Dean's Message


Prof Lam

Welcome to the School of Design and Environment

A warm welcome to the School of Design and Environment (SDE) at the National University of SIngapore

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently said, “Good design thinking was a key reason for Singapore’s successful journey from third world to first, and it will be critical in the country’s future transformation, for it to remain an outstanding city in the world”. (Channel News Asia, 5 Apr 2018).

SDE has been a strategic partner and contributor to this nation building mission over the past five decades and will continue to advance the frontiers of creativity and innovation towards making the city-state into “An Endearing Home and a Distinctive Global City” (Ministry of National Development).

Design remains preeminent in every facet of our collective academic endeavour, be it in the social, cultural, aesthetic domains, or in the science, technology and business domains. Such pursuit would be firmly rooted both in the natural and the built environment contexts that we operate in.

We also recognize that it is no longer an option but a prerequisite to broaden each student’s learning experience and knowledge acquisition to a certain level whereby effective cross-disciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations can occur to generate innovative and deployable solutions within an increasingly complex business environment.

SDE is in a unique position to offer a comprehensive range of educational and research programmes related to the built environment, including key disciplines of architecture, urban planning and design, construction and project management, real estate economics and finance, as well as industrial design. More importantly, integrated and cross-disciplinary modules and programmes will continuously be developed in close consultation with government agencies and industry partners so as to keep abreast of the rapid changes in terms of expected knowledge and skill sets of the work force to meet emerging national, regional and even global market needs. Curricula renewal and content development will be intimately linked to timely research, development and demonstration efforts, including our state-of-the-art net zero energy building (SDE4) which will be completed at the end of 2018. Such a strategy, coupled with a firm understanding of the scale-up economics and deployment processes, would help accelerate the adoption of the RD&D findings by our building industry.

Singapore has garnered the reputation as one of the most liveable cities in Asia and in the world, excelling in features such as smart infrastructure and sustainable developments. The concept of liveability is intrinsically people-centric. Even as we celebrate the physical accomplishments thus far, greater attention must be given to the human condition and the evolving needs of various communities, and to promote health and well-being through new models of urban, architectural as well as product design development.

In this regard, SDE has adopted the “Well and Green” tagline as we prepare to celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2019 with our alumni, friends, colleagues and students, and to envision our future strategic advancement over the next 50 years. We will expand our collaborative outreach to include medicine, public health, engineering, business, computing, physical sciences as well as arts and social sciences in this endeavor.

Our collective active engagement is not just a necessity but mission critical. I therefore invite all aspiring students as well as faculty to join us in this journey. You will be able to get more detailed information on the various programmes within the web sites of the respective Departments and Division in the School. Enjoy this virtual tour of our School, and of course, you are always welcome to visit us in person.


Professor LAM Khee Poh, PhD, Architect (UK), FRIBA
Provost’s Chair Professor

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