Designing Resilience in Asia 2016 International Design Competition and Symposium

29 June 2016

The National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment (SDE) announced the winners of the “Designing Resilience In Asia 2016 International Design Competition”. This annual student competition seeks to engender Asian communities’ resiliency in light of natural disasters.

Into its second year, this year’s competition focuses on designing resilience in the face of a river flooding. The teams were challenged to provide innovative and integrated solutions to address the flooding problem in Valenzuela City, Philippines.

A total of 19 teams from 10 universities in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America took part in the competition. The participating universities are: NUS; Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University; Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology; Institute of Technology Bandung; TU Darmstadt; RMIT University; National Cheng Kung University; South China University of Technology; University of Montreal; and Louisiana State University.

Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer of JTC Corporation, graced the Award Presentation Ceremony as the Guest-of-Honour and presented prizes to the winning teams.

University of Montreal was awarded the “Overall Design Excellence Award” (First Prize) with the winning entry titled “UGAT: Re-establishing and Strengthening Existing Roots”, while teams from TU Darmstadt with their entry titled “S.A.F.E. Waterscape” and South China University of Technology with their entry titled “Vigor of Vacancy” won the Urban Design Excellence Award and Architectural Design Excellence Award, respectively. The top three winning submissions were awarded cash prizes of S$8,000, S$4,000 and S$4,000 respectively.

Professor Heng Chye Kiang, Dean of the NUS School of Design and Environment said, “This is the second year that we are organising the Designing Resilience In Asia International Design Competition. The competition series has provided a unique platform for researchers and students from different universities worldwide to collectively study and discuss innovative ideas and propositions pertaining to the resilience of Asian cities in view of natural disaster scenarios. We are impressed and encouraged by the breadth of ideas presented in the proposals. To take these ideas further and bridge research with practice, the School has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UN-Habitat to use research outcomes from the competition series to explore possible implementation in afflicted areas around the world. We also hope to continue to inspire more researchers, students, and industry players to re-think the role and social responsibilities of architects and planners.”

“The competition series is made possible thanks to the generous gifts from Stephen Riady Foundation and Newsman Realty Pte Ltd. We are heartened that they share our firm belief in the power of planning and design in mitigating the effects of extreme weather events. We hope that more partners will come on board to support the conference and symposium for years to come,” Professor Heng added.

About the Design Competition

The DRIA Design Competition encourages foresighted urban and architectural design proposals, as well as, promotes innovation in building technologies to insure a community’s resiliency particularly prior to and during a disastrous water-based event, such as, flooding. The speculative proposals engage with design, technology, and policies that connect the physical and the social aspects of a community to promote its resiliency in light of a disastrous flood.

This year, the competition site is along the Polo River that links Polo city centre with the Meycauyan River in the Valenzuela City, Philippines. The area sits on 11 Barangay political areas (Wawang Pulo, Balangkas, Villa Pariancillo, Poblacion, Pulo, Palasan, Tagalag, Bisig, Mabolo, Isla and Pasolo) and is approximately 3.2 kilometres long.

Students from urban design, architecture and building science from participating universities were tasked to develop creative solutions that can insure the community’s resiliency in the face of river flooding. Up to two proposals from each university were selected for the finals. The Design Jury assessed the entries in three main areas: Urban Design/Urban Planning (strategy, plan and policy); Architecture (program, morphology and tectonics); and Building Technology (material, technology and performance).

DRIA Design Competition 2016 is held in conjunction with the DRIA International Symposium 2016, which brings together the best minds from across the world to promote innovation and to analyse and collaborate on creative solutions to help improve recovery efforts for global natural disasters, especially in Asia. This year’s event, which was organised in partnership with UN-Habitat, was attended by representatives from C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Rockefeller Foundation (100 Resilient Cities). An internationally-distributed publication will compile and document the research findings of the symposium and the results of the competition.

Stephen Riady Foundation and Newsman Realty Pte Ltd are Patrons of DRIA International Design Competition and Symposium. The event in 2016 is also supported by JTC Corporation and Singapore Institute of Architects.

For more information on the competition, please visit: