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The two integrated studio project modules are the heart of the MSc ISD curriculum. In these project-based learning cultivates strategic thinking and collaborative outlook. Semester 1 projects examine challenges at the building scale; semester 2 projects examines the urban scale.
Semester 1 | August-November 2011
Sauer Per Alan Cann & Nicolas Aryoseto | This project is exemplary of the collaboration between an architect and a civil engineer. The design process commenced with a survey of materials available to the Jakarta construction sector. A palette of preferred materials emerged, chosen for its low ecological impact. The engineer advised the architect on questions of durability, stability and constructability. The architect aided the engineer in formulation of a conceptual tool for material selection in Jakarta.
Sandeep Vasanth | For this small office building for Chennai, South India, four thermal zones were identified early in the design process, delineated according to activity and occupancy pattern. To each of these was prescribed a hybrid, operable combination of passive features and active systems. Site conditions and climatic attributes became the architectural form-givers.
Tania Miglani | The project capitalises on the seasonality of New Delhi. Building form and orientation are designed for harsh summers (with self-shading facades and courtyards) and mild winters (with solar exposure towards the north). This complements ground source heat pumps which offer a heat sink in summer and heat source in winter. By forging a synergy between active and passive, an energy index of 50 KwH/m2/yr is achieved, amounting to energy savings of 71%.
Semester 2 | January-May 2012
The Kallang Masterplan | The studio group was tasked with studying consumption and density issues in Asian cities. Lessons learnt were applied to the Singapore context on the Kallang precinct. The precinct was divided into five sub-sites for each studio sub-group.
Sub-Site 1 | Nicolas Aryoseto, Elaheh Ebrahismshah, Hoi Jun Wai, Vedasri Kada, Nikhlia Nagendra and Amalia Yuliasih | The team sought to bring nature into the city. Kallang River is transformed into a wetland park that links Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to East Cost Park. New programs such as a water plaza, outdoor sport centres, sky walks, water skiing are introduced. A ring connector links amenities around the bay. The design strategy approach called for the integration of the natural environment within a man-made world, blurring the boundary between the two. This illustrates how competing agendas for land use might be addressed.”
Sub-Site 2 | Sauer Per Alan Cann, Amrut Deshmukh, Leedy Diana, Jenny Pandian, Moses Tan, Wu Tong | The goal was self-sufficiency in energy, food and water. Water cycles, food production and energy production processes were studied in detail. The project was designed for closed-loop systems; for example, organic waste (from nearby parks) is supplied to cogeneration plants for energy production. Grey-water (from nearby home) is cleansed naturally in biotopes and then piped back to the same homes for non-potable uses.
Sub-Site 3 | Tania Migliani, Shiba Seth, Sia Ching Sian, Vaibhav Srivastava, Saravanan Thevaraj, Sandeep Vasanth | By 2050, Kallang’s population would increase by 40,000. Densification is likely to result in loss of open space and green areas. Sub-site 3 is an industrial area that is isolated from the rest of Kallang. The strategy adopted here was to reactivate the area with new urban typologies to cope with increased density and transform the precinct into a multi-functional zone.
Sub-Site 4 | Juby Koshy Varghese, Vaishnavi Sudhakar, Ramanathan, Kartik Venkataraman, Samuel Hartono, Shraddha Anand Deo | The team focused on transportation networks, proposing modifications and amendments to the existing network and introducing newer, safer and faster movement options. These included the electric buses and cars, and elevated walkways. The design process was driven by explicit targets such as the reduction of travel time by 80%.
Sub-Site 5 | Mahrooh Basar, Deepshi Bhogal, Martha Budiman, Mayank Kaushal, Ashwani Kumar, Harry Joseph Serrano | The team investigated a future of sharing – a shift from culture of pandering to wants to one that focuses on meeting needs. Old and new skylines of sub-site 5 are linked by a pedestrian street terminating at the Kallang basin. The district becomes a catalyst for change in the push for building retrofits, and the blurring of private and public domains. These strategies target a reduction in energy use and improved social mix.
 
WHAT OUR ALUMNI SAY ...
 
Sauer Per Alan Cann, Civil Engineer, Australia | Sustainability is often used in a vague manner, synonymous with saving the environment or being eco-friendly. The ISD programme has taught me the key fundamentals of sustainability and why it is an issue that is becoming more important. It has given me a head start and the knowledge to confidently plan, discuss, use and argue for better sustainability outcomes in any project I will be involved in the future.
 
Tania Miglani, Architect, India | The course helped me develop a holistic design approach where sustainability is understood, interpreted and carefully weighed. I joined the ISD program because it focused on sustainability in the Asian context; it allowed me to hone my skills and further my career as a focused sustainable design professional. My experience at NUS has helped me acquire a mindset of integrative thinking. It has equipped me with knowledge and understanding related to planning, design, technology, and policy, adopting the principles and practices of sustainable development.
 
Sia Ching Sian, Urban Planner, Singapore | Having worked in the urban planning and design industry, I was looking to diversify my knowledge and skills set in the area of sustainability. The ISD programme made me examine sustainability from a macro to a micro perspective. In one semester, I was given the opportunity to re-imagine Chennai and to come up with a masterplan for Kallang. In another semester, we studied problems at the building scale, the integration of passive strategies and active systems that make a building more sustainable. In both cases there was amazing synergy that resulted from having multi-disciplinary studio groups.
 
Jenny Mathavi Pandian, Landscape Architect, India | My perception of sustainability has changed completely after joining the ISD programme; it has added greater value to my outlook, going beyond aesthetics. The programme has world-class faculty, experts from different fields who impart their rich experience to us. The design approach and the simulation tools learnt equip us for the real-world. Team work with individuals from different background has given me an unique opportunity to share and gain knowledge. This course has laid a platform to create a sustainable world for future.
 
Harry Joseph F. Serrano, Architect, Philippines | I came to realize that sustainability is both simple and complicated. It ranges from the fundamentals of good design to the introduction of sophisticated Green systems. The ISD programme allowed me to look into sustainability with a critical eye; focusing not only on the qualitative but the quantitative as well. It also taught me that sustainability is everyone’s concern and should be made more accessible. ISD has certainly inspired me to go back and share my experiences in the Philippines.