The 2016 DRIA International Symposium and Conference was held at Fushionopolis, Singapore. from 27-29th June 2016. It was a two day event comprising of a symposium, international design competition, group discussions; round-table sessions and site visits.





The theme of 2016’s DRIA Symposium and Competition was ‘River Flooding.Valenzuela, Philippines’. The main focus of the competition was the utilization of urban and
architectural design, as well as, building technologies to endow, support, amplify, and maintain a community’s resiliency in light of natural disaster event, namely, a typhoon and its associated effects, i.e. high winds, storm surge, flooding, and excessive precipitation. The proposals not only promoted provocative, innovative, and resilient formal designs but were also accompanied by holistic assessments of actual and potential social, economic, and technical challenges associated with insuring resiliency against a natural disaster.

The Symposium included Alexandros Washburn, CRU(X), Founding Director of the Center for Coastal Resilience and Urban eXcellence; Dan Lewis, Chief Director of UN-Habitat, Urban Risk Reduction Unit, City Resilience Profiling Programme (CRPP) and Miho Mazereeuw, Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban Risk Lab at the MIT.




Based on the outputs of the different lectures, the round table discussed the international perspectives and global practices on resilience, and how different experiences worldwide are facing this issue. The session, that opened the discussion to the floor, aimed to point out the key aspects that cities and architecture have and will have to address due to the impact of climate change.

Alexandros Washburn. CRU(x); Dan Lewis. UN-Habitat, CRPP; Miho Mazereeuw. MIT; Ong Tze Boon. SIA; Milag San-José Ballesteros. C40 Cities; Alan Zhuang. 100 Resilient Cities

Prof. Wong Yunn Chii. Head, Department of Architecture. School of Design and Environment. National University of Singapore


The second round table opened the debate on how the focus on resilience should be done in Asia. With the international competition and symposium as a base, the session aimed to discuss and create the foundations for better practices as well as explore models that addressed anticipated design and planning for climate change resilience.

Shigeru Ban, Shigeru Ban Architects; Alexandros Washburn. CRU(x); Dan Lewis. UN-Habitat, CRPP; Miho Mazereeuw. MIT

Prof. Heng Chye Kiang. Dean, School of Design and Envrionment. National University of Singapore




The participants of the DRIA2016 had an opportunity to take an active role in preparing and facilitating group discussion sessions, in conjunction with the main event. The main aim of these sessions was to provide a platform for participating students to interact and exchange knowledge, ideas, expertise and interests in issues of Ecological & Environmental Resilience, Community
& Cultural Resilience and Resilience Tools & Methodologies with other students coming from all over the world. There were 6 group discussions organised by 5 participating universities.

Patterns of Community Resilience
Université de Montréal

In addition to common short-time needs addressed after disasters (e.g., food, water, sanitation, energy and shelter), this workshop focuses on the potentials to develop a pattern language for longterm community resilience. The basis for discussion is a concept of universal patterns, developed by Christopher Alexander, which is a language to be used, adapted and applied differently
according to specific situation’s assets. The designer’s role might be to identify those assets and to find the most efficient ways for the community to work with them, in order to create multiple long-term benefits by capitalizing on synergies and integrated design strategies. How to find and implement the best short-term actions that have longterm impacts?

Exploring the Role of Architects in Defining and Designing Resilience Strategies and Outcomes for Vulnerable Communities in Asia                                                                                                                      RMIT School of Architecture + Design

This session explores current and future roles of architects in defining and designing resilience strategies and outcomes for vulnerable communities in Asia. Accordingly, the session aims to:
(a) understand the current avenues for engagement by architects in areas of designing for resilience in vulnerable communities in all phases of dealing with the preparation of preventative measures and the aftermath of extreme events;
(b) explore the role of architects in their relationship to other professionals working in the field; and
(c) understand the current state and diversity of architectural education in various academic and design cultures and explore the possibilities of inter-disciplinary design-based research in the field of designing for resilience.

Multi-Scale Networks in Seagull Island, Guangzhou
South China University of Technology

The discussion in this session evolves around the resilient mechanisms employed in Seagull Island, Guangzhou, China, located along the Pearl River and was suffering from heavy rainfall and
floods. Typical in the preventive plan and design in Guangzhou are the multi-scale networks that prove to be essential for resilience as they connect different parts of the system with an ability to address various scenarios without disturbing daily activities of living and production. For instance, the drainage system performs with multiple functions, including transportation, fishery production, and prevention from torrential rainfall and floods. The key issues addressed include: multi-scale networks and connectivity, mechanical productivity and tourism development possibility in reference to design for resilience.

Manmade (Water) Infrastructures, Boundaries and Struggles
TU Darmstadt

The main goal of this session is to discuss the manmade infrastructure projects through an architectural and urban planning point of view. The
discussion is framed around case studies, addressing some of the following issues: flooding in delta areas and flood control; industrial polluted water affecting health and biodiversity; insufficient groundwater management with surface subsidence damages as a consequence; and soil dehydration. This session addresses the following key questions: How does water infrastructure influence the environment? When do manmade infrastructures interfere with natural structures and endanger surrounding communities and their natural habitat? What is the aftermath of the influences caused by humans and how can we measure its impacts?

Seeking Innovation: the Changing Course Competition
LSU School of Architecture

The Changing Course Competition held in 2014-2015 challenged interdisciplinary professional teams to propose innovative strategies for the lower Mississippi River. Strategies required teams to address complexities of economics, navigation, the natural environment, and the urban condition of New Orleans. This session outlines the overall competition goals, final three proposals and takes a closer look at one team’s proposal. The session examines the following key questions: What is the value of using design competitions as a model for generating new and innovative solutions to coastal resilience? What are your experiences with design competitions?

Utilization of Recyclable Materials
South China University of Technology

This group discussion aims to discuss the use and recycling of material resources that are site specific as one approach to achieve environmental resilience. As the key driver for discussion, this session will introduce the utilization of the corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) as a building material, both in terms of its advantages and disadvantages, its history and applications. The key questions include: What is the site-specific building material in your country? Is it re-usable? How common is it in contemporary projects? How to utilize that material as an approach to environmental resilience?





Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park provides a new model for tropical urban hydrology through the instrument of landscape infrastructure, addressing Singapore’s dual need for water supply independence and flash flood management while creating access to a thriving riverine ecology and new communal spaces within the dense city. The Design process involved responsibilites between government agencies, National water agency, PUB and NParks engaging Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl for design and CH2M Hill for engineering.


Source: Courtesy of Flickr user “Choo Yut Shing”
(Choo Yut Shing). This image is freely available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25802865@N08/4458578499. The file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode).

The Pinnacle@Duxton is an award winning 50-storey integrated public housing development in Singapore’s city centre, designed by ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism, in Collaboration with RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd, Singapore. Built in 2009, it represents a pioneering high-density residential development, with GPR of 9.28, and is one of the tallest public housing developments in the world. The key features of the project are two elevated public spaces connecting seven residential towers.