Climate change is intensifying and irreversible. But as we take steps to be environmentally mindful like pursuing green eating and wearing sustainable fashion, earth's tragedies can be delayed or even prevented. Besides such actions, the way we live can also have a passive effect on the world. Thus, this year's Singapore Archifest festival looks into responsible design and saving our world with architecture.
Singapore Archifest 2020 will be held over six weekends till 31 October and it'll be the festival's first hybrid edition. Specifically, it'll be a mix of physical pop-up experiences, virtual exhibitions, forums, and workshops. Anchored by the theme Architecture Saving Our World, the creative festival delved into the relationship between architecture and sustainability. Its organisers, Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), explores how we can address today’s most pressing issues such as climate change, food shortage and public health, even as humanity continues to battle against COVID-19.
Touring an Online Pavilion
A yearly staple at Singapore Archifest, the SIA-LES Archifest Pavilion assembles virtually in 2020. Embracing their roles as 'form-makers', the winning design from ADDP Architects and OWIU Design will manifest online, in the absence of any economic or environmental restrictions.
This virtual pavilion, titled Reclaiming Connectivity, invites festival-goers to reflect upon humanity’s innate need for connection juxtaposed against the current reality of social distancing. Hence, the interactive 3D virtual tour accessible anywhere on demand through Singapore Archifest’s website.
Dialogues on virtual forums
Got something to voice out or have a query? Join a selection of more than 10 virtual forums that delve into globally pressing topics. Think food security and agriculture in Singapore, climate change, global heritage, and harnessing the community spirit of gotong royong.
These series spark conversations on the different ways responsible design can benefit the community and ecosystem. Of course, expect a roster of Singapore, South-East Asia and international expert panellists from diverse architecture and design backgrounds.
Other forum highlights include SIA’s Small Medium Practice Committee (SMAP)’s Why? Architect Forum, an excellent platform for anyone interested to learn what architects do as a profession.
Not a traditionalist and have a progressive attitude? Attend Young Architects Studio’s RETHINK: REBOOT: REVAMP forum, where architecture students rethink current practices, reboot outdated systems and to revamp the future.
Pop-up Activities and Workshops
Those up for hands-on experiences can schedule these physical and virtual pop-up activities with initiatives to make our world a better place through design. For instance, the usage of urban spaces through urban farming. Take a peek behind the scenes of Singapore's burgeoning urban farming scene with a visit to Edible Garden City's Citizen Farm at Queenstown.
Another societal and community-involved programme is Kampung Journey at Kampung Kampus by Ground-Up Initiative. While at the farm, visitors can also marvel at architectural prototypes like AirBamboo, Knitted Architectural Assemblies, Green Agora and also a Design & Construct prototype for the Homeless.
Then there's Parking Day Singapore on 3 October. Occurring at Jalan Besar and Jurong East, see how everyday spaces are reimagined and transformed. For example, carparks as hosting venues for activities reflecting the 'new normal' of social distancing and health consciousness.
Those interested in picking up various new skills can acquire them through on-site and online workshops. Hone your building skills via ArchiCraft workshops by SUTDIO. This includes constructing digital architecture using LEGO bricks, painting landscapes in Gouache, making tensegrity structures, sketching and starting hydroponics from home.
Of Shelters, Stories, and Sanctuary
This year's Singapore Archifest Exhibition sees a total of 40 organisations shortlisted, including architecture firms, academic studios, research think tanks, non-profit organisations, social enterprises, design creatives, and urban farms. Looking to identify multi-faceted issues humanity faces, their works expand beyond the conventional boundary of architecture.
Although primarily a virtual exhibition, some works have accompanying physical pop-ups located at various decentralised sites.
These exhibits are curated in 3 categories—Our Shelters, Our Stories and Our Sanctuary.
- The former, Our Shelters, focuses on novel approaches towards architectural typologies. This ranges from the use of materials, as well as fabrication techniques, in responding to emerging societal, environmental and public health needs.
- Our Stories highlights process-driven architectural design and planning that uncover latent human needs, engage stakeholders, and empower communities.
- Our Sanctuary zooms in on how we may rethink the urban landscape. For example, how this may contribute to ecology and local food production, and building food resilience before the next crisis.
Singapore Archifest 2020 happens from now to 31 October on weekends at various locations and online. For more information, visit the Singapore Archifest 2020 website.