August 8th, 2012
James Law: Defining the Laws of Cyber Design

Ar. James Law is  the young founder of James Law Cybertecture International Company, a leading design firm focused on  new age architecture, fusing technology and art to design the iconic buildings of tomorrow.

Law obtained his degree in architecture from the University College, London in the year1992 and started working under the omniscient architect Peter Cook in the year 1994. Law started his work in Tokyo, under the famous Japanese architect, Itsuko Hasegawa. He returned to Hong Kong in the year 1997 and took charge as the Director of Jensalar International, functioning in this field.

One of the most remarkable opportunities he got during his career was in the year 2000, when he was asked to design the architecture and technology of the Dixon Cyber Express Shopping Mall, built in Hong Kong, the world’s first Bricks & Clicks Retail Complex. It was this project that paved way the way for his Cybertecture, which brought forth a new concept of design- the design concept for tomorrow.

How did you get into the architecture field?

From my childhood I was interested in creating something different. I used to make various models of toys and computers. Observing buildings, their designs, technology etc. was also one of my favourite hobbies. My affinity towards architecture increased day-by-day. In fact my study of architecture commenced on account of my interest in observing buildings from different angles.

What does Cybertecture represent?

My thoughts and vision led me to Cybertecture. The buildings that can provide the needs and requirements of tomorrow would represent Cybertecture. There were several crisis during the years of evolution. Great creations are products that survive the crisis. The Taj Mahal and the Pyramids of Egypt are examples. Those were constructed while only on investment of labour. Even then, it survived years. Today we have technology, qualitative materials, and experts. We shall utilize it. Cybertecture is the way to this end. The need and requirement for tomorrow can be complied only with technology and architecture. That shall be a combination of today’s knowledge and experience of yesteryears. That’s what I call Cybertecture. Such structures shall hold a place beyond Hi-tech technology. It shall strengthen the lives of people.

So what should we do if we have to move according to your way? 

It is important to have a mind that can accept change. Do not be afraid of the Information Technology, new equipments and the modern tendency. We have to remove all anxiety that our culture and tradition may destroy. Instead, you have to view it as a modern way that includes knowledge, understanding and experience. You have to move forward according to that. Let the present features be embodied in the new creations.  When we buy a car, we always want to have the one with the latest technology, however, we don’t think in that manner when it comes to buildings. All the buildings should be constructed with the most modern equipments.

How do you define today’s system?

I’m trying to rebuild today’s system. What we see now is creating what is already there instead of trying to conquer the limitations. Superman has already been created. Now we have to focus on creating something above it. Automobiles and aeroplanes are manufactured with the modern technology.  There were lot of limitations in the past, but it is not as such today. Now, we have many opportunities, according to our capabilities. Utilise them. Every creation should be an innovation, and shall be with a foresight for the future.

One’s creation is determined by the opportunities that one gets. Isn’t that a limitation?

Life is a journey gifted by God, and this journey might last for about 80-100 years. It is our duty to use all the opportunities that we get in this life’s journey. Try to create a first impression that you have a vision and are capable, through your building structures. Training in that direction shall be held in this field.

As a foreign architect, how do you rate Indian architecture?

This is my first visit to Kochi. I have been to many places like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Punjab for my projects. And what I noticed during these journeys is that there’s development only in the urban areas. People are interested to move to cities. A vision for the future is very rare.  There is not even a bit of development in the rural areas. If you consider Kochi or Kerala, its importance lies in its greenery and waters. However, in reality, we are not using it for the benefit of the future generation. This place has a lot of speciality. Use it to the maximum. Great creations are possible based on the heritage coupled with modern technology.   A work becomes an excellent creation when others enjoy and appreciate it.

In the present Indian situation, what are all the limitations?

It is the circumstances that limit an architect. Every architect wants his project to be unique. But due to many restrictions, one may not able to fully accomplish it. Also, there’s the fear whether the new creation will be accepted. In my opinion, we should be bold enough to make new creations, ignoring our limitations.

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