Archifest 2013: "Small Is Beautiful"

Archifest 2013: "Small Is Beautiful"

The theme of this year's Archifest, located on the tiny nation-island of Singapore, was aptly named indeed: "Small is Beautiful." Organized by the Singapore Institute of Architects, the annual architecture festival includes a host of activities, ranging from architecture tours to urban picnics, and featured a curated selection of several leading local architects.

15:15 Raincatcher by Groundwork Architecture + Urbanism. Image © Alvin Wong

Luke Yeung from Architectkidd presented a series of projects that utilize the materiality of contemporary Thai architecture, revealing Yeung's interpretation of the 'Bangkok vernacular.' With a humorous tone, Manfred Yuen of Groundwork Architecture + Urbanism explained a host of incredibly imaginative urban interventions and competition entries. Eoghan Lewis, of Eoghan Lewis Architects, discussed his work and the concepts behind them.

Vanke Triple D by Ministry of Design . Image © CI&A Photography

A celebrated local architect, Colin Seah, traced his inspiring journey from being a one-man interior design firm to founding Ministry of Design, an award-winning, multi disciplinary design firm that spans across several countries. Chang Yong Ter from Chang Architects gave an optimistic presentation tinged with a touch of dry humor. The presentation gave insight into his various approaches towards architecture, from the pragmatic to the poetic.

Keynote speaker, Yoshi Tsukamoto from Atelier Bow-wow. Image Courtesy of Shophouse&co

Last but not least, the keynote speaker, Yoshi Tsukamoto from Atelier Bow-wow described his projects within the context of Architectural Behaviourology, an investigation into the relationships between inhabitants, buildings, and nature. The conference drew to a close with a round table discussion moderated by local Architect Tan Suze Hann, a common face within the Singaporean architectural scene.

Namly House by CHANG Architects. Image © Albert Lim K.S

After the conference, we managed to have a short conversation with Chang Yong Ter :

What is Contemporary Singaporean architecture to you?

A built environment that is appropriate for our contemporary needs and the tropical climate.

How does scale affect your approach towards your projects?

The scale of a project would not affect the design approach. Hence the title of the presentation ‘Nothing’s too small’. If I may finish that statement; Nothing’s too small to be big.

Your projects are filled with intimate interventions that come together to form a unique yet coordinated whole. How do you manage to achieve this cohesion?

By being conscientious of the main needs of the users, and keeping in alignment with the design concept/approach/intention.

What is your future vision for CHANG Architects?

Achieving timelessness is a key objective in our vision.

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Cite: Gracia Vera. "Archifest 2013: "Small Is Beautiful"" 21 Oct 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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