are borned in the world of social media, messengers app, internet and et cetera. It is called the digital age as everything is one tap away from over electronic devices. The rise of these technologies changes the way how we communicate and how we live. Hence, it also affect the destiny of backpackers culture.

When real life social experiences  started to decline and become more introverted, the backpackers trend and culture will slowly meet its end road as well. Because social skills and communication are the main elements that  keep the backpackers stay strong and determined like nomads, they moved around to meet new peoples,understand cultures and traditions as well as finding a place that they can share their stories with others. Backpackers are the extroverts and optimists but the next generation are moving into the praxis of social isolation which this epidemic can cause harm more than good to the backpackers culture. Perhaps, the widespread of virus has already started.


Who influences you graphically?

We take graphics as a medium for the manifesto, to drive conversations and to make people think critically tout court. Our thoughts were very much influenced by the painters and artist of the past like Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Cornelis van Haarlem on how they imposed allegories into paintings that move between the lines of fiction and realism. It was about the balance of message, content and form. That gave us an insight on how content influences the destiny of the medium itself whether it is educative or not.

What defines the language of representation through which you choose to reveal/explore a specific project?

I would say it is the balance of both mystified drawings and the demystified drawing at the later stage.

What is your take on colour? What defines the use/absence of this within your images?

It mostly depends on the content and what message we wanted to express. Sometimes colours were applied to specific drawings as an exaggeration in order provoke certain matters.

What is your work process in terms of concept development and production of images? To what extent is the drawing a site to explore & develop the project rather than a final image? 

The process is almost similar to a film production I would say because every project is a form of reality construction that we need to look beyond just architecture but the whole social reality as a whole. Therefore, the project concepts are almost like developing a reality based on “Here”, “Now” situation that will collide with the “after” realities based on fictions that constructed by hypothesis and research to form an ambiguous new world yet the condition of it is certainly “real” at the same time. Like I have mentioned earlier, the image itself is a kind of manifested allegories that seek people to question rather than kowtow to it.  The ideology behind the exploration through site rather than a final image is similar to we can’t  apprehend the reality in a film by looking at the movie posters alone. The process of drawing a site then expand its initial reality is like writing a film script.  In a nutshell, the site as Theatrum Mundi of possibilities.

When working as a group how do you tackle collaborating in the production of images?

We always have some sort of script for the project. A comprehensive narrative like storytelling that will bring every member into pre-ordain scenarios making them perceive as they are the actors in it so that everyone can be on the same page.

What programs do you use?

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Rhino, Cad and SketchUp.


Jowin Foo is a design architect, a writer, and researcher who questions and seeks ways to reinvent realities through knowledge of media, performance art, architecture, and philosophy. He believes that design is a medium that bridges the worlds of fiction and reality. Thus, he is passionate in investigating the realism of utopia. This subject was part of his  BA graduate thesis that questioned the contradiction between democracy and space. Furthermore, he has served as a research assistant in his school to execute various research projects with his professors that focused on the Heterotopia of rural establishments thru studying the context’s interiority and local narratives. The research was exhibited locally and in Guangzhou, China. Jowin has taken part in Architectural Association Visiting School as to carry research about the interior urbanism of a mall in Central KL. Nevertheless, He was also a global ambassador and student leader representing Taylor’s University to organize Leader’s conference like APSLC as well as carry out humanitarian projects.

Currently, he is working as a researcher and a design associate for Harvard Project for asian and international relation. In addition, he is also preparing his post-grad studies at UCL to further investigate the colliding realities between realism and fictions as well as aiming to become a professor in the near future.