ArchiTeam Conference Keynote speaker, Architect and Designer Kevin Mark Low (MY) of Small Projects, answer 8 questions prior to joining us in late August 2017.
What were you doing before Small Projects?
I worked for ten years under Kamil Merican at GDP Architects, easily one (of) the most generous individuals I have ever known.
What have you found to be the biggest benefit to running a small practice?
In the specific case of my being in sole practice, it would be being so much more involved in actual design than managing it – having no assisting staff means I design rather than edit it – but perhaps a better question would have been what the disadvantages are!
Despite having a busy and successful career, both in practice and lecturing- you seem to be a strong advocate for helping grow and educate the architecture industry through participating in events such as the ArchiTeam Conference – Small Practice In Community. Why is that?
Perhaps it has to do with sharing knowledge and my ability for asking relevant questions – I think I make a better teacher than I ever could an architect – six months into teaching I discovered that unlike most who conduct research through teaching for their work, my research in work was for teaching.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career and why?
Ronald Bentley Lewcock, my post-graduate advisor, mentor, and friend. He began my journey in both critical thinking and the awareness that many of the most beautiful buildings in the world are lovely examples of styling, but are also some of the worst examples of design and architecture.
What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
A pilot, astronaut, cook, mad scientist, hairdresser (not hairstylist) and architect.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Less advice than a proverb actually – at breakfast following a lecture I presented the day before, Fariha Amjad Ubaid told me about a Sufi proverb she learned from a professor of Sufi studies in Pakistan – ‘if you want to destroy a man, praise him’
What has been the scariest/courageous thing you’ve ever done (preferably in your business/career/life direction)?
Being offered a year’s paid salary for a sabbatical with the option to still leave if I wanted to after that, when I told Kamil fifteen years ago I needed to resign to reclaim old dreams.
Where do you see Small Projects going next?
Can I say I’m glad I don’t quite know?