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Being Dominant ? phrasing cuala …

“you will never go wong in doing what is right,my young friend, never. if there is one thing I’ve learned about leadership siccess it’s that it lies at the intersection where excellence meets honor.” Robin Sharma

There is one phrase, “juara” meaning champion, some of my fellow staff named it as
“cuala”, one of the phrase that they often mentioned.  I’m curious because It’s weird,  it’s like jokes when people want to mock chinese language they use that alphabet C instead of J to express the accent by chinese people. I’m also curious where did they get that phrase. But anyway, this phenomena is interesting, because some of the people, tend to make it serious, as a way to get dominant, competitive, as a brotherhood, or as individual, allienate themselves, to show that being juara or cuala meaning that they are on top of others. Champion means a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition, then what is rival, a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

Norman Foster, a very talented and well organised architect was in the phase of phrasing cuala or being dominant as well. He did his first studio with team 4 together with Richard Rogers, Sue Rogers, and Wendy Foster. The kept arguing, in the discussion, the ideas could not be integrated, Rogers was keen to expression, the tectonics of building while Foster was more interested on building integration ,building performance, then they were separated in the early years of practice left both of them making their own architecture ideals. Foster went for foster associates, and Rogers for their own. They hired a flat in Hampstead, and the practiced in the other room, the office and living quarter was divided by wall partition. Foster almost went bankrupt while working for HSBC, he kept his office with small group of people in London. He sent Spencer, David, Moshan, Ken, and another people in total of 100 people to Hongkong, he thought that that was their best chance. [1]

“At the time we couldn’t understand why he (Norman) didn’t move to Hongkong with us, We had to keep briefing him on what had happened between visits, but in retrospect he was abolutely right. What Foster always had in mind was the long term future . When the bank was finished he did not want to find himself back where he had been before he won the hongkong competition. “ David Nelson

Then after the HSBC, he had to sacrifice people in his studio because he couldn’t afford them, one of the people even had to redraw some of the old projects, for publications that can attract more works. It was turbulent time for him.  He focussed on the ide of the projects nailed the idea one by one, one of the important milestone is HSBC tower, the firm had not worked on high rise project before, the reputation went up, and some of the next commision gave opportunities for giving more innovation, more ideas, and then perfecting mastery in building performance and integration.

Norman Foster is probably can be justified as cuala or championed for building performance and integration. He found design principle to make the building run more efficient, building system more efficient, and look more sophisticated, and cost more efficient. His chemistry with other people has been remarkable, he has been well known of his persuasive, and effort for making his projects realized. In the book by Deyan Sujic, Sujic wrote that, “Out of every eight competitions he takes part in, only one leads to completed building. And even when it ocmes to the successful projects where the fees get paid, ony one produces abuilding. yet he must not only design it, but lobby for it, help raise money for it, and do his best to sell it as well. … ” and then he continued, the most important message.

He embraced the ideas, not on his position, label, status, wealth. Civilized meaning to think about your positioning by contributing increasing other’s value. he is such open and well connected to his collegeaue, client, and friends. the cuala or champion title, comes from cuala or champion habit, that is connecting with other people, giving your self out to the world, rather than being introvert and detached from other people. Sudjic then wrote as a very beautiful conclusion ‘the process demands the self knowledge needed to stop the architect from failing into the banal trap of the fountainhead complex, losing all touch with reality in a pursuit of a megalomaniac fantasy.” [1]

Deyan Sudjic's work Norman Foster a life in Architecture https://aabookshop.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/foster-web-708x1024.jpg
Deyan Sudjic’s work Norman Foster a life in Architecture https://aabookshop.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/foster-web-708×1024.jpg

Ref :
[1] Norman Foster Works 1
[2] Sudjic Deyan, Norman Foster A life in architecture. pp 293

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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