22 Questions: Ian Ngan and Jasmine Fong

Hello! We’re kicking off the school year with a new edition of 22 Questions, where we’ll get to know a little more about AASA’s co-presidents Jasmine and Ian!

Interview by: Jerry Chow

Location: The Pit

Date: November 15, 2016


Ian Ngan (left), Jasmine Fong (right)
Photo by: Alexis David

1. Tell us about yourselves: what year are you in? where are you from?

JF: I’m Jasmine Fong, I’m in second year and I’m from Vancouver.

IN: I’m Ian Ngan, I’m in third year and I’m from Scarborough.

2. Describe one another in three words.

IN: Oh I want to start this. Talented, organized, and what’s that word, what’s that word… It’s like weird but in a good way. There’s a certain word for that… I’ll figure it out later… (“eccentric” – Ian, Nov. 27)

JF: Um… Artistic, persistent, carefree?

IN: That’s good enough.

3. If you could meet one architect, dead or alive, who would it be?

JF: That’s hard… Ooh I want to talk to Zaha Hadid.

IN: I want to talk to Lebbeus Wood, honestly. Lebbeus Wood has some sick drawings and it’s up my alley for a bunch of weird shapes and different things that he does.

4. What is your favourite pencil lead?

JF: 4H

IN: Wow that’s very different from mine… It’s 2B.

JF: Really? So smudgy though.

IN: Not if you sharpen it enough and you just go through, you know? It’s a nice dark, crisp line.

JF: 4H and HB

IN: See I write hard, so if I do that, it just indents the page fully and if I erase something it just doesn’t come out. B is like, I can just draw or write whenever and it’s dark enough to see. I won’t smudge it… ’Cause I’m a professional.


No I’m joking, I still smudge everything.

5. What is your favourite colour?

JF and IN: Black (simultaneously)


JF: Or burgundy if it has to be a colour.

IN: Um, it would probably be uh… It’s like a very grey-ish blue, what’s that called? It’s like a jean colour but very faded out.

6. What is something interesting about yourself that not many people know?

JF: I schedule every moment of my day.

IN: I knew about that.

JF: If possible, down to like 5 minutes.

IN: I don’t schedule my day. (chuckling) No, I’m pretty sure everyone knows that. Something that many people don’t know about me would be that although I’m really carefree, I do think a lot about other people’s opinions.

7. What is your favourite musician/band?

IN: That’s so tough.

22: Or you can pick top three if you can’t pick one.

JF: That’s so hard.

IN: Arctic Monkeys, City and Color, and the third one would be… Probably be Gallant?

JF: I think favourite band is Two Door Cinema Club, for high school feels.

IN: We were just playing that.

JF: Ooh and Phoenix; Phoenix is a good band.

IN: But Ta-ku though, and Nujabes. There’s just so many to choose from, man.

JF: I think favourite artist is Chet Faker.

IN: Ooh he’s really good, really good.

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

IN: Germany. Because I want to study in Germany for my master’s. Also, my cousin’s been there for a while and I wouldn’t mind travelling with her.

JF: Japan or Italy. Japan for the food and shopping, Italy for the views and architecture.


Ian Ngan (left), Jasmine Fong (right)
Photo by: Alexis David

9. What is AASA, what does it do, and why is it important? 

JF: It’s a student council made up of students from our program, and its main purpose is to communicate between faculty members and the student body.

IN: But it wasn’t always like that, that’s the thing. In my first year, it was more like an event-run community, and also if there was anything that anyone wanted to do or if there was anything that was just wanted in general from the students, we would either provide it for them or give them the means to do that. And it wasn’t solely for faculty and students to communicate with each other, it was more the fact that we wanted to have another life outside of architecture and outside of studies.

22: So maybe that’s something we can look forward to in the future?

IN: Oh yeah, I mean with Coffee Haus and a bunch of other events that we’re planning. There’s so much ahead.

22: So why is AASA important?

JF: Well its main focus is to enhance student life in a bunch of ways. This year we’re focusing more on events that can help people relax or set aside time outside of studio work. So I think it’s important because it helps bring students back into community-based events instead of just always working on your own thing.

IN: Nail on the head, that’s solely what it really is. Along the lines of that, student community is still such a promising thing in universities, and it’s needed too, for the fact that people want to be able to know each other, right? And, through that, I feel like either if you’re in it or not in it, you still get a friend out of it, you still get someone to talk to. For me, when I was in first year, I really wanted to be part of AASA just because I wanted to be there for everyone; I wanted to be that person that everyone could say, ‘OK, well there’s a friendly face… There’s a hundred people that I don’t know, but there’s at least one person that is genuine and I can talk to.’

10. As co-presidents, what are your roles and what sorts of things do you do?

IN: Oh easy, she’s the big boss (laughter) and I get bossed around.

JF: Mostly planning events for the school year. We occasionally meet up with faculty members to discuss what’s going on with our program, and we relay information back to the students.

11. What are some events or initiatives we can expect for this year?

IN: I don’t want to spoil things…

JF: Well our biggest thing is opening up a supply store for our school; it’s something we’ve been trying to implement for years.

IN: And before, [the store] was established, but through significant events, it was closed down. Now, I guess, from last year, Joyce, she’s going to be in fourth year next year, but Joyce, in first year, really wanted the store, and the initial push for this was from Alex and Joyce. We just happen to be the year it actually happens… So we are pushing for that as much as possible.

I mean who really wants to trek out to DeSerres or Wallack’s just to get a piece of paper? I mean you’d rather be in the architecture building – it’s quicker, it’s cheaper, it’s faster.

22: And there are also a lot of secret events being planned?

IN: It’s not so much that they’re secretive – we just don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble. We have so many things and events that we want to do that it might just not be possible to do all of them with budget, time, and scheduling. But you can look forward to the coffee houses…

JF: Spirit Week, for sure.

IN: A bunch of Random Acts of Food Kindness and a whole lot of relaxing events, as Jasmine said… Or tense ones, depending on how you take it.

12. How can students get involved around school?

IN: I’d say, for one, always talking to your year rep(s) is probably the best way to ask, because they’re always familiar with the events we post up. And we’re always very open to having people – if they have ideas of an event they want to do, we’re more than willing to help them out in any means. Student body is student body, you want to represent both the 1% and the 100%

JF: Yeah… I agree.

13. What is your most memorable studio experience?

IN: No I can’t say that one…

JF: The first time we climbed the roof.

IN: Yeah that’s one of the better things that happens… I’d have to say jam sessions. In my year, one of the first few things we did was… Me, Panchi, Erik, and Blake were just playing songs in first year studio and it was really fun because we really liked each other’s music. And then Luis (Panchi) said ‘Hey, I know how to play that song on piano,’ and we were like, ‘You do?’ Then we just went downstairs to the pit, played the song, sang, and just chilled. That was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had as a first year, and probably the most memorable too. I think most of the events I remember are not during studio times, it’s more like afterwards and later… A lot later, because that’s when your weird side starts to come out.

14. If you could go back in time, what is a piece of advice you would give to your first year self?

JF: Don’t worry too much about impressing profs during pinups. And don’t get upset if you’re not nominated for the book thing.

IN: For me, I’d say, don’t do architecture, become a drug dealer.

JF: Ian…

IN: No, I’m joking, I’m joking. Honestly, I knew I was going to be in this program… I would tell myself, ‘You’re in this for the long haul, just tough it out.’

15. What do you like most about architecture school?

JF: I like how it pushes each student to find their own individual style and things that they like.

IN: That’s very true.

JF: I feel like in most programs in university, they kind of push students to become all the same thing: you learn how to write a certain way, you write exams a certain way. But in architecture it’s really focused on individuality – I think that’s really important for people in a creative field.

IN: I’d say what I really like is that the profs, although some of them might be more difficult to work with, they’re all in all a good experience. Every time you have a different prof, it’s a different learning curve, a different learning style, a different style itself. Ultimately you’re learning that person’s interests as well… It kind of molds you into something a little bit different every time…

22: There’s definitely something you can learn from every prof.

IN: Yeah, no matter how painful it is.


Ian Ngan (left), Jasmine Fong (right)
Photo by: Alexis David

16. What do you like least about architecture school? 

IN: Ohh… I can’t say that one either.

JF: I feel like your university experience is so dependent on which prof you have. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing. In some cases it works really well because your styles are similar or your prof understands your ideas and your work, but sometimes you’ll get a prof who really doesn’t work with how you learn and how you do your process work and that’s when it’s difficult…

Also, materials are really expensive.

(unanimous yes)

IN: The thing I don’t like the most about architecture is maybe the amount of caffeine that I take in. In all honesty, a lot of the profs are like, ‘Get caffeinated, do this.’ Obviously you need it for architecture, that’s a given kind of thing, but just the fact that all the profs already know that, ‘Oh yeah this guy is going to take an all-nighter’…  The overall addiction to caffeine is pretty high for me, I’m pretty up there for caffeine intake. I know from starting the program to ending it, I’m a very different person, a more tired person. If you’ve ever seen before and after pictures of architects, yeah, you can definitely tell the difference.

17. What is your favourite machine in the wood shop?

IN: I can’t say laser cutter can I?

22: You can say laser cutter if you want, or any machine in school.

IN: Oh I know, I know, it’s Mark and Rob, those two machines pull out everything for you.

JF: If it has to be wood shop, maybe band saw? I use the band saw the most.

18. What is your go-to late night snack?

IN: Easy. Instant noodles, man. All the way, all the way.

JF: I don’t have midnight snacks, I’m normally not awake at that time.

22: Then what are good places to eat around school?

IN: I guess everyone already knows Rooster’s very well.

JF: Or the food truck for fries.

IN: For a lot of Asian food, I go to Kowloon, stock up on anything that can be cooked whenever and then when it’s the long haul, when you’re doing your finals or midterms or stuff like that, that’s when you pull out all this dried instant noodle stuff. I feel like I’ve lost like 10 years of my life just because of eating so much garbage and drinking so much caffeine, at least 10 years.

19. So on the topic of caffeine, Starbucks or Tim Horton’s?

IN: Starbucks

JF: Starbucks

IN: I’m sorry, I’m that white girl. I am the epitome of white girl.


Ian Ngan (left), Jasmine Fong (right)
Photo by: Alexis David

20. What is a word architecture students use too much?

JF: Organic… Façade

IN: Façade – that’s good… Conceptually

JF: Form

IN: Architecture… Yeah that’s about it. Everything else is fair game, there are no other words for drawings or stuff like that.

21. What is the last book you read?

JF: Crime and Punishment

IN: I don’t read [novels]… I read comic books…

JF: When was the last time you read?

IN: … I think it would have to be New 52 Batman Issue… 51? Yeah, I’d say around 51.

22. Tell us a funny joke.

JF: Nooo… I have no jokes

IN: I feel like that was Alexis’ question…

22: It wasn’t

IN: Jerry, why would you end off this way?

JF: I don’t know any jokes…

IN: … How many architects does it take to figure out HVAC, plumbing and electrical?

22: How many?

IN: You’ll find out next year.

(forced laughter)

IN: Sorry that’s a really bad joke, but that question was just…

22: OK so… Thank you for your time. That’s the end of our interview.


Ian Ngan (left), Jasmine Fong (right)
Photo by: Alexis David

That’s it! This was a great opportunity for us to learn more about what is going on around the school! If you want to become more involved in the school, talk to your AASA representative or send us an email to become part of the blog team at carleton.blog22@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more 22 Questions, articles from students on exchange, photos from DSA’s, and our new Spotify account featuring soundtracks!


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