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Archifest 2017: Building Agency

Taking the theme of ‘Building Agency’, the 2017 edition of Archifest seeks to facilitate and build up agency and citizen participation through architecture with a line up of more than 50 events.

  • Coral Keppel Bay. Photo courtesy DCA Architects



BY Asih Jenie

27 September, 2017


Initiated by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) in 2007, Archifest is a citywide celebration architecture and the built environment aiming to foster a design-conscious society. For its eleventh iteration this year, Archifest takes on a new festival format, doing away with its annual tradition of Archifest Pavilion in favour of longer list of events taking place at various locations from 4 to 15 October 2017.

The SIA has engaged Eunice Seng and H. Koon Wee, Singaporean founders of Hong Kong and Shanghai-based architecture practice SKEW Collaborative, to curate the festival.

“There is a fundamental shift we wish to bring about in Archifest, to guide the general public to realise that they have a role and a capacity to think about, and hence participate in the making and altering of the built environment,” says Seng.

This year’s theme is ‘Building Agency’, which emphasises the facilitating and building up of agency and citizen participation through architecture. Says Seng of the theme, “We arrived at the notion that there is a question of agency in architecture and not everyone is aware of this agency in them. This can be a frightening thought because the average person does not feel particularly empowered in an environment like Singapore, but we think we can gradually improve on this.”

The two-week festival will be built upon five pillars: Archi-interfaces (exhibition, installation and performances), Archicraft (workshops), Architours, Conversations and Conferences.

Festival highlights will include Architecture & Photography of the Pioneer Generation, an exhibition showcasing images of the built environment captured by seniors above 55 years old; edible installation Archi-Feast; An Eye for Details, architectural photography workshop by Darren Soh; and The Great Architectural Bake Off, a event that challenges design firms to create the best interpretation of a building or landmark entirely out of cake.

The crowd favourite Architours will be making a comeback with a handpicked lineup over two consecutive weekends on 7,8, 15 and 15 October. Destinations will include EDL Gallery, The Warehouse Hotel and Our Tampines Hub (lookout for a feature in Cubes 88, out this October).

Look out for an appearance by our very own Indesignlive.sg and Cubes Editor Narelle Yabuka in a panel discussion about ‘Media and Architecture’ on 14 October at the SIA.

Visit archifest.sg for the complete festival programme.


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