Archifest

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The Archifest (Singapore Architecture Festival) is an annual festival for the city to celebrate architecture and the built environment. Archifest is a platform for all walks of life to discuss, debate and deliberate architectural issues. Participants will find themselves engaging in uninhibited dialogue, creative collaborations and a constant exchange of ideas.

The main aim of the festival is to provide a platform to breed a vibrant design culture, and consequently a design conscious society, by encouraging and guiding the general public and design professionals of all fields to interact in a fun and free atmosphere.

 

OBJECTIVES

a)    Promote the importance of architecture and design

Archifest strives to promote the importance of architecture and urban design, which are playing an increasingly important role in the global competition among cities. It will foster a sense of community to harness the common goals and vision towards the making of an exciting Singapore, by bringing together the architects, planners and associated professionals to share and exchange ideas.

b)    Foster a sense of community among professionals

A city of excellence requires a creative community of architects, planners and associated professionals. The sense of community is needed to harness common goals and vision towards the making of an exciting Singapore. Archifest brings allied professionals together to share future directions.

c)    Educate and engage the public and students in city planning & architecture

The creation of a city of excellence does not only depend on the professional bodies but also the public in general. Another key group of target audience is the future professionals – students from Institute of higher learning. The myriad of activities aim to educate and engage the general public, as well as enthuse and motivate students, who are key in shaping the society and culture, in city planning and architecture.

 

6 PILLARS

i) Pavilion

Introduced in 2012 and taking the place of the annual exhibition, the design of the Archifest Pavilion is a temporary, outdoor recreational venue for a comfortable, unique and multi-sensorial experience of the city to be enjoyed by everyone.

 

ii) Conference

The Archifest Forum was rebranded to the Archifest Conference in 2013 to signify a shift in ambition. The Archifest Conference was held at the Raffles City Convention Center on 1 Oct. The Conference was a day full of shared experiences and ideas, a roundtable discussion of issues pertinent to our urban environment.

 

iii) Architours    

Studying and gaining a sense of understanding of architecture in Singapore are the key goals of Architours. One of the tour series was specially curated for the delegates of the World Architecture Festival (WAF) which was held during the Archifest period.

 

iv) Urban Lab   

 

Urban Lab is an evolution of the older pillar, School of Urban Ideas. The pillar is as an attempt to get more people interested in understanding and learning about architecture and the built environment. It is a pop-up school targeted at the general public to introduce new layers and lenses with which to appreciate the city. There is an emphasis on the collaboration with design schools and other communities in the spirit of ‘Crowd’ in 2014. Urban Lab consisted of 3 fields; (i) Student Showcase, (ii) Workshops and (iii) Sharing sessions. 

 

v) Fringe Events   

Fringe Events comprises of pop-up stores, talks, seminars and exhibitions in relation to the annual theme. These fringe activities were mostly organised within the pavilion itself. These fringe partners ranged from creatives to designers and from local retail shops to non-profit organisations.

Using Archifest as a platform, these fringe events showcase existing enthusiast groups and movements in Singapore and what they do for the local communities. Hosting them at this festival, the act of bringing them together features a diverse form of Collective Intelligence where they are able to share their ideas and inspire people to make a change as well.

 

vi) ArchXpo

 

ArchXpo is an international exhibition showcasing latest technologies, products and related services in the architectural and built environment industries. ArchXpo 2014 is the key showcase of relevant technologies, products and related services in the architectural and built environment industries. It is a key gathering of industry experts and talents that makes for excellent architectural and built environment design, as well as an invaluable platform for the exchange of research and innovation in architectural design, practice and education. Held concurrently with the International Facility Management Expo 2014 and LED+Light Asia 2014, the strategic integration of exhibitions is set to create a comprehensive platform for all architectural and building needs under one roof.

The exhibition also enjoys the support of the Specialists Trade Alliance of Singapore (STAS) as the Strategic Partner, as well as the support of the 11 STAS Member Associations.

 

THEMES

2014: Crowd

The festival opened up the discussion to investigate how the notion of “CROWD” operates and contributes to architecture and urbanism through a collective intelligence of creative minds multiplying its potential through collaborations and mutual learning, at the same time showcasing the spirit of community capital through the involvement of communities and place.
Crowd carries different meanings in different contexts, specifically from the categories of

(i) Collective Intelligence/ Design and
(ii) Community Capital.

Archifest 2014 discussed how architecture, the city, and the role of architects, itself, can be challenged and changed by this notion of crowd through these two categories.

 

2013: Small is Beautiful



Through the lens of a theme ‘Small is Beautiful’, Archifest 2013 explored and celebrated projects, design studios, communities and ideas that might be small by choice and circumstance but are large in ambition and impact.

Engaging partners from various institutes, architecture firms, creative companies and individuals, the resulting calendar of programmes proved to be diverse and well-rounded with programmes catered to the architecture fraternity, creative industries as well as the general public. With Children’s Day falling in the middle of the festival, kids-centric events were included in the festival calendar too

 

2012: Rethink Singapore

 

To imagine our city in the future, old urban moulds must be shed and new definitions must be made. In response to this, Archifest 2012 placed our city under new light and through new lenses, rethink and reframe Singapore as an urban ecosystem, beyond singular architectural projects.

Regarded by many as a model of urban planning and a laboratory of possibilities, Archifest 2012 used the city as a playground and reconsider the definitions, processes and components that make it up, envisioning what its future might be.

 

2011: Common Spaces

Archifest 2011 looks at the notion of ‘Common Spaces’. We are curious of how the nature of shared spaces and experiences are shaped by conditions of our current global environment. This subject is examined in three key aspects of common spaces - our physical surrounding, media and virtual space and psychological space.

The dissolution of shared domains in public realms, threatened by privatisation and commercialisation of these areas has led to questions of what is truly public in today’s context. On the other hand, new media spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, have empowered us with new means of communication and connectivity, and added a fresh dimension to the way we interact.

With the conventional meaning of territories, boundaries and communities redined, how will these spatial parallels influence our perception and of shared experience and collective memories of our surrounding? How will these new ideas of common spaces and networks affect the way architecture and cities are designed? How can we harness its potential to create a sustainable urban environment and enrich our idea of Place?

 

2010: Happy Cities

Archifest 2010 explores the possibilities of developing cities into an apparatus for ‘Happiness’ — an often elusive but a quintessential component of human aspiration. Happy Cities postulates a more refreshing way to benchmark quality built environments and sustainable urban settings.

With pressing issues of environmental upheavals, extensive inequalities, proliferation of slums and depletion of natural resources, what part can the urban and architectural fraternity play to engineer “happiness” in these trying conditions? What can we pursue in this new index of urban living in a commercially domineering climate that propagates idiosyncratic or iconic, rather than social aspirations in architecture? How can urban spaces and buildings be generators of social cohesion, with positive contributions to the community and built environment?

Through a collection of built and speculative architectural and urban projects with varying socio-economical, political and cultural conditions, Happy Cities sets different yardsticks and definition of sense of place and spaces, to challenge conventional notions of sustainable urban living. Offering a glimpse of the bold new world that awaits us, Archifest proposes our measure of happiness, and shares solutions, even utopian ideals to enhance the development of our cities as sites for a thriving and sustainable urban, cultural and social life.

 

2009: Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity expresses our ambition to reconsider one of the fundamental purposes of creating architecture – to celebrate and embrace the concept of humanity. In the midst of frantic urbanisation, a proliferation of globalised one-size-fits-all solutions, and the ubiquitous production of icons, have architects, intentionally or not, forsaken their duty to create architecture for people?

Archifest hope to find inspiration through the spirit of humanity in the works of various architects from around the world. From low-cost social housing to disaster relief housing, from schools to social design services, these architects have improved lives, supported community development, and provided invaluable contributions to community partners.

 

2008: Man + Environment

The theme for Archifest 08 is “Man+Environment”. This theme re-examines the relationship of Architecture with the Environment. This complex relationship encompasses context, genius loci, history, culture, economics, and technology to the growing concern about the role of Architecture in the degradation of our environment that could contribute to global warming, climate change, displacement and alienation. These are clear and present issues facing many countries all over the world. It is therefore befitting and timely to adopt the theme “Man + Environment”, for this year’s Archifest 08, to drive home the point for balancing mankind’s needs and the environment.

 

2007: Aspiration to Realisation

“Aspiration to Realisation” sets the theme for the festival and forum, where speakers from different parts of the world shared their journeys in realising their aspirations through presentation of ideas and philosophies, in the context of the growing city and its living environment.

 

Archifest Steering Committee 2014

Chairman Patrick Lee
Deputy Chairpersons

Tan Szue Hann
Christina Thean

Advisor Theodore Chan
DesignSingapore Council (DSg) Representative Jeffrey Ho
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Representative

Larry Ng
Tracey Hwang
Teng Joo Chong
Ng Li Shan

Members

Luther Seet
Siow Zhi Xiang
James Tan