With our future at stake, what kind of change do we need to create to ensure our planet is sustainable for us and our future generations?
This is the question leading practitioners in Singapore and Southeast Asia seek to answer in the year-long TAB Series 2 (Talks on Architecture and Beyond), entitled “The Making of Architecture”.
It delves into the topics of sustainability and the circular economy in architecture and the built environment.
As before, the format this year is to have quarterly themes that break down the search for the solution into stages.
Jan-Mar: Concept & Inception
Apr-Jun: Development & Documentation
Jul-Sept: Fabrication & Construction
Oct-Dec: Life & After Life
Talks in the first quarter have just concluded, during which six designers and architects expanded on the theme of Concept & Inception.
Kicking things off were Marc Webb and Naoko Takenouchi, from their eponymous firm Takenouchi Webb, who discussed how to create engaging and memorable spaces while being respectful to the building types.
Specifically, they discussed their role in helping heritage buildings that have lost their shine reinvigorate to generate new businesses.
“The results can be magical,” they shared, referencing members’ club Straits Clan at Bukit Pasoh, which formerly housed Majestic Hotel, as an example.
In February, a team from DP Architects, led by Principal Designer Mike Lim of its interior design and spatial planning company DP Design, lent insights on what it meant to focus “Beyond Aesthetics”, the title of their talk.
Lim said it was important practitioners reset the way they think, ask themselves what good design means, and be genuinely passionate in designing for users – all while maintaining respect for the space and environment.
Joining him was Seah Chee Huang, CEO of DP Architects, and Yong Siew Onn, Director of DP Sustainable Design, who expanded on the importance of collaborating between different disciplines to create meaningful spaces for users.
Rounding off the quarter was William Ti Jr. the principal architect and founder of WTA Architecture and Design Studio in the Philippines.
A strong advocate of social architecture that promotes building communities, he shared more about his practice and how he believes in designing hyper-local, barrier-free spaces that help bring people together.
Urbanisation, he said, is one of the major trends currently shaping Southeast Asia in different facets, from societies to cultures, economies, businesses and environments.
In the Philippines, Metro Manila itself has a population of over 20 million people and is one of the most congested urban centres in the world, second only to Mumbai, India.
With the city set to keep growing in the coming years, and with increasing land scarcity, he hopes that architecture can be a solution to help improve the overall living quality and build a more welcoming community.
Because each session is also live-streamed on the Cosentino YouTube channel, the Spanish surfaces company was able to expand the scope of Series 2 to include practitioners from the region.
The last month of every quarter therefore features architects and designers first from the Philippines, and later from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Our future is indeed at stake and it is only when change becomes the responsibility of everyone, then can we create a better tomorrow.
This story is brought to you by Cosentino Asia. Find out more about the TAB Series 2 here.
Look out for the sessions in April and May, featuring Pan Yi Cheng, Principle Architect of Type 0 Architects and Design Director of Produce, and Alan Tay, Founding Partner of Formwerkz Architects, respectively.