Crucial to Design Cultures and Histories

  1. Being curious.
  2. Noticing design in the everyday environment.
  3. Wanting to explore.
  4. Realising that learning happens in unexpected places in informal ways.
  5. Going beyond initial appearances of preoccupations.
  6. Asking questions.



Professional Practice Updates

One of the reasons why I find Profession Practice the most awkward and frustrating unit is because, to simply put, it is ALL ABOUT MYSELF.

The name says it all, Professional Practice outcome requires one to develop a portfolio that reflects one’s process of learning and growing, both personally and professionally. It involves all sort of things, from self-assessment tests to reflective journal extracts and a 3-year goal.

I mean, I have no problem with documenting or actually making progress in what I consider as beneficial to my personal development. However, the fact that I have to present them in written format is actually what catches me off guard. Reflecting has always been helpful. It is one important task in the process of attaining emotional intelligence, but it also makes me feel like I am forced to tear down my shield and turn off its invisible mode. It’s me driving on a self-esteem roller coaster all over again.

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This is not how I am supposed to feel, is it? I mean, it’s supposed to help me prepare for my future career and all. I am learning great things and I am grateful for that every day. I know I’ve changed into a better one than I was yesterday, but how is it that whenever I look the vacancies on, Linkedin or Jobsite or any other online job market, I feel wrong. After days and nights of reading job descriptions of all kind, in various locations from Vietnam to Japan, Singapore or the UK, there was still no ‘Yes, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for’, no excitement, no eagerness. Hmmmmm…something must be wrong. But I haven’t been able to figure out what it was yet.

“Are you happy?”

“What makes you happy?”

“Will this matters one year from now?”

I find myself keep coming back to these questions. I am confident that I can be honest with myself, that I know the answers to them, and I am well aware of the fact that they aren’t leading me back to the core discipline of what I’ve been taught at school. But it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. What matters is how I can make the best out of it.

More mapping.

With an entangled curiosity, here I am, walking into the woods.


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 designing-thesis My friendship with thesis, by P 

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So, I bid goodbye to my best friend today. She is size A0, folded 8 times into an A5 map. It is hard to describe my feeling after I dropped her off at D104-something. I just know that the past 7 months with her have been a great adventure. I have walked thousands of miles and have surely learnt a lot. Together, we’ve experienced all sort of feelings and emotions too. The road ahead is still long and full of challenges, but I’m glad at least it’s not covered in the midst of uncertainties and doubts anymore. I know where I am heading next and I am more excited than ever to start a new journey.




There is a problem with understanding everyday life in our highly connected and socially mediated reality. That is, we either get bored of the ubiquitousness – lost in the landscape of mundane modernity; or we pick up on new trends such as a minimalist, decluttering lifestyle which has accidentally filtered out the many delightful myths and enigmatic details that everyday life has to offer.

In order to make sense of the everyday life and truly embrace the beauty of it, paying attention to the everyday life ‘itself’ is an important first step. There are two ways of doing it. The first one is to put everyday life under a microscope of theoretical articulation and discourse analysis. The second one, a much more ‘playful’ and heuristic approach, is to go out and walk in it.

Psychogeography is the study of the impact that geographical environment has on human’s mind and behaviour. This paper is a personal documentation of my psychogeographical action research journey over the course of seven months in three different urban settings: Hanoi, Paris and London. It aims to discover and ‘map’ the connection between tangible and intangible manifestations that figure everyday life as a grid of cabalistic entanglement. That includes interrogating everyday life in terms of its dynamic processes, its multi-faceted physical layers of architecture and design objects; its social and historical connection to different cultural groups; and last but not least, its relation to cultural theory and Psychogeography as a learning approach in Higher Education.


To the lights that shine my path, thank you for your patience, your kindness and time:

Dr Mark Ingham, Dr Silke Lange, Tuan Nguyen, Duc Le, Asif Syed, Peter Phu, Chi Vu, Kan Thai, Xuan Phan, Quang-Anh Hoang, Austin Mitchell, Design Management & Cultures comrades and last but not least, my family.