Tag Archives: Users versus Architects

Designing for the eye or for everyday life?


The name of Vo Trong Nghia has become popular in the last ten years, especially in Asia. Nghia gained his reputation for his innovation in using bamboo as well as bringing new form into a country like Vietnam. If you simply type his name in Archidaily, there must be dozen of his best works coming up. The house I used in this blog called “stacking green” house for which Nghia received numerous international prizes.

Indeed, if we see pictures posted in Archidaily, they are stimulating, suggesting a great care of materials. There might be great similarity with many houses in Japan for its “zen” view or the degree of silence.

However, after a few months his client moved into this house, it begins to look like these photos below. There are obviously not enough storage space or even worst no place to common item like glasses, tea pots ect. which support a normal life to fit in.


In fact, if we think about Japanese house, in order to keep a “zen” view, there are plenty of storage spaces everywhere in the house which Nghia’s house failed in integrate.

Is this nevertheless a big deal? Anyway, Nghia got what he wanted from this house, the idea of bring in green to urban area, more importantly modern and nice images which are good enough to convince jury, magazines or to attract new clients.

The story of this house is also not new for us. Great architects like Mies Van der Rohe or Le Corbusier also sometimes designed houses which clients found difficult to live in. Some of use like Nghia just simply continue this tradition.

However, I myself do believe that architects need to be more responsible by not simply designing for the eyes, but also for the use. Houses which aim just for nice images don’t last long, they remain only on paper. The “stacking green” house now is disappeared. If you go to visit it, what you see is something similar to the photos I posted here, not that by archidaily!

posted by luckyarchitect