Singapore

Discover the rich evidence of design at Archifest 2021

Archifest is back in October, as a bigger, better and more inclusive celebration of great design. 

With over 100 events spread out across the island and online, the month-long Architecture Festival - organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) - promises to have something for everyone, appealing to both architecture enthusiasts and the general public.

From kayaking along the rich mangrove ecosystems of Sembawang’s shorelines to experiencing exciting midnight heritage tours in Geylang, the festival is designed for all ages, abilities and interest groups: from mainstream to niche.

Set to take place from Oct 1 to Oct 31, Archifest 2021 (#AF21) is centred around the premise that architecture is everywhere. 

This year’s theme - Design Evidence - is an inquisitive attitude towards the way architects relate the complex parameters of our world to the creative process of designing it, creating meaningful and tangible value.

The AF21 team is extending an open and inclusive invitation to bring out your inquisitive selves, and come curious to uncover and discover the rich evidence of design in our everyday lives.

Through its annual conference, interactive events and exciting exhibitions, the festival aims to educate, engage and excite, bringing festival goers along a thrilling journey of discovery.

Richard Lai, SIA president, said: “Already at its 15th edition, Archifest has become a yearly tradition the entire Architecture professional community looks forward to. The transformative power of architecture lies in its ability to build on the past, leverage on the present and project a better future.”

Razvan Ghilic-Micu, Archifest 2021 festival director, said: “Design Evidence is an invitation to
debate, discover and redefine what architecture could be. We believe that bringing together a diversity of voices is a step towards a more inclusive dialogue. Archifest is curated by architects for everyone to enjoy - whether you are a designer or not.”

With an eye on the fluid Covid-19 safe management measures, AF21 will depart from the traditional approach of housing most of the festival in a single location. 

Instead, there will be more than 100 events strategically decentralised across the island, each accommodating a lower number of attendees, in alignment with the prevalent measures. 

Many of them are exciting outdoors tours of our built and natural heritage, in addition to workshops and talks.

AF21’s take on a hybrid festival transcends physical activations and installations, into a
seamless online experience for the digital natives. 

For audiences overseas and those who prefer online content, there’s a wide range of stimulating virtual events, from art exhibitions and film premieres to upbeat forums on hot topics like urban self-sufficiency, alternative paths in architecture and even fengshui.

The social media, branding and website lend themselves well to various formats of online interactions while keeping the experience fresh at every touch-point.

The programmes are as diverse as AF21’s audience. 

AF21 will look at the world through five key “lenses” such as "Arts and Culture", "Community and Inclusivity", "Environment and Sustainability", "History and Heritage", as well as "Technology and Methods". 

Each lens will be explored through a wide range of events, complementing each other and inspiring new ways of thinking about the city and its Architecture.

Assistant Professor Carlos Banon of Airlab SUTD, who is a returning event partner this year, said: “It is great to see Archifest address the very relevant topic of Evidence. Working creatively with real-world inputs is essential to designing a sustainable future. 

"This year, we’re bringing a few exciting new prototypes to CDL’s Singapore Sustainability Academy and can’t wait to share them during the exhibition and workshops we have planned for the Archifest audience.”

As with every year, in addition to the festival events, the anchor highlight of Archifest will be its returning Annual Conference. 

Set to take place virtually over three days between Oct 12 and 14, the conference will bring together globally acclaimed voices in the industry.

Some of them are:

- Rossana Hu, Founding Partner of Neri & Hu, Shanghai, an architect who needs no
introduction and whose work and contributions to the global architecture discourse have
been crowned with countless prestigious accolades over the past two decades.

- Brandon Clifford, the Director of the M.Arch Program at MIT, Cambridge MA and TED
Fellow. His work has been touted by Fast Company as a pioneering path to solving the
climate crisis.

- Kunle Adeyemi, Founding Principal of NLE, Amsterdam-Lagos, who has recently been
hailed by The New York Times as an architect with an eye on the environment for his
groundbreaking research on Water Cities and built work.

- Xavier De Kestelier, Head of Design Technology and Innovation at Hassell in London,
who has recently collaborated with NASA on envisioning new forms of human habitation
on Mars, and how the insights gained can promote resilience on our planet.

- Ong Ker Shing, Principal of Lekker Architects Singapore and Director of the BA
Architecture Programme at NUS, recipient of the prestigious URA 20 under 45, as well
as a recipient of Singapore’s President Design Award.

For more information on Archifest and event ticketing details, visit the official AF21 website at https://archifest.sg/ and AF21 social pages at https://www.instagram.com/archifest/ and
https://www.facebook.com/archifest