Sketch Design Talks receive good response

The panel of commentators and the audience
listening to a presenter at the 4th Sketch Design Talk
The Sketch Design Talks is an initiative by the directors of y.architects, an award-winning firm in Johor Baru, who wanted to provide a platform for emerging designers to discuss their designs, share their ideas and the inspiration behind each creation.  

In this context, the word, “Sketch” is defined as, “an out-of-the-box presentation that will be etched in people’s memory.”  The monthly design talks offer members of the artistic community, the opportunity to present art topics to an audience through a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation with a maximum of only 20 slides.

The first in the series of Sketch Talks was held on Dec 11 last year with presentations by a group of budding architects to an audience that comprised mainly architectural professionals and guests.  Held in Galeri Hanzhen, located on the ground level of the architect’s office, this informal setting aims to help the presenters hone their public-speaking skills in English and encourage creative people to share their design ideas and innovations.  After each presentation, members from a panel of guest critiques or commentators, asks questions to clarify points and broaden the audience’s understanding of the intriguing ideas.

A section of the first Sketch Design Talk on Dec 11, 2014
While the inaugural Sketch Talk was focused on architecture, subsequent talks in the series encompassed fields as wide ranging as video-making, urban and landscape designs, cultivating sustainability to a range of art for the community.  The topics for future talks may include other fields of art and design such as fashion, graphics, art, creative writing, singing, photography, furniture, textiles, sculpture, ceramics, performing arts and other creative pursuits.

“We have long intended for this Sketch Talk series to happen but it was not until a suitable venue was found,” said y.architects director, Yap Yew Peng.  “This took four years to be realised and we are glad to see that the community is very receptive to this platform we have created for young designers to share their design ideas and the inspiration behind their work,” he added.

Attendance at the Sketch Design Talks is strictly by invitation and through word-of-mouth it has garnered keen interest from various sectors of the creative community in JB.  Held in a simple, relaxed and unpretentious setting where pre-event live music entertainment is performed by professional and amateur artistes, guests can also view small art exhibitions that feature familiar JB scenes and help themselves to light refreshments.

A presentation at the 3rd Sketch Design Talk
Thought-provoking Sketch presentations that are followed by lively commentaries often set off spontaneous, informative and interesting dialogue.  The personalities invited on the panel of commentators are also a definite draw as was seen from the 4th Sketch Talk where they included Member of Parliament for Johor Baru, Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad and Singapore Consul-General in JB, Ian Mak.  

The quality of the subsequent discussions among professionals, educators and like-minded individuals may just be the reasons why the gathering is expanding with each event and a clear indication that many are keen in cultivating community arts here.

The organiser, y.architects, aims to document the presentations and compile them into a printed publication at the year end.  For more info on Sketch Design Talks,

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 28 April 2015

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