Award-winner says students need not be artistic to take on this profession Though brief, Frankie Lui Tat-man's curriculum vitae is still impressive. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong with Master (distinction) and Bachelor (first-class honour) degrees in Architecture Studies along with the scholarships gained during his study. Mr Lui was also the winner of the Young Architects' Award 2002. He recently landed his fourth job - as a design architect of HOK International (Asia-Pacific), a leading global architectural firm. How did you get into architecture studies? I chose the subject when I applied for the JUPAS admission [entry system to local universities]. Then I thought I should try architecture because I enjoy creative work and design. I like drawing very much, though I did not take any lessons, but I have always been fascinated by movies and photography. My desire for design has grown gradually throughout my studies. In those five years, we had to attend a 'design studio' course. We were required to work on numerous and diverse design projects, from which I gained different experiences in designing houses, hospitals and schools. This confirmed my passion for design. Architecture is not pure 'art', it is a combination of art and science. I think students do not need to be very artistic to be an architect. My opinion is that we can develop our appreciation towards art in time. What have you learned in five years of work? I have learned and understood that architects could contribute to different areas in a project according to their key competencies. Some have excellent people skills - they are superb at dealing with clients. Some are good team leaders who can delegate and lead effectively. Some are detail-orientated, good in managing the construction process to realise the project. Some are good at design. I think, through these years, I have got to learn and understand myself better and know which path best suits my strengths. Winning the award was impressive. How did that start off? The award is organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and Asian Cultural Council and is especially for all architects under the age of 36. That year, under a specific theme, I chose to remodel the Yau Mei Tei Police Station. It did require a strong commitment to do that. I wanted to achieve something outstanding, special and meaningful to add to my experience. I worked a few nights and used some holidays for the project. I think it was my passion and drive that led me to do that. One of the award prizes was that they flew me to the United States for three weeks and arranged for me to meet with renowned Chinese-American architects IM Pei and Cesar Pelli, the designer of our IFC2 and Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers. Which architects do you look to as role models? I have two - Spanish architect Enric Miralles and IM Pei. Enric gave me inspiration from his talent for taking old cultural buildings and integrating them with modern technologies. This inspired me to appreciate more Chinese culture. What are the core values an architect needs? I think an architect has to have the passion to make an ordinary thing different. This is the fundamental passion for all designers. We need to be sincere and responsible when designing or addressing a problem. Qualification route With a minimum of 24 months of recognised practical experience, graduates of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects' accredited or recognised schools would need to pass eight written examinations and a professional interview to qualify as a member at the Institute and as a registered architect at the Architects Registration Board. The accredited and recognised schools or associations include: The University of Hong Kong - Master of Architecture; The Chinese University of Hong Kong - Master of Architecture; National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc, USA; Commonwealth Association of Architects; and The National Board of Architectural Accreditation, PRC.