The 2018 DRIA International Symposium and Conference was held at National University of Singapore from 15-17th August 2018. It was a three day event comprising of a symposium, international design competition, student workshops and round-table sessions; and site visits.
‘DESIGNING THE UNPREDICTABLE. PLANNING WITH UNCERTAINTY’
URBAN RESILIENCE RESPONSES IN THE ERA OF URBANIZATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The DRIA 2018 Symposium focused on promoting and fostering substantive discussions about preventive and anticipatory resilient design in front of the effects of rapid urbanization and climate change. As the title ‘Designing the Unpredictable, Planning with Uncertainty’ suggests, the symposium aims to gather thinking pertaining to the unpredictable consequences -shocks and stresses- of climate change and urbanization. The emphasis of the symposium this year will be on planning, urban design and architecture related transformative responses to the consequences of climate change and water-related shocks and hazards like floods, subsidence or droughts, as well as on the mitigation efforts done in the reduction of CO2 emissions or the Urban Heat Island effect, all of the topics particularly relevant to the Singapore context.
The Symposium gathered leading experts on resilience from around the world to share their expertise. The list of speakers include Dr. Josef Leitmann, Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist at The World Bank; Yassapon Boonsom, the Co-founder and Director of ; Richard Hassell, Founding Director of WOHA; Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs of the Kingdom of Netherlands and Principal of Rebuild by Design.; Anne Loes Nillesen’ Founding Director of DEFACTO Architecture and Urbanism and Riken Yamamoto, founder of Riken Yamamoto and FIELDSHOP.
INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION
‘DROWNING BY THE SEA’
RE-ENVISIONING THE FUTURE OF THE CHAO PHRAYA RIVERFRONT TO MITIGATE AND ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS
The 2018 DRIA Design Competition focused on the resilience of high dense (mega) cities affected by water flooding, sea-level rise and subsidence, and aims to come up with innovative ideas and propositions pertaining to the resiliency of Asian cities.
The Competition addressed the serious threats of CO2 emissions, urban heat island effect, water pollution, flooding and subsidence resulting from urbanization trends and global climate change that are affecting Central Bangkok and the Chao Phraya riverfront. The general objective of the competition is to re-envision the future for the Chao Phraya riverfront from a holistic perspective, to adapt to and prevent from the effects of climate change, developing a comprehensive model and a plan for the river waterfront, connecting it with the urban context and considering the existing historic sites. The specific objective of the competition is to propose specific resilient actions at different scales (from architecture to urban design and planning scale), dealing with, but not limited to, systems, infrastructure, prototypes, typologies, public spaces, communities, services, housing, economy, mixed-uses, etc.
WORKSHOP AND ROUNDTABLE
RETHINKING THE PROPOSALS
In conjunction to the main event, DRIA 2018 provided an opportunity to all student participants to take an active role in preparing and facilitating workshop sessions. The overarching aim was to provide a platform for all participating students to interact, exchange their knowledge, ideas and experiences regarding resilience.
The main theme of the workshop sessions was “Competition Proposals Afterthought – Brainstorming Alternative Options for Bangkok”. The aim of this inter-university ‘hands-on’ and sharing workshop was to critically rethink the DRIA 2018 desing competition entries and come up with alternative proposals for the same site and theme once the teams know all the different projects. The purpose was to engage students from different universities together to draft alternative design proposal(s) based on the key critical reflections and conclusions raised from the presentations.
There were 3 parallel workshop sessions with the same theme co-organised by 3 groups of participating universities.
Based on Afterthought Workshops, the Student Roundtable offered a platform for sharing workshop outcomes among all participating universities. Moreover, the roundtable provided an opportunity for student representatives and other student participants from 10 universities to voice out, debate and exchange the specific lessons learnt during their participation in DRIA 2018, thoughts about resilience, courses they took at their universities, site visit experiences, overall competition, etc.
As part of the DRIA 2018 Symposium and Competition, two site visits were arranged along with a visit and a lecture at WOHA’s office. Both the projects of the site visits are by WOHA – a Singapore-based architectural practice. They have gained global recognition for their integration of environmental and social principles at every stage of the design process.
WOHA’s own office in Singapore is housed in a converted shophouse near the Singapore river. Two adjacent units of the traditional building typology were merged into one to house the office’s growing needs for space. While the front facade is protected by conservation guidelines, the more recent extension in the rear allowed more substantial changes. The top floor, previously cramped under a pitch roof, was converted into a double-storey loft-like space, and the rooftop incorporates and edible garden.
PARK ROYAL ON PICKERING
Designed as a hotel and office in a garden, the project is a study of how we can not only conserve our greenery in a built-up high-rise city centre but multiply it in a manner that is architecturally striking, integrated and sustainable.
A contoured podium responds to the street scale and is sculpted to form dramatic outdoor plazas, gardens and terraces. Greenery from the park is drawn up the building in the form of lushly planted openings, crevasses, gullies and waterfalls.
OASIA HOTEL DOWNTOWN
Oasia Hotel Downtown sets out to create an alternative imagery for commercial high-rise developments. It combines innovative ways to intensify land use with a tropical approach that showcases a perforated, permeable, furry, verdant tower of green in the heart of Singapore’s CBD.
Introducing layers of elevated ground levels, the project allows the precious but limited ground floor space to be multiplied, creating generous public areas for recreation and social interaction throughout the high-rise.
The series of events concluded with the announcement of the winners of the DRIA 2018 International Design Competition. The event was attended by participants from 20 countries around the world along with students, professionals and experts from Singapore.