My Kingston — Daimian S Hines

Lifestyle

My Kingston — Daimian S Hines

Sunday, February 02, 2020

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In 2016, Prime Minister Andrew Holness mandated the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to lead the planning and construction of a Government Campus at Heroes' Circle, a development to feature the new Houses of Parliament on the grounds of National Heroes' Park. A design competition open to Jamaican architects based at home and in the diaspora was the method used to select the best design. The competition was launched on the grounds of the National Heroes' Park on May 17, 2018 and concluded on March 27, 2019 when the winning team was announced. The winning design, named “Out of Many, One People”, was created by Design Collaborative Limited, a firm led by architect Evan Williams. Jamaican architects Daimian Hines and Christopher Bent, who are now based in Houston, Texas, are both associates of this firm, leading in design and project management, respectively.

The architects have since conducted a series of verification meetings over the period September 4 - 6, 2019 to further confirm the project space requirements. This was followed by a schematic design presentation series, October 29 - 31, 2019, to update all relevant stakeholders on the schematic design submitted and to solicit feedback for the next stage of design development. The architects recently conducted a workshop, providing detailed updates and soliciting further feedback and approvals towards the completing on the next phase: construction drawings and documentation.

Daimian S Hines, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP

American Institute of Architects (AIA)

National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP)

What's your earliest memory of Kingston?

I remember travelling from St Mary to visit Hope Zoo. I also had a vanilla nut ice cream, my favourite. This was memorable as I was enjoying my favourite treat when a massive lion stretched out, full-body, along the chain fence, and seemingly inches away from me. At this point a very young Daimian had never experienced anything so magical, and every subsequent trip to Kingston, I had great expectations of the experiences that waited for me in the big city.

What surprised you the most about the city on your recent return?

I have been fortunate to travel to Kingston often. On my most recent trip to Kingston, I observed that the traffic infrastructure needs are vital to the continued growth of the city. The infrastructure projects currently underway are needed and will hopefully keep ensuring Kingston's continued growth.

Were you given the opportunity to change something about Kingston, what would it be and why?

It would be a great achievement if Kingston had the infrastructure for multi-modal transportation and was simultaneously easily walkable. This would allow Jamaicans and tourists alike to experience the city in a dramatically different way.

You are part of the winning team of the Houses of Parliament and Government Campus Project. What do you think gave you the competitive advantage?

Our design proposition was clear and concise. Furthermore, the design proposition endeavoured to be heroic yet plausible. Our team listened to many inputs and determined that incorporating those inputs would strengthen the work. We dared to propose a circular structure, which was unique; however, for us, the site location suggested a circle would be more than appropriate within the oval park. The Jamaican motto, “Out of Many, One People”, enhanced and reinforced our vision position.

Would your message today to your younger self be any different than it was then?

Of course, I have heard the saying “wisdom is gleaned through imitation, reflection and experience of which experience can be bittersweet”. I'd caution my younger self that a bit more reliance on reflection and imitation would be of great value.

What has been your most humbling experience as an architect?

My most humbling experience as an architect was March 27, 2018 when our team was selected both jurors and people's choice recipients. Jamaica decided as an independent nation it was time to build a new centre of government that reflected the country's values. The social and political will was encouraging.

Where's your happy place?

When I travel home to Jamaica and make it to Long Road, St Mary, I am happy. Way up in the hills, mountain views are endless and the breeze is absolutely refreshing.

Nature or nurture?

Nature and nurture. We are all human beings. We are gifted with certain genetics. However, we can oftentimes adapt to change or be changed.

What's your greatest fear?

As it relates to being a professional, I am always fearful of failing. I endeavour to be a productive architect and, in pursuit of this goal, I am always driven to do my absolutely best. Where this professional goal meets my personal life goal is how I strive to be a great listener. Listening is key to professional and personal success.

What architectural site do you recommend most to others?

There are so many to see! I would recommend starting with La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain. The site and building, after 100 years, are still under construction. This work stands as an example of both the architect's technical and creative acumen before the computer age. As an introduction to the profession, it is inspiring. The completion of construction is set for 2026.

What lesson has been the hardest to learn?

We are all gifted with the ability to choose.

What food sums you up?

I would have to say curry chicken. In 2016, I cooked curry chicken every week that year. I admit this is perhaps a bit much, but this is consistent with my fear of failing. I wanted to master making my mother's curry chicken. I want to say I am close.

What's the one talent you yearn for?

It would be a dream come true if I could master playing all the various instruments I have collected over the years.

What's the one thing that might surprise people about you?

Each day, I attempt to complete 15-20 digital crossword puzzles. It's a bit of an addiction!

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

I would want to be remembered as a son who endeavoured to make his parents, Albert and Donette Edwards, proud Jamaicans.


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