Could architecture possibly save our world? Amidst pressing global challenges such as climate change and public health issues that have arised alongside the worst pandemic this generation has faced, Singapore Archifest 2020 looks to examine how responsible design and new architectural ideas that benefit ecology and humanity have the power to impact, and ultimately save our world.
From 25 September to 31 October 2020, Singapore Archifest, the signature annual festival organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) to gather the built and architecture community, will return with its very first hybrid edition. With a line-up that threads across both online and offline formats, festival goers can look forward to a plethora of immersive programmes such as online forums, virtual exhibitions, hybrid workshops, decentralised island-wide pop-up activities, and an inaugural virtual Pavilion. Themed Architecture Saving OUR World, Singapore Archifest 2020 aims to be a timely exploration of the role of architecture in today’s global climate and a celebration of the individuals and groups who have dared to envisage new direction in architecture, take action to bring about change, and use design as a means to encourage others to join them.
Appointed as the Festival Director to helm and curate Singapore Archifest 2020 is Dr. Chong Keng Hua, who is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and also the Founding Partner of design consultancy COLOURS: Collectively Ours.
“There is so much that architecture and responsible design can do to make a positive change in our world, and we are excited for the festival to be the platform that opens up this discussion to more people. Especially with this year’s edition being a hybrid one that traverses the online space, it means that we are able to welcome on board international design mavens and also reach out to audiences beyond Singapore – making Singapore Archifest 2020 one that brings together the built community from all over the world,” shared Dr. Chong, Festival Director of Singapore Archifest 2020.
The festival’s first-ever virtual Pavilion
Virtual presentation of SIA-LES Archifest Pavilion by ADDP Architects in collaboration with OWIU Design
Beating out 20 other submissions to clinch the winning design in this year’s SIA-LES Archifest Pavilion Design Competition was a collaboration between ADDP Architects and OWIU Design’s Principals and Founders – Joel Wong and Amanda Gunawan. Titled Reclaiming Connectivity and inspired by Amanda’s photos on abstraction of natural landscape, the Pavilion’s design uses photography print on Light Emitting Surfaces (LES) glass to capture the subtle details of water as an attempt to distort its original way of being perceived. Similarly, the Pavilion’s concept of Reclaiming Connectivity is a relook at what is current, and aims to inspire reflections on humanity’s innate need for connection, juxtaposed against the current reality of social distancing in public spaces.
“The competition, being held amidst a pandemic situation, in all probability spurred the participating Architects to re-examine our design ecosystem; resulting in entries that were highly creative and thoughtful in their response to the material choice and this year’s Archifest theme,” said Christina Thean, SIA Design Thrust Co-Chair and Juror of the Pavilion competition.
As part of the festival’s hybrid edition, the highly-anticipated Pavilion will also be presented in an unprecedented format – virtually. Embracing their roles as “form-makers”, ADDP and OWIU Design will be showcasing their imagination by creating the ideal form and structure of the Pavilion online, in the absence of any economic or environmental restrictions. Festival goers can expect to explore a virtual Pavilion that allows them to examine the structure through an interactive 3D tour that offers up 360 degree views, right from the comfort of home.
An international discussion on architecture and its impact
The hallmark SIA Conference will kick off this year’s festival, following the journeys of notable industry icons and providing an open forum for conversations around issues that are pertinent to the urban environment in Singapore and around the world. Spread across three days from 28 to 30 September, this year’s Conference will spotlight three sub-themes:
Radical Indigenism, Design Empowerment and Empathic Interventions, looking at the context, process and impact of design respectively.
Beginning the conversation is esteemed architect Anna Heringer, Founder of Studio Anna Heringer and recipient of the 2007 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Using architecture as a tool to improve lives, Heringer focuses on the use of natural building materials for sustainable development, and has been actively involved in development cooperation in Bangladesh since 1997. Conference participants may sign up for an exclusive Special Dialogue with Heringer in her own studio, where she will divulge the process of creating good and sustainable projects in one’s design office.
Heringer will speak alongside a total of 12 esteemed design and architecture experts from Singapore and across the world, such as Vo Trong Nghia of VTN Architects, Kelly Alvarez Doran from MASS Design Group, Xu Tiantian from DnA_Design and Architecture, Prasoon Kumar of BillionBricks, and William Ti from WTA Architecture and Design Studio. Each of them will present different aspects of how they have been utilising their architectural prowess for the betterment of lives through creative activism and ground-up initiatives.
Registration for SIA Conference begins from 13 August, 9am, at https://www.archifest.sg/conference.
From now until 25 August 2020, Singapore Archifest 2020 is also inviting members of the public to get involved and submit a Doodle Art that reflects the festival theme, and showcases how architecture plays a part in their life in making a difference.
Winning entries will be featured during Singapore Archifest 2020. Please refer to the following annexes for details:
● Annex A: Biography of Festival Director, Dr. Chong Keng Hua
● Annex B: SIA Conference Schedule and Speakers Profiles
● Annex C: Doodle for Art open call
For more information on Singapore Archifest 2020, visit www.archifest.sg.
For media inquiries on Singapore Archifest 2020, please contact
Hilary Tan Tate Anzur
Tel: 8727 4845
Fiona Mei Robinson Tate Anzur
Tel: 8138 3650
ABOUT SINGAPORE ARCHIFEST
Singapore Architectural Festival began in 2007 as an annual festival for the city to celebrate architecture and the built environment. This festival celebrates the importance of architecture in place-making. A city’s built, spatial environment coheres identity amidst the flux of global cities and captures the shared imagination of its people, even as Singaporeans collectively shape the making of the city towards the future.
Organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), Archifest advocates for vibrancy in local design culture by creating opportunities for the public and architectural professionals to interact. The exciting program line-up consisting of architours, talks, film screenings and workshops have been designed to stimulate curiosity and nurture a design-conscious society through engaging conversations.
ABOUT SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS (SIA)
The Singapore Institute of Architects is a professional organization established in 1963 with the objective to promote the architectural profession and the built environment in Singapore. The Institute is the sole representative for architectural profession in Singapore. The Institute’s mission is “To champion excellence in Architecture and the Built Environment”, and our vision is to see “Singapore as an Architecture Capital”.
ANNEX A: BIOGRAPHY OF DR. CHONG KENG HUA
Prof. (Dr.) CHONG Keng Hua
Festival Director, Singapore Archifest 2020
Associate Professor, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
Founding Partner, COLOURS: Collectively Ours
Dr. CHONG Keng Hua (KH) is Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), he leads the Social Urban Research Groupe (SURGe), Opportunity Lab (O-Lab), and MND-HDB New Urban Kampung Research Program. He is also a Founding Partner of COLOURS: Collectively Ours, a design practice specializing in public space and social impact.
Author of Second Beginnings (2018) and Creative Ageing Cities (2018), his research on ageing, health and data-driven collaborative design has contributed to the field of social architecture. KH is a firm believer in civic activism, having co-founded ReallyArchitecture in 2006 and initiated PARK(ing) Day Singapore in 2013, advocating inclusivity and citizen empowerment.
KH is internationally recognised for his curatorial works, including the Singapore Pavilion at Seoul Biennale 2017 and the Singapore Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2018. He is a member of the Pacific Rim Community Design Network
ANNEX B: SIA CONFERENCE SCHEDULE AND SPEAKERS PROFILES
Conference Day 1 | 28 Sep 2020, 1500 – 1800 (Singapore time)
The CONTEXT of design – Local issues, indigenous culture, materiality, ecological sustainability
Building on the term “Radical Indigenism” recently coined by environmentalist designer Julia Watson, the Conference starts with acknowledging the indigenous culture and local wisdom. How can architecture learn from the vernacular system, materiality and philosophy, to improve our environment and our lives? Focusing on the CONTEXT of design, discussion in this session will range from cultural heritage, traditional material, rural development, renewable energy, sustainable habitat, to human existentialism.
Conference participants may also sign up for an exclusive: Special Dialogue with Anna Heringer 28 Sep 2020, 1900 – 2015 (Singapore time) How to Save OUR World while Running a Sustainable Architecture Practice
Studio Anna Heringer
Title of talk: Architecture is a Tool to Improve Lives For Anna Heringer architecture is a tool to improve lives.
As an architect and honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development she is focusing on the use of natural building materials. She has been actively involved in development cooperation in Bangladesh since 1997. Her diploma work, the METI School in Rudrapur got realised in 2005 and won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007. Over the years, Studio Anna Heringer has realised further projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Anna is lecturing worldwide at conferences, including TED and has been visiting professor at various universities such as Harvard, ETH Zurich and TU Munich. She received numerous honors: the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, the AR Emerging Architecture Award, the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s GSD and a RIBA International Fellowship. Her work was widely published and exhibited in the MoMA New York, the V&A Museum in London and at the Venice Biennale among other places.
DnA_Design and Architecture China
Title of talk: Rethinking Rural
Xu Tiantian is the founding principal of DnA_Design and Architecture. She has received numerous awards such as the WA China Architecture Award in 2006 and 2008, the Architectural League New York’s Young Architects Award in 2008, the Design Vanguard Award in 2009 by Architecture Record and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architect in 2019. She has built a number of projects, such as Songzhuang Art Center and Ordos Art Museum. In the past years she has been engaged extensively in the rural revitalising process in Songyang County, China. Her groundbreaking “architectural acupuncture” is a holistic approach to the social and economic revitalization of rural China and has been selected by UN Habitat as the case study of Inspiring Practice on Urban-Rural Linkages. Xu Tiantian received her masters in architecture and urban design from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and her baccalaureate in architecture from Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Vo Trong Nghia
Title of talk: Redefining the Landscape: Creating Innovative Architectural Concepts Through Buddhist Meditation and the 5 Precepts
Vo Trong Nghia studied architecture at the University of Tokyo before returning to Vietnam to establish VTN Architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects) in 2006. Through a series of the award winning projects, Nghia has developed sustainable architectural design by integrating inexpensive, local materials and traditional skills with contemporary aesthetics and modern methodologies.
Nghia has received numerous international prizes and honors including but not limited to; World Architecture Festival Award, ARCASIA gold metal award, WAN 21 for 21 Award and, AR House award and the FuturArc Green leadership Award. In 2012, he was selected as the Architect of the year in Vietnam. He also was selected as one of 2014s Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. Besides running his architectural practice, Nghia has continued to be involved in architecture at a grass roots level by teaching at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in 2011. Nghia is a registered architect in Vietnam.
Title of talk: Why We Design Poorly for the Poor Prasoon is a President’s Design Awardee, TEDx speaker and social justice campaigner working towards solving the global housing crisis.
Prasoon began his career as an architect working in design firms across India, USA, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2013, he left his corporate job and co-founded BillionBricks.
BillionBricks is developing powerHYDE — the world’s first self-financing, carbon-negative solar home solution that empowers everyone to be a homeowner. BillionBricks originally began as a non-profit and has provided shelters, schools and homes to 5,365 people across 9 countries; rendered relief support to another 10,000. Its first innovation called weatherHYDE, is an award-winning, emergency shelter designed to save the lives of the homeless in extreme weather conditions.
Winner of Singularity University’s Global Grand Challenge and named Urban Land Institute’s 40 under 40, Prasoon graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning and an Outstanding Graduate Award in 2005
Conference Day 2 | 29 Sep 2020, 1500 – 1730 (Singapore time)
The PROCESS of design – Participation, accessibility, community engagement, social resilience
The second session of the Conference will investigate the PROCESS of co-designing and co-working with communities. How can architects engage the local community through design and construction? And in the process, gaining deeper appreciation of the core value of the community that the architecture ultimately serve? Speakers in this session will share their unique methodology and experience in working with diverse communities, and discuss how architecture could be more collaborative, accessible, empowering, and resilient, whether in time of peace or crisis.
Title of talk: 未來「新文明」－ 部落
(“Tribe” as the New Civilization )
Talk will be in Mandarin with English subtitle or translation where applicable
Hsieh devotes himself to post-disaster reconstruction for more than 20 years. He considers architecture and town-planning a collective endeavor and participatory effort. His projects often originate from the need to provide a prompt response to sudden and unexpected environmental or climatic emergencies, focusing on principles such as biocompatibility, sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Following the massive earthquake in Taiwan on September 21, 1999, Hsieh took his office to the disaster area in Nantou County, to begin reconstruction efforts there. Since then he had traveled to rural areas of Hebei, Henan, and Anhui to promote cooperative, sustainable building in the countryside; reconstructed homes for Sichuan earthquake disaster victims in isolated mountain areas with members of his Rural Architecture Studio; rebuilt longstanding tribal buildings for indigenous minorities after the 2009 Taiwan typhoon; and also completed work on settlements for Tibetan herders.
Hsieh was awarded the Curry Stone Design Prize in 2011, the Golden Prize of the Shenzhen Affordable Housing Design Competition (China) and the 16th National Awards for Arts (Taiwan) in 2012. He was shortlisted for UN-HABITAT’s Best Practice award in 2004, and represented Taiwan at the Venice Biennale International Architecture and International Art Exhibitions in 2006 and 2009 respectively. He also took part in Liverpool Biennale 2012.
Joshua Peasley & Harrison Marshall
Title of talk: Democratic Education, Quality Design, Accessible for All
CAUKIN Studio is a social enterprise, founded on the premise that everybody should have access to better designed and built spaces. Something which shouldn’t have to come at a large price tag. Since its inception in 2015, CAUKIN has worked on more than 25 design and construction projects worldwide, involving and educating over 500 international participants and local communities through the process of these projects. We hope to demonstrate that an organisation can balance profit with purpose, considering our impact in equal measure to our financial goals. We utilise business as a force for good, in an industry where such values are often missing.
Daliana Suryawinata & Florian Heinzelmann
Title of talk: Collaborative Performances Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann are founders of SHAU Rotterdam-Bandung.
SHAU works on multiple scales and typologies with a cultural-environmental agenda. Their work includes public spaces, vertical housing, visionary masterplans and microlibraries. Among other awards, SHAU received INDE.Awards 2018 ‘Influencer’ category, Small Firm of the Year in Sustainable Architecture from the American Architecture Prize 2017, Silver Prize from Lafarge-Holcim Award Asia-Pacific 2017 and was shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2019. Prior to establishing SHAU,
Daliana and Florian studied at the Berlage Institute Rotterdam. Daliana worked for OMA, MVRDV and West8 and taught master courses at The Why Factory TU Delft with topics ranging from ‘Superkampung Jakarta’ to ‘World Wonders’. Florian was a project architect at UNStudio in Amsterdam. He was a researcher, master course tutor and Solar Decathlon project manager at TU Delft and completed his PhD research on adaptive daylight structures at the TU Eindhoven
Ar. Chu Yang Keng
Title of talk: Leading a Positive Change
Ar. Chu Yang Keng is the founder of IX Architects Pte Ltd, a recognized architectural practice established since 2004. Chu graduated with a Master degree in architecture from NUS and was appointed one of the Panel of PPE Examiners with the Board of Architects, Singapore. Chu actively contributes to the fraternity and is an active member with the SIA SMAP committee member since 2009. As a registered ASEAN architect, Chu has been practicing both locally and in the region.
Cambodia is a country where Chu has built a diverse portfolio in a wide range of projects over the last decade. With a strong interest in nature centric designs, Chu aspires to create environmentally conscious architecture that inspires and enhances the quality of life. Chu’s accomplishment in social projects has also won his firm an Honourable Mention in the annual SIA Design Awards.
Conference Day 3 | 30 Sep 2020, 1900 – 2130 (Singapore time)
The IMPACT of design – Humanistic, purposeful, urbanistic, tactical, place-making, transformative
The new post-COVID world presents much more volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Welcome to VUCA 2.0. How can we design buildings and cities more purposefully so that they can fight against climate change, natural disasters, health risks and future pandemic? The final session of the Conference will examine the IMPACT of architecture from the human level to the urban level, and discuss the meanings of impact, design ethics, and the inevitable trade-offs, while pushing architecture to the frontline of humanity and ecological wellness.
Title of talk: Extending Fabrics
Stefan founded the practice with Ola Kjellander in 1998 and over two decades he has established an active and sustainable approach to the design and programming of the built environment. His work is firmly developed from an understanding and analysis of the urban fabric, culture, place, climate, use and local conditions, where his architecture always tells a story. With an engaged and creative mind-set, he believes in shaping integrated and successful projects for quality lifestyles; vibrant surroundings and new placemaking. He is driven by his passion for innovation and craftsmanship, with a pragmatic and technically coherent methodology. His design vision is to contribute to neighbourhoods and meeting places, for healthy and thriving communities. Stefan has received a range of awards and prizes for KS competition-winning designs and completed buildings. Alongside his architectural practice, Stefan is a frequent public speaker and initiates research through think tanks, work-shops and exhibitions.
Kelly Alvarez Doran
MASS Design Group
Title of talk: Towards Half – Design for a Climate Positive Future
Kelly leads our London office, oversees MASS’s work in Europe, spearheads our sustainability initiatives. He joined MASS in 2014 to lead our Kigali office, overseeing the growth of the practice from an office of 8 to 80 over a five year period. He has led the design and implementation of several of MASS’s projects across East Africa, notably the award-winning Munini District Hospital and Rwanda Ministry of Health’s Typical Hospital Plans; headquarters for both One Acre Fund and Andela in Kenya; and the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture. Kelly is a past recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners, and has held teaching positions at the University of Toronto, The Bartlett, Harvard University, and the University of Waterloo.
People’s Architecture Office
Title of talk: Uncertain by Design James
Shen is Principal at People’s Architecture Office. He received his MArch degree from the MIT and a BSc in Product Design from CSU, Long Beach. Shen was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard, a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and an Innovation Fellow at MIT’s China Future City Lab. He has taught at MIT and Harvard. People’s Architecture Office (PAO) is an international practice with offices based in Beijing and Boston. Founded in 2010 by James Shen, He Zhe, and Zang Feng, the firm is a multi-disciplinary studio dedicated to design innovation for a more inclusive and connected society. Domus named PAO as one of the world’s best architecture firms of 2019 and Fast Company listed PAO as one of the world’s ten most innovative architecture companies in 2018. Recognition for the studio’s work includes the Aga Khan Award (finalist), the Wold Architecture Festival Award, and the Architizer A+ Award
William Ti Jr.
WTA Architecture and Design Studio
Title of talk: Social Architecture
William Ti Jr. graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Master’s in Urban Design in 2012 and acquired his Bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas in 2002. He is the principal architect and founder of WTA Architecture and Design Studio. In the 15 years of his professional career, he has worked on projects ranging from commercial and housing developments to bridges and stadiums. As the principal architect of WTA, he has been able to lead the firm in winning various awards and gaining global recognition. He is also the founder and director of Anthology Festival, Shelter Magazine and The Book Stop Project. William is a strong advocate of social architecture that promotes a more humanist and socially relevant practice of architecture. He believes that architecture is a vital component of nation building and considers stories and toys as crucial parts in the development of architecture.
Ar. Michael Leong
Title of talk: It’s a Job… It’s a Career… It’s Ikigai!
Michael is a Director at SAA and leads project teams in design and project management. After working in URA, Michael joined SAA in 2008, and has been involved in a wide spectrum of projects ranging from mixed-use developments, master plans, transportation, and commercial projects, to healthcare, residential, and institutional developments. Michael’s projects include mixed-use developments with strong transportation nodes, such as the recently completed Northpoint City.
Attentive to clients’ requirements yet attuned to users’ needs, his philosophy places users’ well-being at the very heart of designs. This is exemplified in his most recent project – Woodlands Health Campus (WHC) – Singapore’s largest healthcare facility that enables person-centered care and healing through nature. Michael’s experience in urban planning and in complex buildings offers versatility to his works. He adopts a systematic and thorough approach, and designs with a macro to micro perspective to ensure that buildings dialogue with their environment and improve human well-being.
ANNEX C: DOODLE FOR ART OPEN CALL
Artwork by Diane Lee, COLOURS: Collectively Ours
Architecture Saving OUR World
Singapore Archifest 2020 invites members of the public to submit a Doodle Art that reflects the festival theme “Architecture Saving OUR World”.
“Our world” has different meanings to different people. It is different for a child, young family, adults and architects. However, in any case, it is a world worth saving.
“Architecture Saving OUR World” is not about how grand architecture is, but more about novel ideas and responsible designs that benefit our ecology and humanity – from climate change and public health, to social equity and cultural continuity.
Thus we want you to showcase how architecture has been a part of your life and making a difference. Stay safe and happy drawing!
Deadline: 25 Aug 2020, 6pm
Shortlisted Doodle Arts will be showcased at the Singapore Archifest 2020 either in print, digital media, or for publicity purposes.
● Participants of any age are welcome
● Artwork must be in black and white, any medium and to be uploaded as pdf file
● Minimum canvas size from A5 (21cm by 14.8cm) in any orientation
● Maximum file size of 25MB in pdf format
● Submit your artwork via QR code or at https://bit.ly/sgarchifestdoodle