Exploring Mediums

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Collage, Hand Drawing, Students

Exploring Mediums

T.K. Justin Ng




Common Ground

Common Ground imagines a new form of mixed-use development where very different programs are tied together through an activated central spine. This central spine acts as a core that is freed to become far more than mere circulation, redefining Mies’ idea of a consolidated core as a centerpiece. Conceived as a ramp, the spine extends the plinth where the core no longer resists the continuous plane of the city, but rather inhales public activity.


Common Ground


Common Ground


By housing most of the circulatory and mechanical needs, the ramp allows the key programs to express their unique characteristics, yet at the same time, instigating encounters and exchange of ideas between users.

On the northwest of the site, the spine extends all the way to Bloor and the rail corridor. The spine also continues underground to become parking for those who will be driving to the building. Four glazed vertical circulation tubes break the rigidity of the ramp to allow for a wider range of experiences possible.


Common Ground

Between the Walls

“Between the Walls” realize the potential for an increase in riparian zones with the decreasing water levels in the Great Lakes and their connected waterways. is brings about the topic of research for the facility, an investigation on how neighborhoods may better inhabit spaces around wetlands. A dam is used to further decrease the water level and collect sediments for the gradual build up of riparian zones. e research facility and residences are located between the walls of the dam to minimize further impact on the site and act as a testing ground for the inhabitation of infrastructure, critical to the running of modern society.

long render

Between the Walls




Who influences you graphically?

I jump between three ways of representing my project, realistic renderings, collages and hand drawings. I believe that they each hold their strengths and weaknesses and are all needed together to explain a project holistically. Realistic renderings help ground the project and convince people of its tectonics and materiality. I particularly enjoy renderings by MIR and Luxigon. Collages help to quickly capture the essence of a space with fewer distractions than realistic renderings, I prefer to go on Pinterest for good collages as I often find student made collages more interesting than those by professionals. Hand drawings are more for my own sake, I find it easier to control what goes on in hand drawings and I enjoy having my hand evident in the work. Rather than looking at precedents of architectural projects that make use of hand drawings, I enjoy getting inspired by other people’s sketchbooks. Some of my favorites are Nina Johansson and James Richards.


How important is the hand sketch for you?

Hand sketching is of crucial importance to my understanding of architecture. Urban sketching (sketching on location) taught me how to read architecture formally and atmospherically. When I was interviewed for the admission to the school of architecture, my sketchbook was the main driver of the conversation and frankly, I am not sure if I would have gotten in without it. Sketching my surroundings continue to be my hobby and never fails to teach me new lessons on architecture. Today, I am beginning to represent my architectural projects through hand sketches as well. One of my biggest fears with this is that it would appear gimmicky or old school as my projects tend not to romanticize the past but rather dive into the possibilities of the future. Therefore, I have made use of mixed-media rather than the traditional ink and watercolor renderings. I believe that this is only the first step in my path to finding my own graphical style to represent my projects and I look to further discover synergies between these different mediums to tell a better story of my projects.


What is your take on the art of collage?

I think speed and simplicity are the most important aspects in collages that distinguish it from most other forms of representation. I try not to spend too much time on each collage since I find that when I spend too much time on it, it gets messy too quickly.

co-working vinette2

artist studio vinette

Common Ground

What defines the means through which you explore a specific project? 

The atmosphere of that particular project. My projects tend to have very different moods associated with them, from extremely playful to very serious. I don’t think that the style of representation should be associated with a mood as well. The style of representation I am striving for should allow for maximum flexibility in conveying the unique aspects of each project, even though this has proven to be extremely difficult.


T.K. Justin Ng is an undergraduate architecture student from the University of Waterloo in Canada. His publication in 2017, Urban Sketcher’s Guide to Helsinki, Stockholm, Tallinn, Turku and Porvoo, explores several cities through on location sketches drawn during his internship in Finland. He is a member of Urban Skechers and the American Society of Architectural Illustrators and is the recipient of the Student Special Commendation Award and Carlos Cristerna Juror’s Award of Merit from the Architecture In Perspective Competitions.





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