All posts by Aldo

BLOGDATE #1: Good Beginnings – What to Expect?

Welcome to your first date with Adam.

Please don’t run away and allow me to explain. I want to do a lot of good with this site as it develops, and I want you guys to know how I’m doing every step of the way. So I’ll be writing regular blog updates (blog-dates, get it?) to keep you in step with how I’m working to make Overcoming Archi-torture a better, more effective piece of textual intercourse for everyone.

It’s part of my commitment to transparency, and hopefully bringing down the walls somewhat will allow me to reach out in a more comfortable manner. Boom boom pow.

Today’s Blogdate (the firrsst!) will introduce the blog in its first iteration, give the first glimpse of the book’s progress, and fill you in on what to expect from me in the near future. Continue reading BLOGDATE #1: Good Beginnings – What to Expect?

As Promised: My Personal Life-Plan at Age 23.

Life Plan

Craft your life-plan today, and you’ll wake up every morning with greater direction. It doesn’t need to be long or grand – it just needs to be honest.

In previous entries, I stressed my beliefs in the importance of dreaming big and thinking deeply about what you want in life, especially for us young people. Dream big, and then commit, is what I said.

I also promised that I’d share my own person goals in life as an example, and today I am making good on that promise. Seen below is my own personal Life Plan for myself, crafted at age 23. Think of it as what drives me to wake up every morning.

This is my own personal sharing to the world at large, partly to keep me accountable to my dreams, and partly in hopes that it could somehow help another person achieve theirs. Continue reading As Promised: My Personal Life-Plan at Age 23.

Architecture is like a species – it evolves.


The ways we enclose and orchestrate space have evolved, and they continue to evolve over time.

This only makes sense; as architecture moves and shapes people, the people also move and shape the architecture. It’s a beautiful cyclical process, and it’s the prime reason why architecture is the greatest testament to humanity. So then, how does architecture evolve? As people develop their views of the world and universe, the architecture will reflect their beliefs.

The principles of Feng Shui guide every step of traditional Chinese house design. Christianity and Islam both have their beautiful places of worship; churches are filled with images of Christ and saints – but for Islam these human forms are taboo when relating to Allah; the focus instead is the infinite greatness of the Almighty God- which is why Mosques articulate with geometric patterns that spread out infinitely. Continue reading Architecture is like a species – it evolves.

What Do You Want Out of Life?


There’s a crisis that thrives in the hearts of many people today, whether young or old, male or female. And it’s a destructive force that doesn’t take lives – it takes souls.

That crisis is living without meaning. So many people these days go through the motions of life, doing things because people tell them to, never looking to surpass themselves, going merely where the wind blows – and feeling empty.

What do you want out of life? What are you living for? Where do your passions lie? Continue reading What Do You Want Out of Life?

The Universe is Your School.


When I was a young kid, I couldn’t wait to graduate from school – because I hated the hassles of studying.

Homework was seen as tedious and I was especially repulsed by solving Math problems (not much has changed with respect to that). In my childish mind, all I wanted to do was frolic in the fields with my Power Ranger toys in hand. “One day,” I told myself, “I’m going to be able to stop learning and I’ll be happy and free”.

Fast forward to present day, and I can’t help but laugh at my childhood self. I love learning. I love reading. I love devouring all kinds of information. I love expanding my mind, knowing that I’m slowly understanding the world better each day. The advent of smartphones and researching anywhere has been the most significant technological milestone in my life. Continue reading The Universe is Your School.

Learn, Plan, Commit, Adapt – the Fundamental Formula for Growth.


Success doesn’t come overnight. In my young seedling age, I’m not even considering that paradigm anymore.

I’ve learned early on from my parents and mentors that road to the greatest of triumphs is a long and arduous process that has no short cuts. If you want real success to blossom, it’s apparent that you have to nurture it from a seedling and slowly tend to it as it grows to maturity.

It’s delayed gratification. I’m in love with the concept of delayed gratification. I think it’s a beautiful ideal – because it makes work a whole lot more meaningful. And living out this mindset for the long term is a reward in itself; the character you develop in being process oriented will make you a more awesome person, guaranteed.

Bring the meticulous note taker that I am, I distilled all that I’ve learned into a basic four phase concept for success – something I’ll be constantly putting to the test for the long haul: Continue reading Learn, Plan, Commit, Adapt – the Fundamental Formula for Growth.

The Special Performance Needs of the Architecture Student.


The architecture student is a unique animal with a diverse skillset.

Throughout the course of your academic life, you’ll be expected to perform well in areas both physical and mental. You need to be both a cerebral powerhouse and physical warrior. With this in mind, if you aren’t conditioned for the specific heavy demands of design school, you’ll spend many a day slumped over in an incapacitated, unproductive stupor.

To start of the post series on health and fitness, some goal setting is needed. I’m writing this post to set a good framework so we can establish the challenges that the bodies of most architecture students will face – and from here we’ll know what to aim for when we start on the road of fitness and health.

So then, what are some of  the key performance considerations of the Archi-torture student? Continue reading The Special Performance Needs of the Architecture Student.

The 4 Basic Elements that Designers Use.

Point Line Plane Volume

There are only 4 Basic Elements of Design. Seriously.

If you’ve already read up on architecture before or consider yourself to be some sort of design aficionado, I invite you to empty your cup and be a little kid again. Sometimes our minds overcomplicate our conceptions, which makes us more closed off to learning. All preconceived notions gone? Good. Now, understand this simple truth:

Designing only has four basic elements. Point, Line, Plane, and Volume.

No, an elliptic paraboloid is not a basic element of design – that’s merely a kind of volume. Nor is a pulse of light with a wavelength of 652 nanometers a basic element of design – that’s merely a line. Continue reading The 4 Basic Elements that Designers Use.

Positive and Negative Space. So basic, yet so important.


I’d like you to imagine that you are are a baker who is itching to make a fresh batch of cookies.

You’ve prepared your dough, and have proceeded to roll it as a flat sheet on the table. The next step, is to take out your forms and cut out the cookie shapes.

Tell me, how would you go about in cutting up your cookies?
Would you try and carefully place the forms tightly together in order to not waste dough?
Would you space them out evenly according to a certain standard so they don’t expand into each other in the oven?
Would you cut them up without a care in the world because you’re just going to re-roll and reuse the residual dough anyway?

In the context of design, the parts within the cookie outlines are positive spaces and the residual dough themselves are negative spaces.

Continue reading Positive and Negative Space. So basic, yet so important.

Architecture and Boxing? The Connection.

Understanding Architecture is like getting punched in the face.

Architecture and Boxing

Architecture is complex; there is so much bubbling under the surface that people tend to take it for granted. Maybe it’s because that experiencing architecture is a sneaky little devil – it instantly affects our psyche without us knowing that it is doing so. But if you were to actually study how your brain works (luckily for us, the awesome scientists have already taken the reigns on that one; thanks guys.) you’d find that we understand architecture on 3 fundamental levels. Like unwrapping a present through its layered packaging or savoring a candy bar from crispy exterior to chewy core – the way we perceive architecture is a layered experience.

I like comparing experiencing architecture to boxing, specifically getting hit by a jab-straight-hook combination.

Each punch has a specific purpose, and when done right, the flurry results in a spectacular knockout. Continue reading Architecture and Boxing? The Connection.