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  • Alice Hsieh

Late career change for an Architect

Updated: Feb 17

Many architects, like myself, say that architectural beauty is an expression of art. While beauty may be subjective, there is a collective appreciation for the beauty of nature. Can I dare to state that the beauty of nature is absolute? Not sure, but finding someone who finds nature ugly is rare. Nature inspires people from all walks of life (fact). Whether it's the mesmerising waves of the sea, the sublimity of mountains, or even a modest cascade of waterfalls, its beauty cannot be denied. And I am here to announce that I have embarked on a new journey to explore this beauty. It has just begun with art.

Indeed, I have shifted my focus, transitioning from architecture to art, from being an architect to being an artist. Now, when completing an online form to select my job title, I will scroll a few lines down to select 'artist'. This change has been a long time coming, as I had to overcome financial concerns and my stubborn pride. If you are studying architecture and have already dedicated more than 7 seven years to the profession, you understand me. However, through personal growth* and introspection, I have embraced a more relaxed way of life and proudly identify myself as an artist.

The journey began with the project Cut Flowers, recently showcased at the Pink Tardis, a community space in the local shopping mall. Living in a deprived area of London, I was surprised to find an exhibition space in my borough, specifically in a shopping centre. But the opportunity arose from a kind person and the good spirit of my hood.

The Pink Tardis, once a tiny flower shop that closed down, now serves as a community art window. We often see a pattern on our high streets: independent stores struggle because of gentrification or their inability to compete with cheap megastores or online retailers. The history of this shop presents an opportunity to reflect on small businesses' challenges in today's ruthless market. I visited my local florists and captured images of their flowers to incorporate into my artwork in the Tardis. It symbolises the revival of the Pink Tardis as a flower shop, albeit in a different form - through art. It also represents my quest for beauty.

I hope my art resonates with you and encourages my new audience to appreciate the intricate structure of flowers in the Cut Flowers series. It is a late-career change for a lonely (sole trader) architect, and I hope it is worth it.

*getting old


Cutting bromeliad plants in B&W photo
The Pink Cut, 2023

Dark stain on chrysanthemums in B&W photo
The Pink Stain, 2023

Flowers in the shape of atomic bomb
The Pink Bomb, 2023

Pink tardis as a community art space and window.
The Pink Tardis at Heathway Shopping Centre


I am Alice Hsieh, and you are reading my blog post.

'kind person' is Katja Rosenberg from


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