Singapore Institute of Architects or SIA proudly presents Archifest 2013, Singapore’s annual festival of ideas for the city. In its seventh edition, Archifest will be held from 27 September to 13 October 2013 at the Archifest Pavilion, situated at Dhoby Ghaut Green as well as other satellite venues across the island. The three-week-long festival will be anchored at the Archifest Pavilion with a pop-up design library in collaboration with National Library Board, and the festival will also feature other highlights including the Archifest Conference, Architours, School of Urban Ideas and Fringe events celebrating the theme “Small is Beautiful”.

In 2012, Archifest called on the city to “Rethink Singapore” rethinking ways to make the city more sustainable and livable, attracting almost 40,000 visitors. SIA’s President Theodore Chan commented, “SIA celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013, and we felt the theme, “Small is Beautiful” is very appropriate as we reflect the role of an architect’s journey and impact in Singapore’s built environment. This year’s Archifest then hopes to explore and celebrate projects, design studios, communities, businesses and ideas that may be small by choice and circumstance, but are large in ambition and impact. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, we will also be inviting members of the Institute to plant fifty trees at Dhoby Ghaut Green on 27 Sep 2013 and at Duxton Plain Park on 9 Oct 2013.”

One such new programme that was a success in 2012 was the introduction of the Archifest 2013 Pavilion Design Competition. Envisioned to be the physical manifestation of the festival, the Pavilion is designed by a local architect and incorporates a zero-waste ideal in its concept. Last year’s winning pavilion entry designed by WOW Architects, Wonderwall, has gone on to gain local and international interest and has been shortlisted for numerous awards including the upcoming World Architecture Festival 2013.

The Archifest 2013 Pavilion Design Competition held in June attracted sixteen entries from local architects, a remarkable increase from five entries in its inaugural year in 2012. The winning design has been selected by a team of jury in two rounds of judging and awarded to RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd for their project titled House.

Archifest’s Chairman and Pavilion Jury member, Patrick Lee commented, “In 2013, Dhoby Ghaut Green becomes the canvas for the designer to reimagine what this transitory public space will be like. We had hoped for the Pavilion to not only enhance the experience of the park but also through its’ injection of new programmess to activate the space. RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd’s design, House impressed the jury in addressing the complex nature of the site with great conceptual thoughtfulness and an interpretive design approach.

It stood out particularly among all the other entries in understanding the purpose of the Pavilion, and its design strength addresses this year’s theme in multi layering of what constitutes small. Here, the smallness of time – we find the transitional period of what the designer referred to as “pre-building”, celebrated and most importantly, the design worked towards our brief’s requirement for it to be a zero waste pavilion. We are very excited to see the chosen pavilion design being realised and to share the home for Archifest 2013 with everyone.”

Also at the Pavilion will be Singapore’s first Pop-up Design Library. This temporary library will feature inspiring reads by Singapore’s 50 creative personalities in the architecture and design industry. The public will be able to enjoy reading and browsing these books that shaped the creative personalities’ career and design philosophy. The library will serve as a public preview of library@orchard, the upcoming lifestyle-and-design library scheduled to open at Orchard Gateway in the first quarter of 2014.

Another highlight for the festival is The Archifest Conference (previously known as the Archifest Forum) that will take place on Tuesday, 1 October 2013 at Raffles City Convention Centre to coincide with the SIA Design Awards Presentation Ceremony. The conference will feature Mr. Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of the critically acclaimed Tokyo-based practice, Atelier Bow-Wow as its keynote speaker.

The conference will also invite Hong Kong based Manfred Yu from Groundwork Architecture + Urbanism, Eoghan Lewis from Eoghan Lewis Architects in Sydney, Luke Yeung from Architectkidd, Thailand, as well as Singaporean architects Chang Yong Ter from Chang Architects, and Colin Seah from Ministry of Design to explore various facets of the theme “Small is Beautiful”.

A key event in the industry calendar, the Archifest Conference complements the World Architecture Festival (2 – 4 October), which is produced in association with Archifest. This synergy between the two festivals makes October an exciting month for the architecture industry. The SIA Design Awards Presentation Ceremony will recognise outstanding projects in the 13th SIA Architectural Design Awards and 1st SIA-Rigel Bathroom Design Awards. The winners of the awards will also present their design philosophy and concept for the projects.

Archifest 2013 is organized by Singapore Institute of Architects or SIA, curated and produced by Shophouse & Co and sponsored by the following organisations: Design Singapore Council, National Parks Board, Far East Organization, Geberit, Carera, Hunter Douglas, Mitsubishi Electric and partners such as National Library Singapore, Israel Embassy and in association with World Architecture Festival. For more information and details about Archifest 2013, please visit their website here.

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