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NUS School of Design and Environment

The SDE Bulletin

December 2014



News & Highlights

Re-Imagining the Nursing Home in Singapore

Nursing home design by Sarah Ng Ai Lian, M. Arch, Class of 2014

Imagine a building situated among the green foliage of surrounding trees and open-air decks for easy mingling between its residents and the outside world. That may be the description of an idyllic holiday resort but rather, it is a nursing home design envisioned by Sarah Ng Ai Lian, M. Arch '14.

Sarah's design is one of 58 design concepts in "Re-Imagining the Nursing Home in Singapore", a design sourcebook launched by the Department of Architecture in October 2014. The resource book is also a first that focuses on designing nursing homes for high-rise, high-density Asian cities like Singapore. It is a culmination of a semester-long design research project involving 131 architecture students who developed creative and practical designs for nursing homes in four sites in Singapore - Redhill, Ghim Moh, Sago Lane and Ubi.

Beyond the Bench

"Bench" by Raymond Hon, B.A. (Industrial Design), Class of 2014 "Lumber" by Hans Tan, Instructor of Division of Industrial Design and B.A. (Industrial Design), Class of 2005

Twenty-four uniquely designed benches made from wooden planks from the former National Stadium are now placed in 15 locations across Singapore, as a meaningful way to commemorate the historic landmark. Among these designs are the "Bench" by Raymond Hon, B.A. (ID) '14, and "Lumber" by Hans Tan, Instructor of Division of Industrial Design and B.A. (ID) '05. Their works are located at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Sentosa respectively, as part of the 'Pick a bench, Pick a place' initiative by URA.

Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition: Everyone Connects


Into its fourth year, the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition explored the theme "Everyone Connects" with a focus on urban connectivity. The teams were challenged to provide holistic and integrated solutions for a competition site in Mumbai, India, to 'connect' residents to amenities such as clean energy, clean water, fresh air, efficient transportation, as well as facilities for work, live, learn and play.

A total of 19 teams from 10 universities in Asia, Europe and the United States participated in the competition. Tongji University Team B was awarded the first prize with the winning entry titled "Osmosis City", while teams from Delft University of Technology and Tsinghua University took the second and third place, respectively.

Launched on 1 January 2011, the annual competition is organized by SDE and sponsored by World Future Foundation and Beijing Vantone Citylogic Investment Corporation.

Rethinking Our Urban Living for Singapore's Next 50 Years


"The 21st century city", a prototype green modular city for a population of 100,000, by Adjunct Professor Tay Kheng Soon

To celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary, SDE initiated the “Rethinking Our Urban Living for Singapore’s Next 50 Years” project to develop urban development narratives and planning scenarios for Singapore’s next 50 years. The project was initiated as SDE recognizes that effective urban planning played a key role in Singapore’s success story over its past 50 years of nation building.

The six projects selected were:
  • “Domesticity in the heartland” led by Assistant Professor Lilian Chee from Department of Architecture
  • “50x50: 50 years, 50 neighborhoods. Exploring high density and high quality urban living environments for Singapore” led by Assistant Professor Oscar Carracedo from Department of Architecture
  • “Rethinking our urban planning & design processes” led by Assistant Professor Patrick Janssen from Department of Architecture
  • “Singapore – a generative city of opportunity and innovation” led by Dr. Malone-Lee Lai Choo, Director of Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities & Senior Lecturer from Department of Real Estate
  • “The 21st century city” by Adjunct Professor Tay Kheng Soon from Department of Architecture
  • “Skyland is the future” by Mr Tan Cheng Siong, Principal of Archurban Architects Planners and Diploma in Architecture '64 & M.A. Urban Planning '72

The research outcomes will be disseminated in various forms including public workshops and exhibitions in conjunction with Singapore’s 50th anniversary and NUS’s 110th anniversary celebrations in 2015.

Staff Achievements

Innovative Space for the Crowd

From left to right: Assistant Professor Shinya Okuda, SIA's President Mr Theodore Chan and Mr Kelvin Kan, in front of the Archifest Pavilion

Two entries including "Cloud Arch" designed by Assistant Professor Shinya Okuda from the Department of Architecture (DOA) and Mr Kelvin Kan from AgFacadesign who is DOA's part-time tutor, and "Fugue 1357" by Mr Fong Hoo Cheong from HCF and Associates and an Adjunct Associate Professor at DOA won the Archifest Pavilion Design Competition this year.

The competition was held in conjunction with the 8th Archifest organized by Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) from 26 September to 11 October at Marina Bay Sands Events Plaza. The theme this year was "Crowd" which was about people as well as process to examine how this notion operated and contributed to architecture and urbanism. Featuring two canopies made of ultra-light materials, "Cloud Arch" is a new generation of architectural technology to meet the construction needs of sustainable future. "Fugue 1357" uses red and white kopitiam stools to form "walls" for gathering space. The two winning entries were constructed and showcased at the waterfront as the Archifest Pavilion for the festival.

Student Achievements

NUS Team Clinched 2nd Prize at International Design Competition

From left to right: Suthokumar Gajan, the project's supervisor Professor Ellen Yi-Luen Do, Kok Hua Bin, Yang Tzu-Hsuan and Lee Kuan Yi. Two other members who were not in the photo are Gloria Ngiam Huiyi and Dr Nimesha Ranasinghe.

A team consisting of three industrial design students and three Keio-NUS CUTE Centre research fellows clinched the 2nd Prize with their entry "Taste+" in the inaugural Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge 2014. The challenge focused on developing new design solutions to maximize independence for those with cognitive impairment. A total of 52 entries from 15 countries were submitted. The team was one of the 7 finalists to present their design concepts to the judging panel at Stanford University in California. "Taste+" is a spoon that electrically stimulates the taste buds to promote better eating for those who experience diminished taste sensation.

Industrial Design Creators' Work Honoured in International Design Award

Noise-cancelling office chair "Muse"

A noise-cancelling office chair named "Muse" developed by final year industrial design student Nigel Geh Keong Teck and Kenneth Ang Shun Qiang, B.A. (ID) '14, was awarded an iF Concept Design Award 2014 at a ceremony held in Hamburg, Germany. The world's largest international competition for young designers honours the work of exceptionally talented design students.

"Muse" is a chair designed for a studio platform "The Living Office" hosted by the NUS Design Incubation Centre in the Division of Industrial Design. The platform's purpose was to discover new possibilities for the future work space and the creation of new innovations for both business and consumers.

Architecture Student Won 2014 Esri Young Scholars Award

Supervised by Associate Professor Tan Puay Yok, architecture PhD student Abdul Rahim bin Abdul Hamid was awarded the 2014 Esri Young Scholars Award organized by Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) Singapore in July for his project titled "A Potential Ecological Network for Singapore". It aims to help Singapore's planners effectively implement urban biodiversity conservation initiatives.

As the award recipient, he also won himself a chance to showcase his work to over 15,000 GIS professionals from 140 countries at the world's largest spatial conference – Esri International User Conference in San Diego, California in July. The nation-wide annual competition celebrates excellence in geospatial study, and more specifically, the creative use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology – or smart mapping technology – to solve commercial and community issues.

Students from Department of Building Awarded Merit Prize in International Architecture Design Competition

From left to right: Ang Yu Qian, Lee Zhe Min, Koe Choon Wei, Ang Jie Min

The student team from the Department of Building won the Merit Award for their project titled "The Mosaic" in the 4th BCA-SIA-SGBC International Tropical Architecture Design Competition 2014 for Institutes of Higher Learning. The theme of this year's competition was "Our Urban Green Home". A total of 70 entries from 13 countries were submitted.

The competition series focuses on tropical green architecture and sustainable building design solutions. It aims to raise the awareness of the green building movement and initiatives amongst the younger generation and encourage them to become future architects and green experts in tropical green designs.

Real Estate Students Championed International Case Competition

From left to right: Isaac Leo Yen, Gan Guang, Dexter Sim, Associate Professor Tay Kah Poh, John Paul Chua, Clarissa Chua and Tai Wai Kit

The real estate student team championed the 9th USC International Real Estate Case Competition organized by the University of Southern California and held at their campus in Los Angeles early this year. It was the fourth time that students from the Department of Real Estate clinched championship at this annual competition. Supervised by Associate Professor Tay Kah Poh, the students made oral and written presentations which addressed a real world problem posed by leading practitioners in the real estate industry. Other participating universities included University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin, University of Colorado and University of Texas, Austin.

The Alumni & Giving Spotlights

Six SDE Alumni Clinched President's Design Awards 2014

Mr Tan Kok Hiang, Principal Director of Forum Architects Pte Ltd, B. Arch, Class of 1987

We send our heartiest congratulations to six alumni from SDE for clinching the President's Design Awards 2014 in November, Singapore's most prestigious design honour.

Mr Tan Kok Hiang, Principal Director of Forum Architects Pte Ltd, B. Arch '87 and SDE's School Advisory Committee member, was honoured with the Designer of the Year accolade. He was recognized for his pursuit of consistency in achieving architectural excellence and his steadfast contributions to the architecture profession as practitioner and mentor.

The architectural team comprising NUS alumni from MKPL Architects Pte Ltd won the Design of The Year award for their project Kent Vale, an apartment situated at the gateway to NUS campus. They are Mr Siew Man Kok, Chairman & Director and B. Arch '89, Ms Cheng Pai Ling, Managing Director and B. Arch '85, and Mrs Phan Pit Li, Senior Associate and B. Arch '89.

The other NUS alumni received the Design of The Year awards were: Priscilla Lui, co-founder of Singaporean design firm Studio Juju and B.A. (ID) '06, for the project titled "Rabbit & the Tortoise Collection"; and GiGi Cho, Senior Industrial Designer of Creative Technology Ltd and B.A. (ID) '04, for the project "Sound Blaster Roar SR20".

SDE Greater Good Series Talks for Students

Mr Frank Khoo, Global Head of Asia of AXA Real Estate Mr John Lim, Group CEO of ARA Asset Management Limited

Two sharing sessions for students were organized recently under the SDE Greater Good Series (GGS), which features talks by leading minds on design, development and management of the built environment.

In August, Mr Frank Khoo, Global Head of Asia of AXA Real Estate, gave an insightful talk on "Introduction to Real Estate Fund Management: Future of the Industry and Career Prospective". He provided an insider's view on the fund management industry exposing the students to different aspects of real estate finance and a wider spectrum of career options.

Mr John Lim, Group CEO of ARA Asset Management Limited, shared his success story from a humble beginning to how he spearheaded the bullish growth of the company to what is today at the SDE GGS talk in September. Focusing on the theme "Leading Change and Challenges", he inspired the students with his experience and shared his valuable advice in his belief of the 3Ps – Passion, People, and Partners.

The SDE GGS aims to improve quality of life and lead to greater good for the society at large. It is made possible thanks to a generous gift from Newsman Realty Pte Ltd.

Shell Best Dissertation Award Recognized Two Winners

Mr Neil Gilmour, Vice President, Integrated Gas Development, Shell, presenting the award to Denise Cheong, M.Sc. (Environmental Management), Class of 2014 Mr Neil Gilmour, Vice President, Integrated Gas Development, Shell, presenting the award to Maitreyee Mukherjee, M.Sc. (Environmental Management), Class of 2014

Every year, the Shell Group of Companies in Singapore recognizes one student from the graduating cohort of the M.Sc. (Environmental Management) (MEM) programme with the Shell Best Dissertation Award. There were two winners this year as each of their dissertations was equally exceptionally outstanding.

The award recipients were Denise Cheong, M.Sc. (Environmental Management) '14, for her dissertation titled "Cities legislative implementation: lessons from and for ASEAN member states", and Maitreyee Mukherjee, M.Sc. (Environmental Management) '14, for her dissertation "WATER SCARCITY TO WATER SECURITY: How can Asian Cities achieve a Sustainable transition?". They received the awards from Mr Neil Gilmour, Vice President, Integrated Gas Development, Shell, at the MEM welcome ceremony in August.

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