Aspiring Architect – Patrick Siah

Patrick Siah, a DAS Alumni student of 2000, recently visited DAS to interview DAS Educational Therapists, DAS Lecturers, DAS Psychologists and DAS Management to gather information for his final design thesis to complete his masters degree in Architecture at the University of Melbourne.

Patrick’s thesis was titled “An Architectural Exploration into Dyslexia”. The project, a School for Dyslexics as well as the Headquarters for the Australian Dyslexia Association, explores the social paradigms of dyslexic youths, the educational and political issues that have arisen as well as an alternate relationship of space and dyslexic pedagogy.

The information that DAS provided him helped to enhance his current design research. Patrick has been working closely with the Australian Dyslexia Association and SPELD, (Specific Learning Difficulties, Victoria) and was also running interviews and workshops with them in Melbourne.

During his visit to DAS he explored the DAS approach to learning and multisensory teaching through classroom observations. He was lucky to observe both of his nephews, William and Marcus, in class who also attend DAS at Jurong Point Learning Centre.

Patrick ran visioning workshops with DAS educators to determine the spaces needed to teach children with learning differences taking into account lesson delivery, methods of teaching and resources required while in class.

DAS students also completed a drawing exercise for Patrick by telling him what an ideal or dream learning centre would look like. These drawings were also to show what they did and didn’t like about their learning space and also what makes learning fun.

While Patrick was at DAS he took the time to talk about how he had achieved with his studies. He also reflected on his time spent learning at DAS.

What are your fondest memories at DAS?

One of the things that I remembered while I was at DAS, was a show and tell exercise with Tanya Kort. I had to bring to class five items that I really treasured, but because I came from school, I didn’t get much time to prepare. I used 5 items that were on my body, such as my watch, my favourite pencil and items in my wallet. Although it was a little impromptu, we spent the whole lesson talking about them. The lesson was full of fun and laughter and I remembered I laughed so much, my cheeks ached.

How did DAS help me as a person?

I have always wanted to be an architect ever since I was young. I grew up watching Pierre Png’s character, architect Phua Chu Beng on the local sitcom, Phua Chu Kang. His quirky portrayal of an architect holding rolled up pieces of paper, together with his white helmet made me want to be like him. DAS had helped me realise my dreams by making me understand how to cope in life. To understand my own strengths and weaknesses helped me to manage my studies so much better. After DAS, I had understood my qualities as a learner and had the ability to path a way for myself through school to get to where I am today, working on my design thesis for a Dyslexia Primary School for my Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne.

Patrick will graduate from his degree on the 17 December 2012 at the University of Melbourne his Master of Architecture, with high distinction.

Patrick completed his Bachelor of Environments, Major in Architecture at the University of Melbourne in 2010 as well as a Diploma in Architecture at Singapore Polytechnic in 2007.

He is currently contemplating further research into Dyslexic Pedagogy, Multisensory learning and space in the coming months.

We congratulate Patrick on his success!!