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Youth of the week: Sun Pora

Buildings are made in the real world, but first their made on a computer.


HE has never felt like he had a natural talent for architecture, but that hasn’t stopped Sun Pora from becoming a promising young architect or from channeling the spirit of Vann Molyvann, the Kingdom’s most famous and influential modern architect.

The 22-year-old senior at the Royal University of Fine Art said he has struggled to keep up with classes for his architecture major, but due to his passion for the subject he took advantage of every free moment he had and read as many books and research papers as he could find about Cambodian and international architects and the buildings they designed.    

“I’m not a talented student, so I have to work harder than those who are talented,” he said. “I strongly believe that struggle and effort will bring success.” By keeping this idea in mind and realising the importance of learning, Sun Pora has improved himself to the point where it would be impossible to know that he struggles as a student.

His recent involvement in a US Embassy-organised project celebrating Vann Molyvann is an example of Sun Pora’s well-earned confidence and also his superior skills as an architect. He worked on applying Vann Molyvann’s innovations to his own work.  

He said the knowledge he has gained from four years of architecture experience along with extensive research related to the competition and cooperation between his cohorts were the keys to his group’s highly successful effort, which eventfully won them first place and $500 at the “Model Buildings in dream of Phnom Penh city” event, which was launched and sponsored by the French Cultural Centre.

“Teamwork cannot work well if one has contrasting ideas and does not know how to compromise with team mates,” he said, adding that understanding individual responsibilities, tolerating differences in opinion and knowing how to combine multiple ideas into action were all valuable skills in his team’s quest to integrate Vann Molyvann’s vision into their own innovation.

Sun Pora’s team rose above the other 33 students and 11 teams, from Norton University and RUFA, who were part of the competition and accompanying art exhibit.

“I was really satisfied with the result because it was accomplished using our own creativity,” he said. “I want to show Cambodians that we are also capable of doing whatever other countries are doing.”

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