Page 1

1


WITH SUPPORT FROM

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

The Architecture Society (TAS) 33rd EXCO AY2012-13 TAS PUBLICATIONS casually known as the Paperspace Team, also publishes a bi-monthly pamphlet throughout the school term


EDITORIAL editor in chief / JAX TAN guest editors / CLIFFORD AUYONG PATRICIA CHIA SANDRA LEE DESIGN creative director / JAX TAN chief designer / CHEN XIUQI CONTRIBUTORS ANG JIA CONG BRIAN KHOO CHERYL LEE CLIFFORD AUYONG JAX TAN JEFFREY CHAN LOH KIN KIT LOUIS LIM MELANIE MIAO RAN NATALIE CHEUNG PATRICIA CHIA SANDRA LEE SHAWN TEO SRI SARAVANAN TAN QIAN ROU TAN TIONG LI TAN WEI MING TEO YEE-CHIN

THE ARCHITECTURE SOCIETY president / MELVIN LEW vice-president (external) / THEODORE GOH vice-president (internal) / JAMES TAN honorary general secretary / DANIEL LEE financial secretary / ALVIN GOH education secretary / LYNN CHENG exhibitions secretary / MUN CHOON KUAT events secretary / BOB TEO publications secretary / JAX TAN publicity secretary / WU ZHUOYI welfare secretary / GABRIEL NG


PROLOGUE We must be undergoing an identity crisis. In preparation for the COMMUNE publication, discussions and feedback from friends and tutors about the past year seem to reveal various aspects of insecurities in NUS architectural education. Perhaps this lack of confidence has always been simmering just beneath the surface, but this year, the questions on the fundamental being of architecture schools are being raised by students themselves. Issues of authenticity have been brought up as if the authenticity of design projects produced in design schools should exist to embody some symbolic clarity to an identity. Whatever identity is. Just a few weeks back, the TAS Debates explored political grounds with their provocative motion “Architecture Education in Singapore Breeds Unoriginality”. It is crucial to look past its attempt at holding the architectural education system responsible for what seems like a collective lack of creativity, “radicality” (coined by Professor Tay Kheng Soon) and therefore originality. Rather, the debate has to be valued for its sincerity in beginning to pursue the underlying dissatisfaction of students with a missing describable identity. We are, but what are we? With the similar intention of investigating the amiss and recapturing our identity, articles in COMMUNE are sympathetic to the shared opinions of NUS Architecture students. Objectively, we reaffirm the value of our education and our community as we cover and celebrate the exciting works produced by our fellow schoolmates and revisit the good old times in the past semester. Critically, we verify the authenticity of the intention for authentic architecture design and various concerns related to the education of an architect and his learning environment. All in all, we daresay the academic year of 2012-13 is one that has proven to be exciting and at whatever stage of identity crisis we find ourselves in, we can optimistically find promises of an awakening and the emergence of a newfound identity.

4

Jax Tan

Prologue


CONTENTS person people relationships elsewhere within the commune

06 AY 2012-13 Student Works 36 People | Places 44 Theoretically: A Brief Consideration of Ethics in Architecture Education 48 Storylines 54 From Commune to Commune 59 Waste and Rules in Space 62 On The Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education 72 The Journey of the Past Year: Paperspace AY 2012-13 74 Sponsors 75 Events in the Commune

Contents

5


6

Edited by Clifford Au Yong

Student Works


STUDENT WORKS Student Works

Edited by Clifford Au Yong

7


YEAR 01

8

TAN WEI MING LANGUAGE, REPRESENTATION

Tan Wei Ming

Language, Representation


Juxtaposition of individual architectural languages in a labryinth of spaces and details Year One Studios (above and facing page)

The final project of Year One was about understanding, using and translating the architectural language of a selected famous architect. Each of us had to design an abode, located in our studio, replete with living, dining and resting spaces for two persons, which evocates the chosen architectural language. One design from each studio was then constructed entirely with cardboard at 1:1 scale. Understanding architectural language involved using the initial broad formal categories of skeleton, planes, and volume and mass to explicate how space is made. The articulation of the language was achieved through fenestration detail, motifs, and surface treatment. It was a culmination of what we have learnt during the past year: line as a representation of space, human anthropometry, site analysis and context.

Language, Representation

Constructing with modular cardboard sheets and beams proved to be a challenge when texture and materiality had to be expressed in the absence of colour. Some studios explored the possibilities of cardboard as structural furniture, terraced platforms and a cantilevered room. Others delighted in expressing the hierarchy of spaces through the variation of height, the control of the fenestration opening and the manipulation of light. The final result was a village consisting of spaces designed by each studio. This village narrated the coming together of individual spaces, spaces embodying the spirit of its architectural language, spaces responding to function and context. Wandering from house to house was akin to travelling through the spaces of Wright, Ando, Loos, Botta, Mies, Kahn and Sloane.

Tan Wei Ming

9


“50 years ago, all architects could draw. By my time, half could draw. Now, none can draw,� Professor Tay Kheng Soon lamented. The first exercise that the Year One students were tasked to do was crucial in addressing this trend. Armed with tools such as the Rotring, T-square and the French curve, we embarked on our architectural education, beginning with technical drawing exercises, which focused on the mastery of line technique and drawing as a representation of space. Through lines, rhythm, geometry and transparency were expressed. With our newfound knowledge of the language of lines, we began to familiarise ourselves with drawing conventions, architectural analysis, and the representation of spatial projection. The subsequent brief was to draw the plan, section, elevation, axonometric and perspective of a historical monument and a modern piece of architecture in Singapore. The challenges most of us faced were how to relate scale from three-dimensional space onto paper, and achieving visual hierarchy by control of line weight and line density. The more successful works showed clear analytical thought through a well-composed panel, accurate scale and succinct lines.

Line Exercise on Platonic Forms Tan Wei Ming (above) Architectural Analysis of Thian Hock Keng Temple and Chee Tong Temple Chan Jiayi Carol (bottom)

10

Tan Wei Ming

Language, Representation


YEAR 02

ANG JIA CONG WILD ARCHITECTURE

Explorations of Constellations and Viewing Angles Felicia Teo (above)

The relationship between architecture and nature, since many decades before, has been one of juxtaposition and cohabitation. Architects and planners have through numerous ways, pushed and pressed the forces of a ‘built environment’ and nature, hoping in the most recent years to merge them coherently into one.

Wild Architecture

Ang Jia Cong

11


As students, the intimate study of nature with mechanisms of architecture not only ripen to produce new aesthetic expressions but also results in buildings that are highly efficient, more durable and require less energy or fewer materials. Unlike most of the places of study from previous designs, in recent projects, we were increasingly exposed to areas ruled by wildlife, with fewer insertions of manmade structures. If any at all, they would undoubtedly catch your eye or be hidden out of sight, camouflaged

12

Ang Jia Cong

by trees. It was almost peculiar to visit these almost rural scenes so different and far away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s busy town life and city center. As a notable tutor from our batch mentioned, “Before anything is placed onto the land, or ‘site’, it is first left to ripen with history.” Perhaps it is more than coincidental that students preferred describing their designs in a forest environment with the keyword ‘Journey’ in its expression

Wild Architecture


Investing the circulation of linear decay, secluded spaces, and intersection, seeking guidance from the mechanisms of decay Theresa Chua (above)

of a travelling tale, borned from a vision and carried forward by the legs of ones galloping mind. Of the many possible routes taken by students, some are landscape determinants, while others prefer non-physical narratives. Others fervently push on green ideas as their key concepts. Be it through directing people from the common route towards forested, unfamiliar regions, relating contrasts of new and old scenes, associating every crate, plantlife or matter to the design, the approaches remain

Wild Architecture

objective in highlighting their individual intentions – some more obscure than others, others simpler than some – but all look to nature as something not simply to incorporate into architecture, but as inspiration for design. As Thomas Knittel, design principal and sustainable design leader of the New York office of HOK explains, “Achieving equilibrium with the environment is where we hope to go with architecture, designing buildings with gradients and responsiveness.”

Ang Jia Cong

13


Exploring the relationships between key buildings on site, slopes, creating several viewing perspectives of varied heights Daniel Tan (right, far right), Lee Yan Tong (below far right) Exhibiting different types of trees and flowers Nadia Nadhira (below, below right)

14

Ang Jia Cong

Wild Architecture


As educated members of society responsible for managing and creating a future for our surroundings and ourselves, we are taught in such a way that anything can be built if it can be designed. With that mindset, we should not take our responsibility for granted. Ultimately, as design students, we may retain the hope that buildings of the future, like nature, will react to environmental conditions and support biodiversity.

Wild Architecture

Ang Jia Cong

15


LOH KIN KIT LEARNING FROM THE COMMUNITY

YEAR 03

The architect works as part of a larger community. He has to accept that his practice will be inextricably linked with society if his work is to have any relevance. Year Three marks a milestone in our education to become architects. Our projects begin to manifest the awareness that architecture is necessarily situated within the larger social, technological and cultural contexts. The project briefs begin to take on a greater realism, as the functional requirements of the brief become more complex and detailed. We also begin to consider an abstracted measure of planning and safety regulations. We realise that projects are no longer shaped solely by the intentions of the architect, but that our buildings necessarily exist within a society that has expectations of the built environment. Our buildings begin to take on a life of their own. We appreciate that our designs exist not just in our drawings, but at some specific physical place, but also that our designs work within a social context that might not have been apparent before. For the Semester Two project, students were tasked to design a dementia care centre, a Buddhist art gallery, or a solar research facility.

Dementia Care Centre Lee Shui Khei left)

16

Loh Kin Kit

Learning from the Community


Dementia Care Centre Tan Yee Lin (above)

CREATING COMMUNITY In the dementia care centre project, students sought to create an environment that was both conducive for the care of the elderly patients, and ideal for fostering healthy interactions between the elderly residents, the general public and students and families that lived in apartments in the care centre. For many students, the intention was to reduce the institutional quality that healthcare facilities often have, while taking into account the constraints faced by dementia patients and their varied physical and psychological impairments. In addressing these considerations, a delicate spatial planning was required. The organisation of spaces had to cater for the heightened privacy requirements of the dementia patients while creating shared spaces that created a sense of community. The projects also required the clarity of spatial organisation in order to aid the navigability of the dementia patients. Interest and spatial variety were also sought in creating a better quality environment for the patients. A number of spatial strategies were explored to deal

Learning from the Community

with this. One of the more commonly used strategies was using the corridor as a means of spatial organisation. The corridor could then serve as a meeting place for the residents and provide a clear means of navigation. Some schemes further utilised the corridor to form a narrative sequence that provided connections across different levels, while offering a secure and spatially interesting route for the dementia patients to wander around. In other schemes, the form of the corridor was altered to create a meandering route or to introduce pockets of gathering spaces, creating a more intimate and communal environment. Another architectural strategy employed was the use of the topography to differentiate and organise the spaces. In utilising the gradient of the topography in section, the layout of the land provides an intuitive clarity to the spatial organisation while the level differences afford privacy. This strategy was most effectively employed at the Clementi site, where the terracing allowed the views towards the river to be captured.

Loh Kin Kit

17


Centre for Buddhist and Art and Culture Bak Jian Xun (above)

CARVING SPACE The chaotic and complicated nature of the site at Geylang exerted a strong shaping influence on the designs. Seemingly at odds with its busy surroundings, many designs responded by adopting platonic and monolithic forms, producing a strong formal presence that seemed to seek autonomy from the diversity and bustling quality of the site. Designs resemble a deliberate excavation, a carving out of architecturally distinctive space from the cluttered and fragmentary nature of the site. Seeking coherence in the architectural section served to drive the clarity of

18

Loh Kin Kit

the designs, as the main consideration for many schemes was the distinctive character of space that could serve to convey the quality of a Buddhist art gallery. As such, the section proved to be the key area of exploration for many projects. Consequently, the skin of the building became an important area of exploration in many designs, taking on multiple roles from serving to mediate the relationship between the interior and exterior spaces, to serving a symbolic role of announcing the presence of the gallery to its surroundings.

Learning from the Community


Solar Research Facility Kew Xun Loong (above)

ENVISIONING SUSTAINABILITY As sustainability concerns increasingly take center stage in architectural discussion, architecture has to embrace the challenges of integrating sustainability and design in a holistic manner. In the solar research facility project, the challenge was in successfully integrating the solar technology with the architectural expression and producing an integrated aesthetic while remaining true to the sustainable concerns that drive the project. Many projects explored the ways in which environmental influences such as wind and sun could serve to shape and inform their designs.

Learning from the Community

Loh Kin Kit

19


YEAR 04 DESIGN

CLIFFORD AUYONG ARCHITECTURE AS INFRASTRUCTURE In Gio Ponti’s Amate l’archittetura (In Praise of Architecture), he asserts, “Pure architecture is a crystal. When it is pure, it is clear like a crystal – magical, closed, exclusive, autonomous, uncorrupted, absolute, definitive like a crystal”. This working definition of architecture is problematic, especially in the contemporary context, as such closed forms disable various agencies which operate within and without the architecture. This conundrum is solved if one understands architecture

20

Clifford Auyong

as infrastructure: organisational frameworks necessary for the operation of society or enterprise. The architecture of infrastructure is an ‘open field’ which accommodates diversity. As agencies fill the framework, the once ‘incomplete’ infrastructure fulfils its potential. The resulting plurality defies closure and total control. Architecture as infrastructure is a viable method to relieve Singapore’s insatiable thirst for urban and

Architecture as Infrastructure


Free standing sea-based structures Gabriel Ng, Nicholas Teoh, Shakthi Vikram (above, left) Retail/Cruise Centre Gabrie l Ng (above)

industrial growth. Positing a future when Singapore’s container ports are overloaded, and expansion on land is not possible, container port infrastructure on sea becomes the best possible solution to ensure the continual development of the important sea trade. In addition to functioning as a container port, the infrastructure can accommodate a gamut of activities: high-density housing and hospitality, commercial and retail, land and rail transport, etc.

While the featured schemes are seemingly architectures of excesses, the schemes really are distilled, and reveal the infrastructure of the architecture. Structural members taking on composite geometries and volumes clearly convey this paring down of excesses to retain only the essence of infrastructure. Through structuralising the architecture, the resulting megastructures enable an organic development, both internally and at the macro scale.

Courtesy of Bobby Wong Studio.

Architecture as Infrastructure

Clifford Auyong

21


22

Clifford Auyong

Architecture as Infrastructure


Seafarer’s Siesta. A work, live and play environment for seafarers Jerome Lim (left) Health resort and vertical salt farming Shakthi Vikram (top) Floor plans for fish tanks, market place and residential apartments Nicholas Teoh (above)

Architecture as Infrastructure

Clifford Auyong

23


JAX TAN EDUCATION & PEDAGOGY

YEAR 04 DTS

On the day of the final crit, my studio was engaged in a feedback session with most of the DTS tutors and the guest critics. We reflected on the past year of education in DTS - the techniques, process and the design explorations, as the guest critics with the experience of working architects confirmed them as essential knowledge for the working world. By the end of the discussion, our confidence of our newfound skills had grown and with certainty, felt that our design, technology and sustainability focused education was more than ever relevant in today’s industry. The premise of this pedagogy is that our endeavour as future designers and/or architects must involve the experience of navigating in a field of continuous “proliferation of ever more materials and new modes of manufacture, assembly and construction management, as well as new software,” precisely as Mr. Peter Buchanan had described. Regardless of studio or studio master, the DTS studios are distinguished by their intention to imbue its students with the four attributes – a sense of critical thinking, sustainable literacy, design maturity and technical imagination. Even as tutors had persisted in the exploration of their interests in their varied design briefs, the content is hardly esoteric and skewed from pedagogical intent.

Patrick Jansen & Abel Tablada Studio Masterplan (above) “… to visit many architectural schools is to enter a time warp where the ‘anything goes’ postmodern relativism of the 1980s persists, and tutors and lecturers pursue their own interests regardless of any larger relevance.” Peter Buchanan, in The Big Rethink: Architectural Education, published in The Architectural Review Oct 2012 Issue

24

Jax Tan

These variations in the tutor interests brought some of us to 1:5000 urban scale, others to a 1:1 construction design detail. Even the sophistication of tools encountered on the design journey varied from parametric to sketch-up to hand-sketching. We interviewed Cheah Kok Ming on DTS education, and the following are some process and/or final drawings by different students that exemplify the four hallmarks of the DTS education.

Education & Pedagogy


Program generative form, Irvin Chia (above) Cell multiplication and generative form, Jax Tan (left)

TECHNICAL IMAGINATION “...Student can use one of the techniques acquired or technical knowledge learnt, and see the potential of it as something to drive the architecture, to the extent it becomes expressive, to the extent it has an innovative quality to the architecture produced.�

Education & Pedagogy

Jax Tan

25


Double-curve large span canopy, Rifdi Sng (top) Isochronic large span canopy detail, Bill Lee (above) Cloud V high rise structure, Tan Ying Yi (left)

DESIGN MATURITY “It ties to critical thinking: of how you address something comprehensively and when you resolve it, the refinement shows sensitivity as well as sensibility. Shinya’s studio investigates different ways of using various timber types effectively, efficiently, creating various kinds from envelope to structure to enclosure. How timber can be used, and how digital design comes in to deal with some of the profile and the shape of the timber in order to achieve some form of optimisation based on shade and form of the material.”

26

Jax Tan

Education & Pedagogy


Back and call cafe sectional perspective, Joyce Ng (above)

SENSE OF CRITICAL THINKING

SUSTAINABLE LITERACY

“...Dealing with criticality is in the rigour of the process, and making an informed judgement based on research, simulation and experiments you have done...for a solution that is a holistic, and not a single dimensional one.

“It is to understand how our actions as a designer, as architect impacts our environment. How we sort of make intelligent choices so as to mitigate the adverse impact.

...Criticality evolves, not just thinking in part of initially identifying the problems, but it also deals with your entire process of making something credible and innovative...by making a judgement call and not be trapped by the tyranny of the method.”

Education & Pedagogy

My studio’s emphasis is really to look at sustainable literacy, specifically at the idea of green transport... the projection of the possibility of cycling in the CBD area. In the set context, students must question how a necessary architecture emerge from that situation.”

Jax Tan

27


YEAR 05 DESIGN

SRI SARAVANAN THESIS PROJECTS

I met a woman at the park and she enquired about my course of study.

a year, your thesis statement is engraved on the tip of your tongue.

I stated, “architecture”. She replied, “siong ah.”

Never mind that there’s so much more to it. That’s what the models and drawings and diagrams and videos and reports are for. The thesis statement boils down to a couple of succinct sentences that encapsulate what compels you to do what you do. The thesis is about you. A “thesis-worthy” topic deals with the sociological, political, ecological, technological, philosophical, habitual… something of wider importance/ relativity (I think). But what makes the project “thesisworthy” is how much it demands of you. Not the late nights or missed dates or printing costs. Rather, as far as I can tell, the amount you invest of yourself in your thesis defines it. The objective data and parameters have to be understood, interpreted and turned over in your mind again and again until you have come up with a response which is not only architecturally satisfying, but intuitively so.

They say that the design thesis is about struggle. It offers the student an opportunity to craft his/her own brief, to explore and address a specific area of interest and to curate a proposal which draws together their cumulative skills and experience. In essence, it is one last opportunity to do whatever the hell you want to. Of course, this entails a great deal of thought, effort and care. In this sense, the design thesis is an apt ending to a long drawn-out education. The thesis is long. It demands an inordinate amount of time to be spent considering one particular thing (albeit in all its facets). You meet someone in the corridor, and they ask, “What’s your thesis about?” You’re eating lunch at the foyer and a tutor walks past: “What’s your thesis about?” By the end of a project which takes the better part of

28

Sri Saravanan

That’s what makes the long struggle worth it, dealing with an issue that’s close to your heart. See, the thesis is the end of your formal architectural education, but it also marks the beginning of the years you’ll spend figuring out what kind of architect you want to be.

Thesis Projects


CRISTAL LIM (URBAN ATELIER) “My thesis attempts to bridge the living patterns of men and nature in Singapore, thus reconciling nature into the urban context. A physical linkage for animals to travel between the Bukit Timah and Bukit Batok Nature Reserves, and a rehabilitation centre is proposed, to raise awareness of their presence and worth through eyes of the people.”

Elaine Lai (above, below)

Cristal Lim (above, facing page)

Thesis Projects

ELAINE LAI (URBAN ATELIER) “The thesis started by questioning the future of the historical Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Despite being gazetted as a national monument, the old railway station has lost its significance as a transportation terminal. Hence, the proposal aims to re-purpose the station as a ‘portal’ in the future, both spatially and programmatically, in order to ensure its continual relevance in the context of the city.”

Sri Saravanan

29


NOVITA JOHANA (HDB ATELIER) “As an attempt to address the issue of rising singlehood in Singapore and the discrimination in public housing provision for singles, this thesis explores two core aspects. Firstly, the introduction of new types of affordable collaborative living for singles. Secondly, the implementation of a new model of interaction within public housing to foster better social interaction among residents and the larger community.” DAWN LIM (HDB ATELIER) “Redesigning the residential community to encourage an alternative lifestyle, one of collaborative practices.   Compact communities where co-working, skill sharing and other collaborative practices unfold in the central shared spine.   In the larger context, these prototypical communities are meant to build up along the green corridor – which acts as a conveyor belt for shared skills, knowledge and for larger scale recreational activities to bleed into the residential precincts.” Novita Johana (top) Dawn Lim (right)

30

Sri Saravanan

Thesis Projects


CHEN HUI HUA (HTC ATELIER) “A cosmopolitan society embraces the Other’s differences, from everyday practices to spectacular foreign cultural events. The cosmopolitan society is a complex mixture of cultural and ordinary activities that are enacted under different spatial circumstances of interaction, subjective positioning and physical proximity. The proposed centre functions as a public space for the different migrant communities to form enclaves and develop cultural continuity. Through reclaiming space belonging to the Other, this centre presents itself as a heterotopia in the city that allows for continual negotiation among the different migrant communities as well as with the larger Singapore society.”

Chen Hui Hua (above) Kevin Ong (below)

PETER THEN (HTC ATELIER) “In response against the 52% residential movement rate in Singapore, the design works as a flexible system that identifies the whole site as a community and provides the basic infrastructure to accommodate basic family units and economical capability. One block enables simultaneous vertical and horizontal expansion, following each family’s needs and growth through time. Every unit shares a common vertical void, to divide and connect to – a negotiable space to inhabit and to design as their own. Hence, these empty spaces form an empty modular template for the community. These empty spaces are designed as a platform for each family unit to expand upon, increasing their floor area based on each need and the will to grow, inhabit, and create.” Peter Then (below)

KEVIN ONG (HTC ATELIER) “The project explores the potentials of an integrative housing for migrant workers and locals in Singapore. This challenges the current practices of how Singapore accommodates the migrant workers, who make their diasporic sojourn to Singapore in hopes of bridging the social divide back in their home country.”

Thesis Projects

Sri Saravanan

31


YEAR 05 DTS

CHERYL LEE THESIS PROJECTS

The DTS thesis is often misunderstood as a computer- and simulationbased design project. While some might fit in that category, many of them also focus on cultural, social and urban issues to propose a sustainable architectural intervention fit for future. An in-depth study into technological facts and figures is required where they are employed into our thesis projects. Simulations and computer tools are also often used to inform and guide our designs. Each project is highly varied with different focuses: construction details and methods, computer tool-based, and new technological applications. The following projects are chosen to show the diverse range of issues addressed in the DTS thesis – land intensification; flexible architecture strategies and techniques; application of new technology; and evolutionary design for an urban issue.

32

Cheryl Lee

Thesis Projects


TEO ZI TONG (MAGNETIC FERROFLUID PATTERN (M.F.P) FAÇADE TECHNOLOGY ) The thesis seeks to engage in a dialogue between the artistic quality of light modification to create a presence in space and the technical re-invention of the solar radiation mitigating system. Magnetic Ferrofluid panels in glass walls automatically regulate façade opacity, shadows and atmosphere in response to sunlight and heat or through human actuation..

LAU SOH YONG (FOUR IN ONE COMMUNITY) This thesis aims to explore the possibility of land intensification in response to the growing population within Singapore’s limited land, by integrating community facilities to create a dynamic environment for learning and social interaction. This FOUR in ONE community hub has saved up to 46% of total land area for four isolated buildings, and developed time-sharing for duplicative programmes, private to public circulation for different user groups and access control points for easier way-finding.

Thesis Projects

Cheryl Lee

33


SITI KHADIJAH BTE AMIR (FLEXIBLE COMMUNITY THEATRE) This thesis focuses on the strategies, techniques and applications that can be applied to achieve flexible architecture. Flexible Architecture discovers the potential of systems and technologies in crafting multi-functional spaces for performing arts and the community. ZHONG HE (COMMUNITY ON THE EDGE) This project investigates the relocation of villagers to the city and town to slow down the pace of desertification in Wuwei, China. The exploration led to the design of a semi-self-sufficient community with a mixed-use building for them to work, live and play. Evolutionary design is employed as a means to optimise the building performance.

CONCLUSION The DTS thesis emphasises on the creative integration of technical knowledge into architectural interventions while considering cultural, social and urban issues. The DTS track challenges students to be able to create an aesthetic and functional design which is performancedriven and relevant for users of the future.

34

Cheryl Lee

Thesis Projects


DISSECTING THE COMMUNE PEOPLE | PLACES THEORETICALLY: A BRIEF CONSIDERATION OF ETHICS IN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION STORYLINES FROM COMMUNE TO COMMUNE WASTE AND RULES IN SPACE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTHENTICITY IN ARCHITECTURE PRACTICE AND EDUCATION THE JOURNEY OF THE PAST YEAR: PAPERSPACE AY 2012-13 SPONSORS

Dissecting the Commune

Edited by Patricia Chia & Jax Tan

35


“Yovos!”. Lome, Togolese Republic, July 2010

36

Tan Tiong Li

People | Places


TAN TIONG LI PEOPLE | PLACES

People | Places

Tan Tiong Li

37


Cardboard Ladies Berlin, Germany, Aug 2012 Street Acts Amsterdam, Netherlands, Aug 2012

38

Tan Tiong Li

People | Places


Bicycle, Candy Floss and Records Brooklyn, USA, Oct 2012

People | Places

Tan Tiong Li

39


Public Space, My Space Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb 2013

40

Tan Tiong Li

People | Places


A Place of Our Own London, UK, July 2010 My Daily Commute Arnhem, Netherlands. Aug 2012

People | Places

Tan Tiong Li

41


Rural mind, urban life Hanoi, Vietnm, Feb 2013 Rush hour AHanoi, Vietnm, Feb 2013

42

Tan Tiong Li

People | Places


Let’s Do a Morning Cheer Hanoi, Vietnm, Feb 2013

People | Places

Tan Tiong Li

43


TAN QIAN ROU THEORETICALLY: A BRIEF CONSIDERATION OF ETHICS IN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION “I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to consecrate my life to the service of humanity…” “The health of my patient will be my first consideration…” “I will not permit considerations (of any factors of discrimination) to intervene between my duty and my patient…” “I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties even under threat…” “I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.” -The Declaration of Geneva The undertaking of a professional degree comes with an understanding that the degree-holder has certain qualifications unique to their profession. In medicine, this is obvious; the impact on human life is a serious responsibility, and medical boards uphold the Declaration of Geneva with utmost gravity. Any suspicion of malpractice comes under rigorous review, and as a result of their internal policing, the medical profession is afforded a high degree of respect. Medical students are given an understanding of the responsibilities they hold toward patients and their families, as a mandatory part of their education process. It becomes the foundation and cornerstone of their training and education, aiding them in establishing a code of conduct for their practice. When it comes to architecture, the consequences of altering the human environment are undoubtedly serious, although the effects may not be as immediate or visible. Practicing architects must handle legal matters such as building codes, safety regulations and material standards. They are also obligated to respect the environment and site conditions, urban-planning guidelines, cultural and societal norms.

44

Tan Qian Rou

Of course, good design and aesthetics are also a part of what an architect must provide in their professional output. While many graduates go on to work in various other fields, the ultimate aim of an architectural education is to cultivate future architects. So in addition to training students in design, methodology, design representation and theory, should future architects, like future doctors, not also be made aware of the immense responsibility they have towards humanity, society and the environment? How aware are we, as we progress through our architectural training, of the results of our future actions? Should education institutes place emphasis on the ethical slant of certain projects? Should ethics even factor into the student’s consideration of the design brief at all? The studio system attempts to emulate the real world through its basic premise: the brief. The brief gives us a starting point: a site, a project goal, and parameters to operate by. Sometimes we get more background information on the site and the architecture we are attempting to create, but more often than not, the onus is on us to gather information and research. Naturally, this

Theoretically: A Brief Consideration of Ethics in Architectural Education


starts out on a large scale; the physical attributes of the site, human density, circulation and other urban factors, sometimes a historical analysis of the site. As each student finds something interesting in the project, they whittle it down based on the concept they’ve decided to explore in their project. And by the time the final models and panels are submitted, everyone has something different, some architecture of their own creation. There always comes a time where we look at the work of our peers and evaluate their standards. Too black. Too much concrete. What’s with the form? Anyone who steps in there is going to die from being overheated. Too radical. Too safe, their tutor will never be amazed by that. And that is more of an issue than we realise; perhaps it’s not obvious in NUS, where we are constantly reminded of fire codes, M/E requirements and how we never have enough staircases and lifts, but highly radical and innovative projects are prevalent in many other schools out there. Sometimes we look through dossiers published by other institutes and balk at the impossibility of their work, or maybe wish that we ourselves could be bold enough to try something like that. When we sit back and think of our own work, though, do we see how ‘safe’ and ‘practical’ we are, compared to others, or do we perhaps come to the realisation that some of the concepts we push forth and sell are equally as impractical? Architecture students, no matter where they are, are always trapped in the hypothetical situation. In studio, we experience no moral obligations in dealing with hypothetical design problems. Yes, we are all aware of the issues of sustainability, respect, public convenience and other such terms that we are told to consider in our design process. Yet, it is almost implicit,

Theoretically: A Brief Consideration of Ethics in Architectural Education

understandable and sometimes unavoidable that in the course of the project, we are unable to reconcile these factors with the bigger concerns of aesthetics and space. So we put them on the back burner, sometimes sloppily force them into the design, or otherwise discard them altogether. The most obvious example of this is how some of us approach structure in our design projects. No doubt, while structure is also reliant on the input of the structural engineer, it is the ultimate responsibility of the architect, who green lights the construction process. At the end of the day, principle architects can only sign off and permit the construction of a building which is safe, reliable and usable. It is a matter of principle and duty. Still, many of us subscribe to the principles of cardboard architecture: if my model stands, the structure is fine. We do not think about the consequences of applying this same mentality to a real-world situation. It is perfectly alright; in the hypothetical situation, we do not experience building failure that results in death. Contrary to the hypothetical situation, sustainability is a huge area of concern in the reality of the building industry. With the dwindling of resources and the environmental impact inherited from prior decades of architecture and planning, we are certainly starting to witness the consequences of unethical design habits. In the US, the suburban sprawl and reliance on automobile for transport puts a heavy load on fuel consumption. Such are the detriments of myopic American urban planning in the 50s. With the observation of relatable design failures, there is thus an increasing urgency to impart sustainable literacy through the education system. Currently, student projects rarely reflect cognition of sustainable concepts and issues like global

Tan Qian Rou

45


warming, carbon footprints and waste outputs. It is not simply the absence of active implementation; it is almost as if the concept of sustainability only hinders our pursuit of architecture design. Perhaps it does not seem relevant to us as students, living from project to project, and one building at a time. Still, the architecture of an era comprises many individual projects, and it is not wild to think that your single project may inform the community at large, no matter how minor its impact. Do we not then, have responsibilities as architects, to ensure that we concern ourselves as individuals and subsequently as a community, with the impact our profession makes on earth? When sustainability is not a concern that comes very naturally to us in the design process, should schools not aim to rectify this, perhaps even enforce it in the way that they teach design? Concerns of sustainability, regulations and codes are, at least, tangible and easy for designers to respond to. Harder to resolve is the moral dilemma when it comes to issues of respect. Many current year 3 students will recall the housing project undertaken in 2012, semester 2, where we dealt with a site in Geylang. They may also recall that several of our peers chose prostitutes as their target clientele, and the subsequent controversy and debate that followed on the moral and ethical implications of architecture for what many may see as an immoral profession. It is, however, speculative, seeing as how professional architects rarely get to choose their clients their work. Nonetheless, it raises an important issue: as professionals, should we discriminate against certain

46

Tan Qian Rou

social groups? Wang Shu’s Pritzker Prize ceremony speech refers to architecture as “the most public of art forms. No other art form serves as many billions of people.” As much as the design of architecture is an “art form”, serving its inhabitants are also a fundamental characteristic of what we do. Keeping this in mind, the example of the housing project becomes increasingly interesting; given that prostitution is a legal profession in Singapore, the only offense we might take as architects is the overstepping of our personal moral boundaries. In this example, where architecture may be used to affect the lives of the client group in any number of ways, should we use housing to better the lives of these prostitutes, by affording them more privacy and improving their work and living environment, or at the very least, help them create a safe space in which to carry out their living? Or we may say that we could create deliberately uncomfortable spaces, to create discomfort for clients and therefore decrease the incidents of prostitution. Which is more ethical - the betterment of the lives of a small group of people, or the destructive move which adheres to a conservative point of view? Do we make a choice based on sympathy, pity, or even guilt? Would that be considered more ‘ethical’ than a utilitarian approach? The debate in moral philosophy is varied and expansive, and generally we may agree that there is no real way of knowing what is the most ethical thing to do, other than to make an educated guess. More importantly, as students, do we consider the consequences of our choices? Should we need to?

Theoretically: A Brief Consideration of Ethics in Architectural Education


Thus, the hypothetical nature of design schemes in studio cultivates in us the habit of speculation. We look upon our projects as successes as long as aesthetically they deliver, no matter how substantiated they are. Rather, the determining factor in our decision-making is the degree of worry we experience while considering the crit panel’s reaction to a choice. We take a gamble with our grades, and sometimes it fails. When we apply this to a real-world situation, what happens when quality of life becomes the real stake instead? Would the risktaking behaviour we’ve learnt through a lack of moral consequence in school be detrimental? One solution that might seem obvious is a stricter regulation of output and methodology in the design process. We must, however, tread carefully to avoid limiting a student’s articulation of design concepts. And as students, is it not beneficial to us that the hypothetical situation exists? Being part of an educational institution allows us to explore concepts, forms, interpretations and methods otherwise deemed unacceptable or risky in the professional working world. The purpose of an institute is not merely education, but also academic inquiry and the development of ideas. Should risky projects in a hypothetical world not be celebrated, if only for their exploration of the potential of architecture? It might be conceivable to integrate ethical considerations into our education through debate, constant feedback, and rigorous theoretical drilling. Yet architecture, by any measure, is highly subjective when it comes to proper evaluation; we base our grades on the opinions of several tutors who might have ideas, stands and philosophies divergent from ours, or amongst

Theoretically: A Brief Consideration of Ethics in Architectural Education

themselves. How is it possible to judge if a project is ethical, then, when we have established that moral knowledge is not easily defined? Instead of completely supporting or condemning the hypothetical situation, might we not instead strive to make students aware of it, and therefore understand the implications of this for their future professional lives? Architect: from the Latin ‘architectus’, which in turn was taken from the Greek ‘arkhitekton’, a combination of ‘arkhi’ (chief) and ‘tekton’ (builder). That was what we were then: builders. Putting up buildings in the most efficient way possible. A building was the combination of the efforts and styles of various craftsmen, workers and the socio-economic and geographic definitions of a civilization. Even an architect, a chief builder, was merely someone who had the power, capital and capability to command a project. But we have progressed beyond that. Architects today have more impact on the world and society than we realize. Even so, the closest we have to a solemn oath acknowledging these responsibilities is our codes of conduct, set out by our regulatory boards. The American Institute of Architects’ Code of Ethics (2012) makes references to ‘competence’, obeying the law and respecting the client, in what is perhaps just a halfhearted method of preserving the professional image of architecture, rather than considering, like the medical profession, our duties to society. Will we one day swear to further the advancement of civilisation, preserve our history and better the lives of humanity? Will architects one day promise to provide safe haven and shelter for every man, or will we forever simply be builders?

Tan Qian Rou

47


NATALIE CHEUNG BRIAN KHOO STORYLINES Paolo > the boot prints in the snow
 --- the irony of the hunter and hunted

 story is that the hunter
goes out in search for the deer




 and meanwhile the deer wanders into the comfort of the hunter’s own courtyard




 Paola > amidst the snowy weather



 
 where the hunter is still out








 totally clueless that the deer is in his house Paolo > and eating off the snacks that the hunter had stored for the winter ... Paolo > this reminded me of somewhere some kind of animal should be hiding within this place like something small, furry and quick Paola > like a fox! it reminds of a small hideout of a man who stays there seasonally only for short periods of time Paolo > and a small fox visits him once in a while usually during autumn Paola > its hiding space its play area ... Paolo > i like moths for this one it felt like a contemplative space private and yet so surrounded by nature when you first step in its the light that comes from the ceiling the ways of the walls that make you feel as if things were gonna creep through some place where nature takes over ...

48

Natalie Cheong & Brian Khoo

Storylines


Richard Ho’s Studio Photographer, Brian Khoo (top left) Imran Bin Tajudeen’s Studio Photographer, Brian Khoo (far left) Tiah Nan Chyuan’s Studio Photographer, Brian Khoo (left)

Storylines

Natalie Cheong & Brian Khoo

49


Roland Sharpe’s Studio Photographer, Gabriel Ng (top left) Ross Logie’s Studio Photographer, Ng Yi Loong (top right) Wu Yen Yen’s Studio Photographer, Brian Khoo (bottom)

50

Natalie Cheong & Brian Khoo

Storylines


Paolo > i drew one of this guy returning home he has a slicked back hairstyle and is puffing on a cigarette in his black leather jacket and backpack Paola > the only sound you hear is the tapping of his feet and the sound of his inhalation if that can even be heard Paolo > no its a quiet mumble which no one will ever hear and he will turn his head in slight disdain Paola > such a poet Paolo > over the matters of the day Paola > yes yes yes it’s perfect ... Paola > a ghost boy has been haunting this vacation house for many, many years he never does anything to the people who comes and goes but he is lonely and quite bored of his ghost life Paolo > he stands in a corner as life goes on around him it’s a sad way to live if you ask me ... Paolo > i imagined this one to be really grand Paola > like an european house somewhere in venice Paolo > and with all european houses there would be a dog probably allowed to roam around the place and sprawled around the bed like part of the family Paola > it should be an akita i like akitas ...

Storylines

Natalie Cheong & Brian Khoo

51


Paola > this makes me warm and fuzzy it makes me wanna drink some hot chocolate and sit by a fire place with my cats Paolo > yeah i could imagine sleeping comfortably on the desk sort of reminds you of home studio as home ... Paolo > this place would be one which is pretty classy Paola > a man in a suit Paolo > at the violin stand where a young lady stands Paola > a young lady in a gown Paolo > or dinner dress slightly nervous, looking at the violin stand Paola > perhaps she wandered in as a guest but the violin reminded her of something she couldn’t quite put her finger on Paolo > perhaps the first time her parents brought her to an orchestra performance but she was a little too young to remember so she gave no thought to it ...

Big thank you to Paolo & Paola!

52

Natalie Cheong & Brian Khoo

Storylines


Ross Logie’s Studio Photographer, Natalie Cheung (top left, right) Wu Xin Yan’s Studio Photographer, Teo Chia Kai (bottom)

Storylines

Natalie Cheong & Brian Khoo

53


SANDRA LEE & MELANIE MIAO RAN FROM COMMUNE TO COMMUNE Many of us draw a blank when asked about our experience in NUS. How do you begin to consolidate and make sense of your past years of education so that they may be accessible to someone unfamiliar with the system? Is there a way of rationalising these experiences so that a coherent logic in the accumulation of knowledge may be derived? The reason for this sudden retrospection was that I was on my way to meet another architecture student to share our experiences of architecture school. Both of us were in our third year of school but from different universities; I study at NUS and Miao Ran at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). By all accounts of returning exchange students who attest to the vast differences in the way architecture is taught at various institutions, we might as well have been conversing in different languages. To our surprise, we found that the design pedagogies in the first two years at both schools were pretty similar. The intial years explored the different methodologies architectural designers can take on during their explorations. To quote Miao Ran, “In the first year, we were focusing on using materials or different architectural elements as the springboard for small scale buildings of purer forms. The two projects in year two were parallel to each other; one concerned with site specific investigation, and the other focused on exploring a particular building typology.” Third year is where the differentiation occurs. At ESALA, the design pedagogy is consistently centred on design methodologies1. Although their cohort is distinctly separated into three units each with its own exploration objectives, they share the commonality of being open to different modes of thinking and

54

Sandra Lee & Melanie Miao Ran

architectural design. Whereas for us at NUS, third year is a departure from the previous years as the brief not only sets out a starting point which identifies the building typology but also goes on to specify the breakdown of spaces by function. It is unlike the progression of previous years where the students had the liberty to define the spaces required from their concepts. From the way briefs are designed to the assessment structure, design education is guided by its pedagogical intents; these are in turn shaped by units each with its own exploration objectives, they share pedagogical intents; these are in turn shaped by units each with its own exploration objectives, they share the commonality of being open to different modes of thinking and architectural design. Whereas for us at NUS, third year is a departure from the previous years as the brief not only sets out a starting point which identifies the building typology but also goes on to specify the breakdown of spaces by function. It is unlike the progression of previous years where the students had the liberty to define the spaces required from their concepts. From the way briefs are designed to the assessment structure, design education is guided by its pedagogical intents; these are in turn shaped by society’s views on the purpose of education.

From Commune to Commune


The discussion revealed diverging schools of thought which sparked a long dialogue on the relative merits of different design pedagogies in relation to expectations of the function of architectural education.

Sandra Lee (SL): On the subject of briefs, does ESALA’s projects have pre-defined programmatic requirements? Miao Ran (MR): In a certain sense we were defining our own brief. The teaching is sort of looser in the sense that you are given quite a bit of freedom but it also meant that you have to define your approach with a very definitive line of reasoning if not your project falls apart very easily. The difference between year one and two compared to year three, is that in the latter, the point of investigation becomes more specific. 1 Miao Ran: “For example, Unit One was focused on the natural features of the environment. Each student was given the task of creating an instrument to record a certain quantifiable aspect of the environment on the Kerrera Island in Scotland, famous for its harsh weather conditions. This instrument, which might possibly measure rainfall, wind or water retention, is then transformed into a spatial condition following the student’s own choice of strategy. Towards the end of the investigation, a suitable programme is fitted into the space. The other units all had different starting points: Unit Two with the experiential side of the site while Unit Three focused on the social and built environment. What was similar in all three units was that each student is given quite a large portion of responsibility in finding a suitable architecture for the parameter on site that was identified and investigated. Instead of starting with the brief and programme and working the spaces out and giving a meaning to their organisation, we were tasked to pick out a certain meaning and then organise our spaces and programme around that.” 2 Miao Ran: “In our third year for example, the three learning outcomes are: (1) Ability to adhere to a design methodology that builds on the conceptual framework and key theoretical, cultural, and representational concerns outlined in the project brief. (2) Knowledge of the ways in which research and analysis of context, program and construction inform architectural design and the ability to synthesize these concerns to develop a coherent architectural proposal. (3) Ability to communicate research findings and design proposals using appropriate and varied modes of visual, verbal and written production. We are given three grades and then the final grade is an average of them.”

From Commune to Commune

SL: I think that when briefs are prescriptive there is a risk of students being too fixated on base requirements especially when the grading system is perceived to take the list of requisites as the base line. Different students have various influences which are brought to bear on their work, so for each brief there should technically be a pool of unique design responses. Yet around studio, many of the projects seem similar, the converging point being the base requirements. Some projects lose their individuality because students felt pressured to cut short the development process for fear of not being able to pull together a final design. And those who were unable to resolve the required spaces satisfactorily into the organising principle of their concept had to compromise their concept for a sub-par project in order to meet the basic expectations. It is a pity and I felt that the prescriptive brief and system of grading has actually resulted in a loss in the diversity of projects. As you had mentioned before, your projects have more open briefs, so how do professors grade such a diverse range of projects? MR: Well, we are graded by learning outcomes which are basically the requirements that we need to meet for our projects.2 The focus is lesser on functionality and

Sandra Lee & Melanie Miao Ran

55


more on logic. If the markers can follow the thought processes in your project and you did show consideration of architectural elements, certain lack of functional requirements might be overlooked. I always think back to this building that my course mate had created where the steel structure literally moved so the facade and the spaces inside could be living and breathing. Although there was no way of constructing that, the validity of the project was focused more on the design methodology than its feasibility. But that doesn’t mean you can make anything. There are basic limitations to what the professors accept as an architectural project. There was this guy who submitted a video as his architecture proposal and he was trying to find a link between cinematics and space. Although his method might be valid, his spatial analysis was very much lacking: his final conclusion was that ‘your mind is architecture’. The rest of us who saw it were like, woah deep. But the professors rejected it saying that the analysis must translate into a physical composition of space to constitute a studio design project. SL: Haha that’s pretty epic. In a way, I think our brief does give a sense of security as everyone has a consensus as to what is expected of the works and thus we do not see projects that are way off tangent. More often than not, however, it has limited the willingness of students to experiment beyond the boundaries set out in the briefs. If methodology is an important component of the assessment how do you guys manage present your process when panels normally only hold final drawings? We have 6 A1s but it is difficult to fit in process stuff after the final drawings have gone in. MR: 6A1s that’s a luxury! In second year our submitted panel is only one extended A0 (something like a square A0) which has all our final and development drawings and this is accompanied by the final model and portfolio documenting process. The assessment is of the whole package, each component contributes to a third of our grades. That may be why our grading takes forever because they need time to review the process and the product to understand the project. They look at the rigor of the investigative process and how you work the spaces out according to your logic.

56

Sandra Lee & Melanie Miao Ran

SL: Wow patience. If the process is so important the meetings with the tutors each week must be really critical. What are your studios like and how often do you meet your tutors? We have twelve studios of about eleven students each and two tutors per studio. Studios are conducted every Monday and Thursday. MR: Oh no, so you guys work over the weekends? The school encourages us to work within the week so critique sessions are held at the end of the work week. With regards to tutors…that is a really high tutor to student ratio you have! Our three units of 25-30 students are only assigned two tutors per unit, one permanent and one part time. Critique sessions are every Friday with optional Tuesday sessions if they feel the need for extra meet-ups. Generally one tutor follows your progress through the whole semester and other tutor comments during interim critiques. By the fifth week we get preliminary grades from the tutors and that gives us an idea as to how our projects are progressing. Our final critiques are across all three units so we get a chance to see what the others have been working on. SL: That’s interesting! The structure of that assessment actually seems to mitigate the risks involved in design experimentation. Our critique sessions do indicate how we fare but largely dependent on how tutors word their comments. So a tangible mid-term assessment may be a better gauge of the progress of our projects and motivates us to work towards the grade we are aiming for. Furthermore, the design method is documented in the portfolio and weighted equally against the final drawings and model. This process of grading reduces the impression that methodology is not important and may encourage students to push the envelope in design without having to worry about compromising our academic performance. To their credit, I think the school recognises the need to review our process and so this year’s assessment was done differently. We had the same panel of tutors for interim and final critique so they were able to follow us through the different stages of our design. I apologise if our conversation is becoming mired in assessment practices but it addresses a concern of students here because there is a sense that our school’s methods of

From Commune to Commune


appraisal and structuring of the brief deters students from testing limits. At least, that’s the feeling I get from the title of the upcoming TAS debate, “Architectural education in Singapore breeds unoriginality”. Are there aspects of ESALA’s education system that students feel need to be re-evaluated? Afterall, ESALA’s design pedagogy has a different focus; coming from the other end do you feel that there is a disconnect in the way design is conducted in school as compared to what you have experienced in your internships? MR: Well I did an internship back in London at a small firm. In general, the briefs are quite similar to what you described for your projects in terms of the detail to which the spaces are specified. The design aspect deals mostly with the immediate context like where to orientate the entrance and so forth which is unlike what we do in school where the concept is the progenitor of the design. I think it’s partially due to the strict regulations that constrain what the architect is able to experiment with, so that was his way of designing within restrictions; of which one might consider a methodology in itself. I am currently interning at a local firm here and I think in Asia it is actually more possible to work from concept. For most of the projects from this firm that I’ve seen, they work through various concepts to find one that suits the brief and site. The regulations seem a bit more lax for example there was this project where they were able to build up to the plot boundary, but that was in Malaysia, haha. SL: I don’t think there is anything wrong with the school’s intention of trying to acquaint us with industry practices. In fact, in Singapore schools are more likely to face flak for teaching material that students or parents feel have no relevance to actual work experience. I don’t know if it’s a socio-cultural thing particular to Singapore, but there seems to be an emphasis on practicality in our education. So the way our syllabus and assessment is structured may just be symptomatic of our education system and the checklist is probably the school’s way of quantifying this learning. But perhaps it is equally important to ask if such a structure is appropriate when

From Commune to Commune

applied to architecture. MR: For me I think that an architectural education is really broad in the sense that there is the practical bit which is much more about construction and regulations and there is the exploration bit which is more about how you design things to achieve the expectations of experience, utility and aesthetics. I have felt like the separation of learning in work and school is sort of beneficial in the sense that in school we get the freedom to explore internally and which design methodology fits the way a designer works whereas in work, we learn about the external constraints and possibilities in functionality, regulations and construction. I get a sense that your school is very much focused on the latter which could be very beneficial to your work experience. SL: That’s true, but I feel that there needs to be innovation in design which is why experimentation is so important. By innovation I don’t mean stylistic changes but new ideas brought about by changing conditions in our environment. New lifestyles, changing social norms and the advancement of material technology prevents stagnancy in design because the basic premise for tried and tested designs will be challenged by these changes. The important thing is for designers to be sensitive to new developments and constantly test different possibilities. Testing ideas is important in design because it is the impetus for st arting on the process in the first place. Just because tried and tested works does not mean we should skip the testing phase and design from there. Singapore’s education system has often been criticized for being rigid, too preoccupied with the assessment of practical knowledge. In architecture school, where much of the knowledge is acquired from learning how to test ideas, this antiquated system is even less relevant. But so long as we continue to expect to have quantifiable returns on our education there will always be a disjunction between assessment and learning. As students perhaps it’s time to let go of our gradesdependency and manual formats for reassurances that we are learning.

Sandra Lee & Melanie Miao Ran

57


MR: Not to say that it is safe but following proven methods of design is very much pragmatic and probably suits Singapore’s education system very well. In my school there was this Unit in the third year that was about parametric design and the larger implication was how virtual architecture can possibly be the emergent way of thinking and defining buildings in this digital age. It is great to innovate and it sounds exciting but there is always that element of doubt and insecurity both on the tutor’s side and on the student’s side as to whether this methodology works or would prove to be a method of design. So in the studio, we are constantly defining the unit and learning at the same time. The process of investigation might be more intensive but I personally don’t think that this method of learning is suitable for everyone and many more realistic students end up questioning the legitimacy of this method of enquiry and whether it really enhances learning at this stage. So there is a danger there too. So I think the most important aspect is to provide choices for students. The education in NUS might be considered too one-sided and that is the problem. SL: I think recapping all these episodes of my school life has allowed me to reflect upon my time here with greater clarity so thank you for sharing. MR: Thank you as well. ENDNOTE As students, we have always wondered if we had learnt anything from our years of architecture education, after all this is not a course that has a textbook format to its content. This dialogue answered my initial query through a process of recollection and comparison of ideas. The thorough reflection revealed many gems of wisdom picked up over the years; learning in architecture school was much more about practice and identifying the knowledge we have gained through personal and selfdriven investigations in studios. Whilst the breadth of architectural knowledge makes it difficult for schools

58 58

Sandra Lee & Melanie Miao Jax Tan Ran

to accommodate all learning expectations, it is also what makes it exciting as a field for individuals of varied interests. If anything, there is mutual consensus that walking this path has trained us to chart our own course of scholarship; which is perhaps the best possible outcome of any education. Miao Ran is currently doing her internship in Singapore during this planned break in ESALA’s syllabus to allow students to gain work experience. Sandra is taking the opportunity to re-establish her social groups outside of Architecture and greatly anticipates her coming exchange trip.

FromWaste Commune and Rules to Commune in Space


JAX TAN WASTE AND RULES IN SPACE

Few things are constant in the architecture school environment. The first is that studio heat, humidity and odour peak near final submission periods. The second is that whenever there are people in studio, waste is produced. Ordinarily, different types of waste are generated through our daily studio routines; decided waste from lines and diagrams we couldn’t get right, unintended waste such as mucus-filled tissue from a random sneeze, and of course there is waste produced from food, packaging, wasted material… And in order to control the mess, the dustbin was invented to contain and saturate the odour, clutter and decay at designated points in space. This clever piece of apparatus allows for meaningful use and activity to continue in other points in space. As the amount of accumulated waste increases, the spatial radii of bad smell, germ and matter also increase proportionally, thereby encroaching into the space of meaningful activity. A new constant emerges as a reaction to this phenomenon; someone empties the dustbin into a bigger dustbin elsewhere beyond the spatial boundary of meaningful activity, allowing for continual meaningful activity throughout the semester. And so emerges the relationship between dustbins and meaningful activity.

Waste and Rules in Space

While this has been the observed pattern for the last three years, it is notable that this year the pattern was broken. In the studios, dustbins are no longer placed at their regular three-metre distance from one another. All the dustbins from the year four and five crit rooms were also removed. Instead, the 500mm tall bins had been chained side-by-side outside of the studio environment, pushed into one stair core at the back of the building. At the very least, a mandatory walking distance across a 5m corridor through two doors is required for the mundane task of throwing away a used piece of tissue. Otherwise the only other options available are either to stuff the used tissue back into a pocket, or throw it onto the ground. For small things that fit into the pocket… sure! But what about the empty container of coffee, or leftover material from model making that simply couldn’t fit through the doorway, let alone the back pocket? Well, they simply get “leftover”, and contribute to the accumulation of stench, germ, and waste volume throughout the studio. The trash accumulation in studio is devastating to the point that there is no space to lay out your drawings to show your tutor because someone left their wood scraps on the table, and another person left some acrylics lying around. Or the new uncertainty you experience when looking for an unoccupied computer in the computer lab

Jax Tan

59


60

Jax Tan

Waste and Rules in Space


Diagram showing relationship of dustbins and meaningful activity Through time, as the radii of bad smell, germ and waste volume increases, the space for meaningful activity decreases

because you’re not quite sure if the takeaway paper cups beside the keyboard meant that the seat was already taken. Or the horror in accidentally drinking from a paper cup you had intuitively reached for and realising the coffee is a week stale. Evidently, the absence of accessible dustbins has resulted in work spaces that are unfit for use, disallowing meaningful activity or work to take place. As such, the new points in space of designated dustbin locations are clearly inefficient to its initially observed function to contain trash from around a certain radii relative to its location. These rules to govern the cleanliness of space only work if they are sensitive to the behaviour and habits of those it apply to. Imposing rules that are anything other than logical to inhabitants’ day-to-day interactions with space clearly defeat its intended purpose of better serving its users. The state of mess in the studio due to leftover trash collection has encroached into meaningful activity in studio. Furthermore, the original fear of fire hazard that had led to the removal of dustbins in the studios has only grown stronger. Not illogically, trash in studios

Waste and Rules in Space

is the single-most formidable threat to fire safety, rather than the trashcans themselves. If anything, the containment of trash at accessible points in space will eventually help fire-fighters isolate the source of fire to those points first in the case of a fire emergency. For the health and safety of the studio communities, we plead for the rightful reinstatement of dustbins at their original locations in our studios. In the worst case scenario of conservative adherence to the fire safety rules, we recommend the equal redistribution of trash cans and dustbins at all stair cores. Finally and more importantly, the sustenance of fire safety and healthy air levels in our studios can only be maintained if the bins are emptied daily. This is the most consequential prerequisite to the cycle of trash collection, and necessary for the continual meaningful activity of education throughout the semester. As long as this prerequisite is met, the worries of stench, germs and clutter that are associated with having dustbins in studio can be squelched.

Jax Tan

61


ON THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTHENTICITY IN ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE AND EDUCATION Seated comfortably under a warm pendant “MILO” tin can light at Food For Thought @ Botanic Gardens, Jeffrey Chan (JC), Teo Yee-Chin (TYC), Patricia Chia (PC) and Jax Tan (JT) came together on the 23 of May 2013 to have an intimate discussion on authenticity – a conversation that was casual but every bit serious in its intent. PC: Do you think that an authentic agenda is valid, either It is very difficult to answer whether I consciously pursue being authentic in my work, because what’s not being in architecture education and/or practice? authentic? Everything that we respond to, I think is authentic. You have an idea, and then you try to translate TYC: What do you mean by authentic? If you were it to a product. That action is influenced by things like to start with a precedent in a project, is it considered context, constraints or history. Constraints could be inauthentic? the economic requirements, and who’s to say that’s not authentic? PC: No, I think it is the way in which we interface with the precedent that determines whether or not we are TWO CAMPS OF AUTHENTICITY – authentic. In my experience working at your firm, YeeChin, you look at precedents to study the way in which CONSERVATIVE VS RELATIVISTIC materials behave to better understand them. To me that is critical and authentic. You also use materiality JC: Responding to what Yee-Chin has said, I would like as a means through which you can be generative about to add here that the discourse on authenticity actually architecture. Is this a conscious agenda through which has two dialectical sides to it. On one side, usually you hope to achieve authenticity? the people who push for authenticity come from the TYC: Yes. But before I get to “how”, we need to consider “why” and “where” we do the architecture. The origins of architecture are much more problematic than the narrow scope that I finally define for myself in studying the material; I can be selective about my clients, I can choose not to build overseas to have control over construction and material. If we talk about the “how”, to work with material is one way that I can keep to some sort of internally-coherent principle, other than maximum space or maximum sellable area, which to me are external of architecture.

62

Patricia Chia

conservative political right of the spectrum. This political camp tries to argue for some genuine essence, something truthful to itself, authentic and real, that is somehow differentiated from the false, the unreal, the kitschy and the inauthentic. However, the counter-arguments against this conservative argument tend to be couched in the language of relativism, where we say that we can’t talk about the authentic because the authentic depends on what you’re talking about and where you’re coming from. And I’m not saying that Yee-Chin is relativistic, I think we sometimes have to rely on these relativistic arguments to

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education


make a certain point. I accept your point that everyone is coming from different positions—who is to say that a certain way of using, making or transacting with a building is inauthentic or authentic? We have to recognise that while these are a set of dialectics that structure the discourse, they tend to slip past each other making it very difficult to engage in this discussion. So it is important for us in this short discussion to find a hinge between the two discourses. PC: Off-hand do you have any examples in mind of particular architectural firms that engage in the former and latter? JC: Off the cuff, the guys who did Seaside, Florida and New Urbanism such as Andrés Duany, who believed that there is a quintessential characteristic that defines a neighbourhood, would be part of the first group. For the other group, Rem Koolhaas would say that you can’t find authenticity. Strangely, the intertwine between the authentic and the inauthentic is so severe that if you think about it, New Urbanism came about through the discourse of Post-modernism in architecture. But in the same way, the idea that there is an anti-foundationalist discourse where you can’t quite define what is authentic and come up with a discrete list of what counts as

authentic, also came from the Post-modern discourse, where you do not have one meaning that you can adhere to.

AUTHENTICITY AND IDENTITY TYC: What I want to add is that most practices may not see the authentic as important. I think unless you are very moralistic and have to be honest, pure and true, it’s not so important. But if you’re talking about architectural practice, maybe it’s just about whether the work is good, whether it works. So whether the architect was true to his principles or not, is that really important? PC: Personally when I design, I interpret the authentic as a way of expressing myself through my work. So if one were to copy and paste, the ‘you’ would not be evident in the production of one’s work. Don’t architects want to express their own beliefs and certain predilections for a particular formal language, or a way with dealing with material and structure? TYC: I think in order to practice architecture, and still be relatively happy—not very depressed or suicidal, you need to take these things at a distance. You can’t be saying that every day I must realise my dream. If you do that you

Competition entry for Masjid Punggol, Red Bean Architects (Author: Red Bean Architects)

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education

Patricia Chia

63


will be a very miserable architect. After practice, you realise that every single plan that you draw will definitely receive input from your client. You are actually working in collaboration with the other person and the rest of the team involved. Your idea didn’t start the project, his brief and his requirements for his building did. So as an architect, you’re not really at the top. Let’s put it this way, if I’m the designer and I’m prepared to tell my client, “I’m not going to care about your brief, I’m just going to build it. Trust me, it will be beautiful and you will like it.” I find that to be very pretentious. PC: I’m not saying that being authentic means that you disregard the context or any input. But rather that your way of dealing with the demands of the client is original. JC: May I also add a bit of perspective here. If you think about it, the topic of authenticity usually comes about when some identities are being destabilised – when we are searching for some identity. So if we look back into the history of architecture, we will find that during a particular point in modern architecture, this idea of unique identity was not very important. But rather what happened to a certain group of modern architects such as CIAM, is that they grouped themselves together and identified themselves as people who would operate on a particular canon of aesthetics. And really if you look at their buildings, barring some difference, you really cannot quite tell who designed what. They all adhered to certain precepts of modern architecture, i.e. international style. So if we look at that, but with our modern hindsight, we may then accuse them of being inauthentic, because each one of them were, for the lack of a better word, imitating each other. But really they were not, because to them they felt that this was the most authentic way of addressing what they see as a universal problem of urbanism that is plaguing imperial Europe and colonised sections of the world which were built according to this European aesthetic and was considered bad and unsavoury. There is definitely some element of authenticity that is intrinsic to the historical milieu. And right now I think that the pendulum has shifted to this viewpoint that our notion of authenticity is defined by the unique brand or signature. But there was a time when the unique signature was not important, the more important thing was that there is a universal, standardised solution,

64

Patricia Chia

canonised under certain architectural concepts and technologies that would confront all these problems that are taken and deemed to be similar in different contexts. TYC: For me, thinking more about what you said, the point of reference for the practice is not reduced to the moment of taking the brief and giving a sketch. I think it’s the parameters that we set ourselves on how to practice – how big the office is, how many people are employed, how you pay them, how long you work, where you are situated, what’s the working culture, what kind of projects you take, how much profit you want to earn. Actually all these are more important to me than the work that you produce. Which means to say, for the happiness of me and the other architects, if we don’t have a nice place to work in, and it’s a very oppressive place, I think that you’ll be very unhappy even if you produce the best work, and I don’t want to be unhappy! So being authentic is about the way I practice, and that didn’t really include the work. Top, Bottom: Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop, Junya Ishigami (Author: Iwan Baan); Lou Ruvo Centre for Brain Health, Frank Gehry (Author: Matthew Carbone)

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education


PC: So do you think that in a way, the decision to set up your own practice in itself was a means through which you could be authentic? TYC: Yes, in that sense of the word, without relying on the building to represent me, it’s the way in which I practice; it’s a desire to be happy. I like to think that the way we practice has a bearing on the kind of design we produce. Even if it’s not the best-detailed building because we don’t want to work long hours, work weekends or pull all-nighters, then so be it. I have a certain time economy, a kind of laziness, but you must be smart about it. PC: At the end of the day, do you consciously strive to achieve sort of an imprint such that when people look at your work they can tell that yes, this was done by Red Bean Architects, and that this was a by-product of the parameters you set up? These parameters limit the kind of end product that you produce, whether in terms of a certain character, or otherwise.

JC: Yes, people go to him not because his buildings are exquisitely detailed, nor that they work well for certain places, but because he has a certain draw, a certain signature.

THE POSSIBILITY OF BAD FAITH JC: Closely allied to the concept of authenticity, is Jean-Paul Sartre’s concept of bad faith. It is a form of self-deception. You tell yourself that in order to operate my life, you have no choice but to do X and Y, and you basically limit your freedom, and you say that this is the way you want it because you say you have no choice. To go back to your distinction you made just now with YeeChin, I think that the former is operating on bad faith, or operating from an inauthentic origin.

Using a hypothetical example, assuming you have been practising as an architect for the last 20 years conforming to the standards of a famous teacher who has been a formative person in your career and that you revere. A decision has come to you at this point where TYC: I actually don’t think that we try to get the you have the capacity to break free from the homage to signature to be evident. your professor. If you choose not to go out on your own because you are worried to accept failure and prefer to JC: There are other architects who do, like Frank Gehry. stick to the safe repertoire of spatial techniques that you That’s the result of the way he is used to working, and the know, then I would say that one would be leaning towards way he likes working. demonstrating bad faith. JT: Junya Ishigami? He is very conscious of slenderness and thinness.

TYC: If you try to break out of it and do your own thing, then that is not bad faith?

TYC: I don’t think he’s a mannerist, I don’t think he tries to get it.

TYC: I think so. In the former case, you are ascribing to an expected image of yourself.

JC: No, then you are finding your own self. But it is possible that this person may live his entire life not knowing that moment. Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy is always leaning on that revelatory moment. For example, the disciples that Frank Lloyd Wright kicked out from his atelier – whether Rudolph Schindler or John Lautner, tend to be architects who made their own name. But those who have stuck around him, and kept doing his work even after he ceased to be, are only known as apprentices or disciples of Wright. Having an awareness of the possibility of bad faith is very important.

PC: But there are people who would pay for the signature, like in the case of Frank Gehry.

PC: Now that you have highlighted the importance of this awareness, has that affected the way you teach in school?

PC: So you make a differentiation between a mannerist – a person who tries to achieve the signature, and a person who achieves their signature subconsciously, as a result of who they are. You are saying that the former is inauthentic and the latter is authentic?

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education

Patricia Chia

65


JC: intuitively I think that this is not the level of bad faith that we should be addressing in the teaching of architecture from years one to five. Yes, there is some formative substance in one’s philosophy towards architecture, but I think to have architecture school teach you that philosophy is asking too much of an over-commitment on the part of teachers. Perhaps what I managed to explicate, is that maybe there is a personal dimension to the idea of authenticity – it’s your own personal conscience. A student came to me, saying he really wanted to approach the project in a certain way because he feels that the site and the project should be addressed in that way. But then he strikes it off as a choice because he is uncertain of how it will be received; he is worried he may not get a good grade for it because he is trying something really experimental. As students you probably know that I am not cooking this up – it is a real dilemma! So what do you do right? On the one hand, you think you are going to get a better grade for this, but on the other hand, you have this instinct to do something different. Again, if you do not have the discourse of authenticity, you can only rely on cost-benefit analysis of choice A versus B, and come up with an equation – ah, that is a scary situation! Not only has he denied the prospect of authenticity, but also exacerbated the problem. Can you put a number to all the entries? You can’t! This is why I think authenticity is particularly useful in education, because it is a different way of understanding a problem.

stuck with me till today. When I’ve been under tutors who have done the opposite, I struggled and even had heated arguments with them over our different approaches. JC: Because the method is neutral, is that your claim? PC: Yes, exactly. TYC: Were your grades affected under those tutors? JC: But a grade is a very bad predictor of authenticity. TYC: But she’s a good student, so it’s very interesting to ask her what’s going through her mind. JC: So he’s basically asking you, are you guilty of bad faith? JT: I think she struggles with not being true to herself. You’ll hear no end of it.

PC: My grades consistently got worse in those two semesters. I struggled because I admit that being brought up in Singapore’s education system, you always want the better grade. After I got my grade I was really depressed, even fell sick for a few weeks. It was very traumatising for me because I felt like I had fought hard to pursue design in the way I thought it should be, but was not gratified for it in terms of grades. But I am thankful for that experience because now I honestly couldn’t care less about my grades, particularly in relation to what I am interested to do and explicate through my design TYC: I think now it’s interesting to turn the question back projects. I would say that the neutral methodology to the students. instilled, whether subconsciously or consciously, that awareness of bad faith. PC: Actually I think that this awareness is more deeply embedded than in that moment where you discover TYC: I was trying to develop a thought – to design a brief your true self, or make a life-defining choice. In second that allows a student to express themselves in their own year when I was in Yee-Chin’s studio, he was the first way, is like setting up the parameters for practice. For tutor who set up a very strong design methodology example, I choose not to do certain projects and I choose for the studio to work within. I felt that through that to employ a certain kind of people. So I think that I’m not methodology, we could each achieve a unique expression so concerned with how I design and how I react towards of ourselves. It wasn’t about going online to look for bits things once I set things up, because I know that it will go of projects that we could put together, but rather that if in a way that’s not too far off. I find that the very act of we were to go through this set of steps, and we followed drawing, referring to a brief, planning a space that works our instinct for each step, we would arrive at something and that is nice – yes it could go Frank Gehry or it could that is true to ourselves. And that is something that has go like Rem Koolhaas, but to me it’s not going to stray too

66

Patricia Chia

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education


Left to right: Frederick C. Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright (Author: www.greatbuildings.com); Arango House, John Lautner (Author: The John Lautner Foundation)

far. Once I have the right kind of brief, given the right amount of time to do it, and reign to consider aesthetics, it will be pretty good and true to myself. Anybody who works with our developers to do five blocks of 40-storey condominiums, can you be authentic? Can you express yourself? PC: You are designing the parameters. TYC: Absolutely. That is very important. So in a way it’s being selfish, being unadventurous and not wanting to challenge yourself because you are set that within certain contexts you can’t do that. PC: But your parameters constantly evolve right? The more you do the more you can push your limits. But you are also saying that there are certain parameters under which authenticity cannot occur.

QUESTIONING WHETHER BEING AUTHENTIC OR INAUTHENTIC MATTERS JC: I have two interesting propositions on authenticity. One is, what are the things that we can design where being authentic or inauthentic matters? Think about what are the design objectives or artefacts that authenticity or the lack of matters, or is significant. The second proposition is, what are the things that we can design where being authentic or inauthentic either does not matter or is not significant. For the first question, I suppose that when we design five 40-storey blocks of

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education

condominiums, the idea of authenticity or inauthenticity matters to some degree, because if this mass of building blocks are somewhat homogenous or uniformed, it may at least elicit the idea that my life is not distinct from yours, even despite the fact that we are different, we are conformed to the spatial practices dictated by these spatial forms. For the second one, I think designing solutions for global sustainability, at least taken at surface value, doesn’t entail the discussion of being authentic or inauthentic. By and large, designing artefacts, technologies, buildings and projects that have to do with solving some of the environmental problems on earth does not entail the discussion of being authentic or inauthentic. I’m not quite sure the correctness of this, but I’m willing to discuss. I’m saying that there is a cluster of design projects in the world, where authenticity should prefigure in the design processes. If we discount that as a variable in the design process, we will find that we will either be completely wrong, or we find ourselves in bad faith. But there is also a class of design objects in the world, where being authentic or not doesn’t matter. PC: So we are trying to find out what characterises this class, what are the characteristics. For example, typology, context, scale… ? JC: Yes, along those lines. It gets difficult, but along those lines, yes. But bear in mind that in this discussion that we have, remember the one that I suggested as the larger

Patricia Chia

67


framework – which is the historical milieu, which sometimes dictates what is authentic and what is not. In terms of scale, that structures the whole debate first. Right now, everyone is likely to agree that what is authentic is our own creativity right? Our own creative mark, if we have that, we are authentic, if we copy someone else, we are inauthentic. But as I have shown you earlier, if you look back in history, that is not the trademark. Authenticity was the zeitgeist, trying to live to the spirit of the age, and you are basically creating an architectural vocabulary that somehow responds to the spirit of the age in the most authentic sense. PC: So is it the death of this discourse of the zeitgeist that led to more individual expressions of authenticity. JC: There was a turn in terms of pluralism. The only zeitgeist now is sustainability. TYC: Your example of sustainability is very revealing. It may be those instances where we can no longer make any judgement as to whether it is the right thing to do. Being sustainable is right, it must be right. Because of this, it becomes boring.

what we take as authentic or not. TYC: It could be a gross cacophony of slab, box, plane, whatever… PC: But as long as he has addressed designing useful spaces, he is being authentic? TYC: Yes. Let’s say we think about how a person steps into a house, takes off his shoes, walks through the threshold, puts his keys down, sits down on his chair, smokes a cigar, turns on the music with his right hand, goes to bed upstairs…. All those things come together in a very banal assembly of planes and spaces. So is that being authentic? PC: Then is the Housing Development Board (HDB) authentic? They are trying to provide dwelling units for the public as efficiently as possible.

TYC: No, that’s interesting, because I don’t think they are obsessed enough. HDB has many goals, it’s confusing – it’s about cost-efficiency, modularity, speed of construction, size of unit that is optimal for HDB to develop. So I don’t think they are very focused in their JC: And therefore being authentic or not doesn’t matter? definition of what is good architecture. I see. I think the reasoning here is sound. Imagine if you PC: Why? But weren’t they exploring how to be the most shrink yourself to a baby today, the baby is going to efficient? Which is why we see the slab block, the point be brought up in the world where sustainability, or the means of sustainability we can argue whether it is better block, the butterfly block…. Aren’t these typological or worse – whether recycling this is better or re-using it. variations rigorous in exploring how to maximise efficiency? But sustainability as an ethos, that is not debateable. TYC: Which is boring…I think we should first decide what is architecture’s core, before we decide whether one is an authentic or not. So if I say architecture is about inhabitation, about designing very useful spaces, then one can be authentic in a very boring way because you really believe in architecture, planning and being in service of it. But if you believe architecture about form, space, light, geometry, you can be true to that, then you can appear to be somehow very autonomous – you don’t care about function. Maybe in that sense, creativity comes forth more obviously. JC: So the notion of what architecture is, is integral to

68

Patricia Chia

TYC: Yes, I guess you could say that. I have to be very open, because everyone has their own definition. But I would say not, because it’s not hard core enough. There are also some architects who will bull-doze their way through the client and trample their way through the client. PC: But that could be authentic to those people because it is who they are right. Is that better than bad faith? TYC: Is that better? Because you are ultimately designing for someone, you can’t deny that. If you’re a student it’s okay, you are your own client.

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education


A LUCKY MARRIAGE

JC: Yes, there can be lucky marriages which are inauthentic, where the architect subsumes himself to the client, or vice versa, where the client subsumes himself to JC: Maybe we can make the distinction between architects whose sense of authenticity converges with the the architect. client’s authentic way of life, and architects whose sense PC: So with reference to Yee-Chin’s practice, in setting of authenticity clashes with the client’s authentic sense of life. I think there can be a lucky marriage where your up the parameters for design, are you trying to get an authentic marriage? Because you choose the kind of sense of authenticity converges well with the client’s authentic and banal way of life. And perhaps the job of a clients that you take on. very good architect is to reinforce and to bring the banal dimension to a higher level. There are an infinite number JT: I feel like Yee-Chin is the kind of person who would of ways I can take off my shoes, enter my room, sit on my always go for a happy marriage. So if his client doesn’t like his first design, he would try to change it. Because he just couch, light my cigar, and listen to music. wants to be happy and go home early, am I right? TYC: But if I were to be honest, there isn’t that many TYC: Yes, yes, something along those lines! No but ways of doing it. seriously, if you push the design and you know the client JC: No, I agree with you. But I think there can be a lucky just swallows it, and you walk away, will you be happy? That’s a very important question to think about. marriage. TYC: Not a complete alignment. JC: Maybe it’s good that it’s not a complete alignment. TYC: And it will never be.

PC: Then how much of yourself do you assert, and how much do you hold back? TYC: That’s very difficult to answer…. Well, let’s put it this way, your ego will be bruised. But there are very good clients. I have a client who called me up after seeing my work – so there’s already an alignment there because I didn’t look for him.

JC: I know of a case where a client who basically turns herself into a case of bad faith in order to live in Frank Lloyd Wright’s house. Meaning that the person would not enjoy living in a Frank Lloyd Wright house, but because she JC: The famous story is the story of Louis Kahn and Jonas wants to live in a Frank Lloyd Wright house, she becomes a Salk. Frank Lloyd Wright partner in architectural marriage. TYC: But they also fought. PC: Because she’s a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, so she JC: They fought, but they aligned in so far as inhabitation would want to live in whatever he builds. for the scientists was concerned. How he wanted to create a place where the scientists could think like a poet. JC: Yes, it’s like the girl who likes to live in a Hello Louis Kahn loved it, when he heard it he was like, “Oh my Kitty house. The girl shouldn’t live in a Hello Kitty God! Someone who speaks my language!”. house, but because she loves Hello Kitty so much, she says, “Architect, design me a Hello Kitty house and I These are not easy clients to find. Salk, Kaufman, and will subsume myself in living according to the spatial the likes come from old wealth. Money to them is not practices imposed by Hello Kitty”. That is where there the main idea, they really had their whole early part can be a lucky marriage. But the lucky marriage is not of life travelling, understanding the world, looking at authentic because one is actually living in bad faith. architecture – it builds up a certain generosity. However, PC: For a lucky marriage to happen, both must be authentic. in another kind of sociology, where majority of people

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education

Patricia Chia

69


who commission architecture come from new wealth, it’s a different story. They may want certain things which are inauthentic. I am reminded of a house somewhere in Tanglin that is covered in Gold leaf behind a glazed curtain.

PC: So you are saying that the determining factor is choosing what your core is, and being obsessive about it.

TYC: Yes, I really think so. Ole Scheeren taught a studio that investigated literally the core of office buildings. Because he designs so many office buildings that he TYC: But houses are relatively easy things to do, when is really interested in them. So the whole studio just you want to stay authentic, because it’s for one person, investigated the core; even something so banal, so and they want you to express yourself, and that becomes corporate, can be a really intense subject to study. But their identity also. So I think architects who do houses, although I say that, there are few tutors who would agree other than those who have no choice but to do houses, on what to choose, if they would even choose something deliberately do houses because they want to stand off the to begin with. real world and the economics of development. PC: So you’re saying that the economics of development hinders authenticity. TYC: Yes I think so, when money falls, there is only one thing that matters and I don’t see a happy ending to it. From my experience in corporate practice, you just get whacked everyday at work. JC: Sharon Zukin once said that there are two ways to look at authenticity. One is you can see something as being authentic because it occurred in my generation, I grew up with it, I am familiar with it. The other notion of understanding authenticity is something is authentic when you have created that in your generation. The former definition of authenticity rests from familiarity, the latter rests on originality.

Left and right: Core Values, Ole Scheeren Master’s Studio at Hong Kong University, (Source: Buro Ole Scheeren)

THE RELEVANCE OF ASKING THIS QUESTION

JC: If I were to do a Freudian thing on this whole enterprise that you guys are doing, I sense that you all TYC: I think originality is more a matter of perception sense that the school is at a point where there is no than form. Meaning if Junya Ishigami chooses to look at identity. And you are searching for identity through structural logic, in the case of the Kanagawa Insitutute of the vehicle of authenticity, which is why you have Technology Workshop, where he has many rectangular this upcoming debate, and also this discussion on sections and he twists them to resist lateral stability. authenticity. Because the identity is being destabilised Because he is obsessed with making the most out of these somehow, or you are trying to find your own, or maybe, slim sections, a kind of perverse structural efficiency, in your generation, to your cohort, identity is important. then it becomes authentic to him. But some engineer That for example you see a GSD identity, you see an could look at the same problem and solve it in another ETH identity, you see a Tsinghua identity, you see a way because they don’t see it as exciting. Delft identity, but you don’t see a NUS identity. So you are searching for it through mining this discussion JC: Because it doesn’t work with the structural logic of and through the debate. Objectively, that would be a structural engineer – you are using a lot of material to my psychoanalysis. Which is fair enough, identity is solve a rather simple structural problem. important, particularly for adolescents. I don’t mean

70

Patricia Chia

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education


adolescents relative to your or my age, but adolescents in the sense that in any coming of age, finding that identity is important. So maybe if we would take it in a most positive light, it shows that the NUS programme has somehow, through the last 40 years of its history come to the point where the students, through some turn, are beginning to search for this identity that defines them. I think the search for identity as a growing up, epigenetic thing, is fine, but if it’s about keeping up with the joneses, that all of these brand name schools have a brand, and

we also need a brand if not we are somewhat lacklustre, I think that is less healthy. I think that in this day and age, where you are all well-travelled, and well-aware of what other schools are doing, particularly those who went on exchange, I can tell you it would tend to do more with the other side – keeping up with the Joneses. TYC: I guess, to me it’s not important to ask this question. In a way it’s wasting a bit of time, each person could just go and do his own thing. Why would he care about this? JC: I see it as important, if it’s based on that genetic reason. But if it’s keeping up with the Joneses, then I concur with Yee-Chin. So I think finding out the basis of why you ask this question is important. If it’s the genetic one it’s very hard, you’re basically coming to know about yourself, what you are, who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, what you despise, what you uphold, what you think is noble what you think is ignoble.

On the Importance of Authenticity in Architectural Practice and Education

TYC: Then why not go and find all these things, you don’t have to ask this question. JC: Asking that question is really the sum of asking all these questions. So by choosing any of these, you are actually asking the question of authenticity. And I think you make a decision, between the individual, group, and national scales of asking this question. In particular, the group and nation levels are something we have not quite asked – I think those are important. If we don’t ask that on a national level, it means that we have decided decisively for fragmented pluralism against solidarity. It means that we are interested to only be pursuant of our self-interest, and I think that is corrosive. As a profession perhaps it’s ok, even then I’m not really sure. Perhaps to conclude, I would like say to the person who will read this, to the editors and to Patricia, to the one who finds that this is important, the person should ask – why is authenticity important for me? Is it for the reason of keeping up with the Joneses, or is this a coming of age question? If it’s the latter, then one would want to find out more about this along that channel. If it’s the former, I think one should see it clearly for what it is, and refrain from this inquiry, because then the authentic is simply an ego-trip.

Jeffrey Chan is Assistant Professor, lecturer and design tutor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Architecture. Teo Yee-Chin is Principal Architect and founder of Red Bean Architects. He is also guest critic at the NUS Department of Architecture. Patricia Chia & Jax Tan are B.A (Hons) Architecture graduates from NUS.

Patricia Chia

71


THE JOURNEY OF THE PAST YEAR PAPERSPACE (AY 2012-13) A little more than a year ago, in preparation for a friend’s exchange trip to Switzerland, we sat down in her living room and started to watch the German films we had rented. It has been said that watching movies and television shows in a foreign language could significantly help you grasp the conversational basics of language in a fun and relatively stress-free way. And so there we were testing out that theory, as we sat on the couch with our salty microwaved popcorn watching Sophie Scholl – Die Letzten Tage, or Sophie Scholl – The Final Days. I’m not sure if my friend found any German conversations from the anti-Nazi war film as something relevant to her entire exchange semester. I certainly still can’t speak German for nuts, but I definitely took more than a little inspiration from the film. I was struck by the uncompromising courage of the student resistant group, The White Rose, and how young these people who made up the Resistance were. These were university students who had their regular school commitments, and yet felt so passionately about their nation and identity. So much so that an elaborate plan was drawn to act upon that conviction and what they believed in. There was no sex scene to spice things up the way Ang Lee’s Lust. Caution. explored the complexity and extent of selfless national loyalty. It was pure and simple, of conviction and activation. By no means is this article a discussion on national loyalty. Rather, it is written in reminiscence of what seems like a bygone era of conviction. One might recall the Hock Lee Bus Riots from the old Singapore days where students stood up for what they believed

72

Jax Tan

in, and supported the bus drivers in standing up for fair wage through joining them in strike and organising charity drives. Perhaps I was paying attention to the wrong version of the story in Social Studies class, but that was the university I aspired to. Not merely the one that educated you and made you smart and awesome at life, but the one that was an environment of people with educated beliefs and morals; who held the no-fear attitude towards the state of powerlessness. As the publication arm of The Architecture Society (TAS), Paperspace is inspired by the same mode of conviction and willingness to speak up on matters related to architecture, architecture education and society. It is an avenue for exhibiting student opinions in writing about architecture and architecture school without the boundaries of design briefs. Articles are purely student initiated and reflect on the state of architectural education and the world at large. At the school level, the publication aspires to represent its student body with views on the school environment and reflections on experienced education. It acts to challenge current modes of design education and looks forward to explore new concepts or radical proposals for both education and the environment, and how it relates to the larger concepts of society. Other than commentaries and perspectives singularly related to school and education, Paperspace is also a platform to feature our student projects and student initiatives both in school and outside of school.

The Journey of the Past Year Paperspace AY 2012-13


Whatever it is, the education of the architect has equipped us with a frame of mind that is biased to architectural language and conventions even in the sheer state of observation. The expression that which is carry forth into various artistic mediums is therefore relevant to the architectural collective. Contributors in past issues of Paperspace had been featured for their very introspective view of space, the city, and world view, through architectural presentation, photography, film and game reviews. While Paperspace might play host to political commentary, it is entirely an apolitical publication. If the publication is a feedback box, it collects perspectives. The ultimate na誰ve vision is perhaps, to have the publication spark debates, nurture our spirit from curiosity to criticality, and with that, substantiate our demands for a better world with credible solutions. That is the dream. We are grateful to our sponsors, for whom without, this dream could not have been fulfilled. While this stint of one year is short, The 33rd Architecture Society is grateful for that small group of motivated individuals from amongst a largely apathetic student body who ceaselessly worked hand in hand with us in the bid to promote architectural education and the search for identity. Surely we are unused to climbing mountains in the relatively flat Singapore landscape, but I believe this year we tried. It is certainly my hope that the climb will continue in the following years to come, but otherwise, thank you for bearing this vision.

The Journey of the Past Year Paperspace AY 2012-13

Jax Tan

73


PLATINUM DP Architects Pte Ltd IP:LI Architects Million Lighting Co Ltd RichardHO Architects GOLD FARM Forum Architects Pte Ltd LAUD Architects Pte Ltd Singapore Institute of Architects SILVER Bedmar & Shi Consortium 168 Architects Pte Ltd CYSA Pte Ltd HB Design Pte Ltd SDI Architects Pte Ltd Studio Lapis William S W Lim XTRA WITH SUPPORT FROM Basheer Graphic Books Bluescope Lysaght (S) Pte Ltd Hunter Douglas S’pore Pte Ltd

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS Graphic Design / Wu Zhuoyi


EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY

BLACK PARTY TADAO ANDO TAS DEBATES: ON ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION & ORIGINALITY Events in the Commune

Edited by Sandra Lee

75


BLACK PARTY

Cool nights, good food and hip music are a sure recipe for awesome fun. This year’s black party was no exception, showcasing the hidden musical talents of many peers in our community. The non-stop line up of bands churning out great music, ranging from soulful ballads to pop and rock, kept the groove going and electrified the night with the strong beats of the bass. Wide smiles were abound as people gathered in small groups on the steps chatting cozily over plates of food. The inclusiveness of the atmosphere encouraged our exchange friends and even some passersby to join in the merriment. It was another successful event that brought together the community for a good time.

76

Sandra Lee

Black Party


Image credits: Isabella Ong Kat Hong The Aquarium http://withintheaquarium.tumblr.com/

Black Party

Sandra Lee

77


TADAO ANDO

Image provided by George Goh & NUS Dept. of Architecture

Slightly hunched over the book in concentration, Tadao Ando exerts a quiet calm in a buzzing field of energy. Its hard to think of a man of greater presence in the architecture community who is equally well loved and accepted by his peers as a true master of his craft. No wonder then that the lecture hall was packed to the gills with people eager to get a glimpse of the maestro and listen to him expound on his life’s work and inspiration.

78

Sandra Lee

Tadao Ando


Clock wise from top: Booksigning event, Waiting within the lecture hall, Swiftly penning the well practised strokes of his signature

From the book signing to the talk and Q&A, Mr Ando is every bit the rock star who captivates the crowd with ease. His light hearted manner and penchant for small jokes kept the lecture enjoyable and well worth the long wait.

Tadao Ando

Sandra Lee

79


80

Sandra Lee

Tadao Ando


Image credits: Wynn Lei Pyu George Goh James Lau NUS Dept. of Architecture

Tadao Ando

Sandra Lee

81


TAS DEBATE

SHAWN TEO ON ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION & ORGINALITY Proposition: A/P Tay Kheng Soon, Mr Randy Chan, Ms Zakiah Supahat Opposition: A/P Lee Kah Wee, Mr Austen Chan, Mr Tan Szue Hann Moderator: Mr. Lim Choon Keang

‘Originate1 the reality. You are Singapore.’ Tay Kheng Soon (TKS) Indeed, we are Singapore and we are a reflection of how our society thinks and reacts. We could have easily titled TKS’s opening statement – Pembaharuan2 ; noting how he tried to dispel the innate “fear” amongst students and tutors alike. Without hesitation, the proposition hopped on the bandwagon to associate originality with radicalism and started to lament about the masses’ inertia towards challenge. TKS simply denounced a system that was merely churning out architects who perpetuated its inadequacies; noting the lower caps. I was told of a boogieman, they called him education. Perhaps we are already desensitized by talk on the serious limits of our nation’s education since 1990. Evidently, technocracy runs deep in a system that can only regurgitate its Desired Outcomes of Education (DOE); something that might never save itself while suffocating the creative mind. The kickback such an efficacious system has on creative arts has been further exemplified from the fervent if not banal act of creating state apparatus in name of embellishing the local creative arts scene. From Design Councils to Art institutions, we have witnessed stifled development that tends to favor technical experts. Haven’t we turned a blind eye to how this glass ceiling performs in our unique climate? Ken Robinson advocates parity between literacy and creativity, subsequently rejecting the typical

notion of schooling and rote learning. Should we subscribe to the idea that creativity begets originality; is it viable to adopt certain philosophies expounded by Robinson? TKS might agree to such reforms. The spot light was now on the Bauhaus. For TKS, “the Bauhaus was radical; it pioneered at an infectious point in history, a turning point in history” and was credited for marrying design and machine. It seemed a flash in the pan, that this Swiss Cuckoo clock3 was misplaced and very much open to critique. I doubt many would like to believe that it is only through turbulence that we can get creative works. Yet five hundred years of democracy and peace did not produce the Cuckoo clock, it wasn’t even Swiss. The Bauhaus broke stereotypes while engineering their own and it was this radicalism which

1 Root Causes 2 Bahasa Melayu for reform 3 The Third Man, dir. by Carol Reed (1949 ;London Film Production)

82

Shawn Teo

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality


originality noun /1/ the quality of being special and interesting and not the same as anything or anyone else /2/ the ability to think independently and creatively; the quality of being novel or unusual

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality

Shawn Teo

83


84

Shawn Teo

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality


TKS referred to. Nonetheless, the opposition felt that patterns and typologies were inevitable over time. Typology as a banal, if not dirty, construct clearly didn’t go well with Lee Kah Wee (LKW). LKW found that it was incongruous to compare ourselves to the Bauhaus, highlighting that it was impossible and impractical to return to ‘root causes’ in a studio environment, given that there is no absolute criteria for originality. What is original; the starting point of the intention or the intended outcome of a thought? Originality can be problematic, indeed. LKW bemoans the lack of an agreeable definition. I remember someone once mentioned that it suffers from an identity crisis. It attempts to be devoid of anything that exists before it. Yet more often than not, it’ (prime) depends on it to survive. Nuances or slight distinctions raise the question: how original can originality be? Ponder upon the fact that there isn’t much originality behind the desire for originality and we might question the dismal state

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality

of affairs we are in. How original was Duchamp with L.H.O.O.Q then. ‘It is a much larger social, economical kind of transformation. Therefore, to say that the school breeds unoriginality is to really drastically reduce the problem of originality and remove the complex issue of what originality is all about.’ LKW found parallels between radicalism and paradigm shifts, which he cited for the case of science being an evolution of discoveries instead of a big bang. Such paradigm shifts might be alluring but illusive at the same time. As such, Randy Chan (RC) would rather magnify the significance of education and school as the Ludus Magnus of courage and ingenuity. Aesthetics might then be placed on the side lines as tutors assess the coherence of the student’s thought processes. Without a doubt, schools are biased microcosms of society writ large. Consequently, radicalism that percolates through the ranks might effect change on specific segments in society. RC furthers his point

Shawn Teo

85


to associate courage to the freedom of choice, all in all attempting a home run to a ‘changed’ society. Pembaharua, Pembaharuan. Did Scarpa conceive his steel and stone joint details in school? If so, it must be the mission of the school to develop this thing known as Originality. Where then does originality originate from? Can thirteen who start from the same point be original? I must say, we might all be overtly obsessed and hence fooled by the paranoia in growing originality, should it be possible. In developing creativity amongst children, Robinson understands the need to transform the defunct industrial model of education to one that is based on agricultural principles; one that allows every seed to survive and hopefully flourish. If so, don’t you think we should evaluate our tutors more critically? After all most of us do need some

86

Shawn Teo

form of nourishment. Unwittingly, we start to recollect the anonymous Kent Ridge post that passed a critique on our course structure and some grey in the author’s life dated two years ago. In a post hoc analysis, Austen Chan (AC) reasoned how we should not succumb to daft differentiation in believing that radicalism is original. The ball was now in our court. Can originality even be imbued much less taught in school? Note that we are discussing its probability before we delve into its comprehensibility vis-a-vis multiplicity. AC postulates that originality stems from the individual, his capacity to align personal beliefs with work. I hardly think anyone can or will denounce that. Extrapolating from that argument, homogeneity may occur as we are products of society and tend to reproduce that same society. It is akin to a cyclic continuation which might

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality


be difficult to trigger sparks of radicalism. Once again, paradigm shifts are alluring. Does Architecture need not be original? Definitions aside, we seem to be convinced that unique designs are original; something that we have never seen or thought of. Then, isn’t it amazing how Mujirushi Ryohin passes off their products by being devoid of embellishment as if it were a radically different pen. Postmodernism rejects Modernism ‘at all costs’ and its Originality. The abject conditions during the interwar years of 1918 - 1939 edged creators to denounce ‘new and original’ ideas and Bauhaus took combinations of the past and existing cultures. Appropriation might be what the proposition loathes, as studios continually pin up precedent studies at the root of the design process. We often browse through architecture blogs like ArchDaily for ideas,

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality

many of which are Euro centric. Peter Buchanan lamented about the recurring domination of Post Modernist theories in the early developments of Architects in school which he aptly said that in ‘knowing more and more on less and less, (they) are not a natural fit with a generalist subject such as architecture’ and further bemoans about their personal biasness towards their own module content which might almost be deemed as self-aggrandisement. In addition, we might have been accustomed to being reasonably subservient towards the demands of those who deliberate upon our grades and tend not to challenge teaching pedagogy. Learning might even seem to be a monologue which is mediocre. In fact, we need to highlight the role of a tutor as one that nurtures the potential of each student. We acknowledge that this

Shawn Teo

87


task alone is already challenging. In an uncanny twist, both sides started to negotiate about the shortcomings of our design studios. Reflecting this viewpoint is AC, who lamented about the lack of transparency from the administration and suggested that greater accountability could be demanded by an autonomous student body. Since the very start, Tan Szue Hann (TSH) was rather uncomfortable with the word bred as taken from the notion. ‘How can originality be bred?’ I must say that the opposition was rather accommodating to discuss the notion with respect to their opponent’s stance that associated originality to

88

Shawn Teo

radicalism. In concluding the opposition’s stance towards radicalism in Architectural education, TSH blatantly spoke of the hidden inferiority complex that local Architects tend to harbor. Our appropriation of built forms overseas might attest to that. Not to mention how we are bolstering our Green Mark checklist without critical evaluation and understanding; tagging along. Could there be an incipient, still yet discernible Originality amongst our designs? TSH believes that to develop this Originality, we need to start giving ourselves credit for our designs. The opposition just had to censure the proposition’s microscopic stance, hinging on the rather indeterminate notion. Pragmatics controlled their arguments but also left the notion vaguely unanswered.

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality


“A man of great common sense and good taste - meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.” Geroge Bernard Shaw As quoted, Supahat (ZS) wanted to emphasise the how universal aesthetics are often unoriginal, which lack the gusto to solve the crisis earlier echoed by TKS. In that, it is comforting to know how the proposition feels about objects which appear to be different and are not readily accepted. Nonetheless, it would be a slippery slope ahead should we agree that being different is being radical. The need to be different can be easily misappropriated in our current context. Yet, shouldn’t every good design, by recognition of its merits, be

TAS Debates: On Architectural Education and Originality

differentiated from one another? The notion doesn’t have to be answered; it only needs to be discussed. Formally or otherwise, we should question the environment and system that we are in before we get too comfortable with it. The night was still young but the floor had their opinions gathered as they headed to the score board. We were not surprised that the opposition took centre stage that night. Yet, all that was intended might remain as a point made, noted and forsaken. Unless.

Image credits: Louis Lim, Jax Tan

Shawn Teo

89


NICE TO MEET YOU THE ARCHITECTURE SOCIETY AY2012-13: 33RD EXCO

(clockwise from top left) James Tan, Wu Zhuoyi, Alvin Goh, Bob Teo, Mun Choon Kuat, Theodore Goh, Narpal Singh, Gabriel Ng, Daniel Lee, Jax Tan, Lynn Cheng, Melvin Lew photography / Kat Hong


COMMUNE 2013 is published by The Architecture Society (TAS) WITH SUPPORT FROM the Department of Architecture School of Design and Environment National University of Singapore 4 Architecture Drive Singapore 117566 © 2013 The Architecture Society © 33rd Paperspace Publication Team

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The publication may be distributed, remixed, tweaked and built upon, even commercially, as long as The Architecture Society (TAS) is credited for the original creation. The publisher does not warrant or assume any legal responsibility for the publication’s contents. All opinions expressed in the publication are of the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of The Architecture Society and the National University of Singapore. All images provided are by courtesy of authors unless stated otherwise. Printed in Singapore by First Printers Pte Ltd 1200 Depot Road #06-26/27 Telok Blangah Industrial Estate Singapore 109675


Commune 2013  

In conjunction with the City Exhibition 2013.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you