ARCHITECTURE is a combination of art and science in the designing of buildings and structures — that is the definition of Ms Sok Muygech, director of BMK Architects, in a demonstration on the concept of architecture.
“As an architect, we need more creativity in our work and we also need to involve science to develop the way people are living.”
Sok Muygech, 28, is an entrepreneurial architect who has fallen in love with building drawings and has demonstrated her talent in designing since she was young. Her vision of creating a liveable home for her people pushed her boundaries to sketch her own dream of being an architect into reality.
“I love building designs and drawings when I was in primary school and I always had a vision in bringing harmony and hospitality to every home in Cambodian people’s living,” added Ms Muygech.
An architect bears a great responsibility and obligation for people’s life style and living. For Ms Muygech, there are three “H’s” to think of when designing a building– harmony, hospitality and happiness.
“As an architect, when designing a home, we have to remember that we can cast a great influence on the way people are living. Therefore, we hold a big responsibility for harmony, hospitality and happiness in people’s living,” she said.
Ms Muygech’s dream and passion are further shaped by her role model whom she holds in great esteem, the legendary Vann Molyvann, one of the country’s most prominent Khmer architects.
She said, “I took so much inspiration from legendary architect Vann Molyvann. His Khmer architectural legacy and movement are marvellous and inspiring.”
After four years of studies at Limkokwing University in Cambodia, Ms Muygech continuously racked up many awards and aced out in many architectural design competitions, till she won a scholarship to continue her education at University of Nottingham in the UK. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in architecture and design in 2015.
During her oversea studies, Ms Muygech used her time there to observe and soak up more creative ideas regarding Western architecture and décor through her time spent in Europe.
“Architecture is not about keeping yourself in one perspective and confining yourself in one box. You need to be an observer and think about the functions hidden inside. You need to explore and discover more creative ideas so that you can produce a better result in your work.”
From childhood, Muygech lived in a flat for her whole life when she noticed that what we lack is comfort and harmony of daily living.
“There is no space (where) we can interact and associate (ourselves) with nature—the sun, the plants and enough air. When we come home, we need to switch on lights and air-conditioning, but what we need to know is that a good design can link us back with nature,” said Ms Muygech that “We, as architects, also contribute a lot in helping to reduce climate change with more environmentally friendly designs. My vision and the mission I want to achieve in this field is to make a home for people”.
Four years into architectural work, Ms Muygech oftentimes hear people talk about the issues after graduating in this field, about students facing a challenge in finding jobs.
From Ms Muygech’s perspective, she has another point of view. “I disagree with the statement that there is no market for architecture graduates to find jobs in that field because as an owner of BMK Architecture, I look for so many employees. And what I look for are employees who have their own dream and a clear plan, commitment and persistence. As students, they need to know how to sell their skills and showcase their achievements,” she said.
Ms Muygech does not come from a long line of architects but due to her experience, she concluded by giving the young generation advice that “Challenges that we, as a women, face in this field is a lack of mentorship which can guide us to walk more wisely in the world of architecture,” she said.
“Therefore, you need to have a balance and good time management when studying in this field. Furthermore, in this field you need to discuss and work overnight on assignment with male students, therefore; you need to aware about all of these things too in advance”.