3 Questions

3 Questions with David Hashim


Architect David Hashim on meeting new challenges, theme parks, and asking yourself the hard questions.

3 QUESTIONS is a series of brief, three-question (in this case, five-question) interviews with members of PNCA’s creative community. Each year, PNCA attracts innovative, thoughtful, and creative makers and thinkers who share our belief in the transformative power of creativity. In three short answers to three short questions, these artists offer perspectives on career, motivation, and transformation. When available, we include links to audio recordings, transcripts, slideshows, or video.

PNCA’s President’s Office invited David Hashim to help to shape PNCA’s future as a member of the College’s Creative Leaders Council. The members of this council are creative thought leaders who have a demonstrated commitment to the value of art and design education.

“I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously.”


Photo via TheHindu.com

What advice would you offer current students about to embark on a career in the arts?

Before you make this important commitment, ask yourself if you really have the passion and long-term creative drive to be a successful artist. It is a career with uncertain rewards yet certain hardships, unless you are one of the few who reach the highest pinnacle of achievement. But if it is your life’s calling, then go forward with all your energy, and don’t look back.

How do you maintain your creative practice? What keeps you motivated and engaged?

One of the things that makes me jump out of bed every morning over the last twenty-six years is the thought of meeting new challenges; encountering new project types, meeting new clients, seeing new places. I continue to enjoy learning about new trends/technologies/cultural traditions in my field of architecture, and to apply them to my latest work.

Could you describe a moment or experience that profoundly changed the nature of your work?

I had never designed a theme park until recently. I had always thought it wasn’t serious architecture. But walking around the new Legoland Theme Park in Malaysia and seeing the absolute thrill that children of all ages were having in my creation was an eye-opener. Visitors to my office towers, apartments and shopping centers rarely run screaming around in delight. So I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously. To acknowledge that prejudice is just the state of being unaware of your own ignorance.

DAVID HASHIM is the President and founding Principal of VERITAS Design Group, based in Malaysia. Hashim has degrees from MIT and Harvard and has been Principal-in-Charge of numerous award-winning architecture and interior design projects, which have been featured widely in local and international media. He is active in the promotion of entrepreneurship, and writes and speaks internationally about architecture and entrepreneurship. In 1999, Hashim won the presitigious Most Outstanding Malaysian Award from the Junior Chamber of Commerce for Entrepreneurial Accomplishment as well as the Enterprise-50 Award in the same year for best run medium sized firm by Anderson Consulting. In 2005 and again in 2008, he was among five finalists in the Ernst and Young Malaysian Master Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Hashim is a member of the PNCA Creative Leaders Council.

— Posted on 10/14 at 05:03 AM

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