One of the busiest crossroads in the world, Singapore has a high concentration of international designers serving the international market. It has also cultivated a vibrant and robust architecture and design communities. We at Indesign Media Asia were very fortunate to be given access to a wealth of talents and talk about the latest, greatest and most pressing issues in their fields with them.
Whether they are an established presence locally, regionally and globally, international personalities making a sojourn to the Little Red Dot, or up-and-coming voices in neighbouring emerging markets, here are our 10 most insightful (and most-shared) interviews and profile features of 2018! Click on their names to read the full feature.
“We tend not to realise it but yes, our work can be quite radical… it’s when we start doing calculations on the kinds of percentages we can achieve in terms of green replacement, for example, that we start to see our buildings as being radically different to others. That’s when we realise it’s possible for the city to transform.”
Wong Mun Summ
“There is strong bureaucracy and an established infrastructural framework – but if you can integrate an ecological mindset into the civil engineering system, Singapore can become a sponge nation, reach its goal of being self-sustainable, and solve the problem of floods.”
Dr Yu Kongjian
“A city should not be in a single homogenous condition where everything and everywhere is the same but where you actually can find different places. Places of different intensity, places of different engagement, places of commercial activity but also places of freedom and being left alone. For me, this sense of diversity is a very important aspect of a great city.”
[T]here’s this sentence: ‘We are the last generation that dies.’ I like that thought. It’s a possibility… At the rate we’re depending on smartphones, maybe our kids will speak like this in the future: ‘How old are you? I’m seven iPhones – you?’ We’ve been evolving into a digital and an internet society – a cyber society – and it has no end. It’s hyperconnected and it will never die.”
“As we approach peak stuff, the focus areas should be those that need design – agriculture, supply chains, ecosystems, bio design, technology – all these areas would be great themes to talk about.”
“It always feels fun to explore new things.., It isn’t just about the look or the concept; it could be new details, new programs or new thought process. It could be anything.”
Amata Luphaiboon and Twitee Vajrabhaya Teparkum
“Maybe in the future, hundreds of years from now when our world looks like the set of Blade Runner, our digital art will be considered traditional. In museums today, most of the exhibits don’t move and don’t interact with the architecture. But what if the architecture influences the artwork, or the other way around so it’s always changing and the whole [experience] also becomes art? Would you visit again?”
“I encourage people in the design industry abroad not just to come to us looking for contract work but also to bring knowledge and networks that may be interested to set up vocational training centres around Myanmar. They are desperately needed for the growth of our nation.”
“It’s a time of unprecedented growth for us here in Singapore. One of the things we’ve needed to catch up on is how to keep people and culture alive when you’re growing so fast across the globe.”
“My generation of architects no longer belongs to a movement. There is no certain style to follow, instead it is more personal. For instance, I suppose my signature is to chisel away at the traditional block, and break it down into human scale, something that people can relate to and engage with.”
Lookout for more of our 2018 Top 10 roundups!