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Young Gun

How do you become a young gun? According to award winning Australian architect Michael Ong it is about asking yourself how your designs can be better and more refined.

At just 28, Michael Ong has been the recipient of a 2013 Spirit of Youth Award, named as one of Casabella's 30 international Architect's under 30 and his first design, HANS house, picked up an Intergrain Timber Vision Award.

Michael is one of the key note speakers at the upcoming Young Guns seminar this October. To be held in Auckland, the seminar will explore how young designers are shaping our future through their approach and philosophy to architecture.

Michael is an exceptional version of the term young gun, however he shies away from that description.

"I don’t like the term young gun, however if I did have to define it I would consider it an approach to design. It is about quality work and passion. It is also about the constant pursuit of good design and pushing your designs forward and further at all times" says Michael.

Michael started his career in architecture at well-known Australian firm Andrew Maynard Architects. It was here he met his mentor Andrew Maynard who would help shape him into the architect and businessman he is today.

"I joined Andrew Maynard Architects as the practice was taking off. Watching Andrew's success and drive, I saw first-hand what real ambition looks like and it rubbed off on me. When I decided to start MODO I knew it was a good decision and it was what I had to do", says Michael.

Michael's favourite and most challenging project is also his first and most award winning - HANS house.

"HANS house was my first project out of university. I was still new to the world of architecture and though I was trained I had no real world experience. The process of HANS house was really about a lot of mistakes and errors, however I was fortunate enough to be able to see my missed opportunities within the design and remedy them. I was refining the design and details of HANS house throughout the construction process. In the end what made the design stand out was the work I did in those final stages - in particular the treatment of the timber and how it was used. This project was a real turning point in my career and so it has to be my favourite purely for the opportunities it has given me", says Michael.

A big believer in having a strong philosophy, much of Michael's presentation will be about how he approaches design - his methods and the concept of a project.

"It is enjoyable when a design looks good however a good design incorporates sustainability, passive design, space, light and all the other qualities that make up a good home. Design is not just about pretty buildings, it is about being considerate and rigorous with the process and execution".

Michael will be joined by Kris Wilson of Design House Architecture Ltd to present the seminars. Kris was a national award winner in the 2013 ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards.

To book a place to hear Michael Ong and Kris Wilson as part of Young Guns visit