My Weekend

Mr Carlos Banon, with the lantern casing for smartphones at Gardens by the Bay.
Mr Carlos Banon, with the lantern casing for smartphones at Gardens by the Bay.PHOTO: GARDENS BY THE BAY

Carlos Banon is the co-founder of architecture firm Subarquitectura in Spain and an assistant professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

The 37-year-old, who is from Spain, and his fellow lecturer, Mr Felix Raspall, came up with the concept for an interactive lantern procession that took place on Sept 4 as part of Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay, which ends on Sunday.

Visitors on that day "held" interactive lanterns using their smartphones. They downloaded the Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay app, attached their phones to a selfie stick and covered it with a casing designed by the lecturers. The app then picked up signals from the giant lantern installations at the event using Bluetooth and the phone screen lit up in different colours.

Do you have a regular weekend?

It has become a lovely routine to fly to Jakarta on many of my weekends to be with my fiancee, who is a Singaporean working in a start-up there.

We take turns to fly - either I go there or she comes over - and it is something to look forward to every week.

When you have a weekend free, what do you do?

Weekends for me are periods to slow down, reflect, see the bigger picture and deepen my focus after a hectic week.

I consider myself a perfectionist, hence I tend to spend weekends to talk about my projects, bounce ideas off my friends and fiancee over drinks, and get inspiration from the places I go and things we do.

What are your hobbies?

My fiancee calls me crazy because I exercise every day and sometimes twice a day. I work out regularly, doing RPM, a cycling workout, and body pump at a gym in Raffles Place. When I cannot make it for the classes, I exercise at SUTD's gym.

I also love to play football as a goalkeeper. I like the responsibility, concentration, anticipation and the rapid movements that it requires. It is exactly what I do in my professional life: to be able to perform under stressful situations.

Besides sports, there is a geeky side of me. I have loved coding since I was six and, now, it is something I do not only for fun, but also to digitally craft my architectural ideas.

If you could go somewhere for a weekend, where would it be and why?

I would go to Ubud, Bali, and do nothing but absorb the beautiful scenery of paddy fields surrounding me.

Brina Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2016, with the headline 'My Weekend'. Print Edition | Subscribe