Archifest is back in October, as a bigger, better and more inclusive celebration of great design. With over 100 events spread out across the island and online, the month-long Architecture Festival - organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) - promises to have something for everyone, appealing both to architecture enthusiasts, and to the general public.
From kayaking along the rich mangrove ecosystems of Sembawang’s shorelines to experiencing exciting midnight heritage tours in Geylang, the festival is designed for all ages, abilities and interest groups: from mainstream to niche. Set to take place from October 1 to October 31, Archifest 2021 (#AF21) is centred around the premise that Architecture is everywhere. This year’s theme - Design Evidence - is an inquisitive attitude towards the way architects relate the complex parameters of our world to the creative process of designing it, creating meaningful and tangible value.
The AF21 team is extending an open and inclusive invitation to bring out your inquisitive selves, and come curious to uncover and discover the rich evidence of design in our everyday lives. Through its annual conference, interactive events and exciting exhibitions, the festival aims to educate, engage and excite, bringing festival goers along a thrilling journey of discovery.
Richard Lai, SIA president, said: “Already at its 15th edition, Archifest has become a yearly tradition the entire Architecture professional community looks forward to. The transformative power of architecture lies in its ability to build on the past, leverage on the present and project a better future.”
Razvan Ghilic-Micu, Archifest 2021 festival director said: “Design Evidence is an invitation to debate, discover and redefine what architecture could be. We believe that bringing together a diversity of voices is a step towards a more inclusive dialogue. Archifest is curated by architects for everyone to enjoy - whether you are a designer or not.”
A festival for our city happening throughout the city
With an eye on the fluid COVID-19 safe management measures, AF21 will depart from the traditional approach of housing most of the festival in a single location. Instead, there will be more than 100 events strategically decentralised across the island, each accommodating a lower number of attendees, in alignment with the prevalent measures. Many of them are exciting outdoors tours of our built and natural heritage, in addition to workshops and talks.
A festival for the digital natives
AF21’s take on a hybrid festival transcends physical activations and installations, into a seamless online experience for the digital natives. For audiences overseas and those who prefer online content, there’s a wide range of stimulating virtual events, from art exhibitions and film premieres to upbeat forums on hot topics like urban self-sufficiency, alternative paths in architecture and even feng shui! The social media, branding and website lend themselves well to various formats of online interactions while keeping the experience fresh at every touch-point.
A festival to discover from multiple viewpoints
The programmes are as diverse as AF21’s audience. AF21 will look at the world through five key “lenses” such as " Arts and Culture", "Community and Inclusivity", "Environment and Sustainability", "History and Heritage", as well as "Technology and Methods". Each lens will be explored through a wide range of events, complementing each other and inspiring new ways of thinking about the city and its Architecture.
Assistant Professor Carlos Bañón of Airlab SUTD, who is a returning event partner this year, said: “It is great to see Archifest address the very relevant topic of Evidence. Working creatively with real-world inputs is essential to designing a sustainable future. This year we’re bringing a few exciting new prototypes to CDL’s Singapore Sustainability Academy and can’t wait to share them during the exhibition and workshops we have planned for the Archifest audience.”
A world-class SIA Conference
As with every year, in addition to the festival events, the anchor highlight of Archifest will be its returning Annual Conference. Set to take place virtually over three days between Oct 12 and 14 October 2021, the conference will bring together globally acclaimed voices in the industry.
Among the design luminaries speaking, you can expect to hear from:
Each day of the conference will approach Design Evidence from a different perspective, aligned with the work and creative ethos of the speakers:
On the opening day of October 12, the conference will explore “Old Worlds, New Futures”, looking at how evidence of knowledge from the past can inform the way we design and build for future cultural and environmental sustainability.
The second day will be followed with a dialogue focused on “Ecosystems” thinking in design. From natural systems, to data-driven smart city design and outer space future settlements, interrogating the evidence that enables creative yet pragmatic decision making in design.
On the third and closing day, it will bring into focus “Contextual Innovation” panning from East Asia, to South-East Asia and Africa, seeking to uncover the role contextual evidence plays in how forms of hyper-local innovation can inform new global currents in Architecture.
AF21 strives to align all of its events to the operating ethos of being Sustainable, Diverse, and
Multidisciplinary. This means that everything that informs what is done during the festival will take into account the impact on the environment, keep the conversation inclusive, and connect across different fields of expertise.
For more information on Archifest and event ticketing details, visit the official AF21 website at https://archifest.sg/ and AF21 social pages at https://www.instagram.com/archifest/ and https://www.facebook.com/archifest.
Into its 15th edition (started in 2007), Archifest is an annual festival for the city to celebrate architecture and the built environment. Archifest is a platform for all walks of life to discuss, debate and deliberate architectural issues. Participants will find themselves engaging in uninhibited dialogue, creative collaborations and a constant exchange of ideas.
Organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects, the main aim of the festival is to provide a platform to breed a vibrant design culture, and consequently a design-conscious society, by encouraging and guiding the general public and design professionals of all fields to interact in a fun and free atmosphere.