How Did 2020 Impact The Design And Architecture Industry?
d+a|Issue 118
How did 2020 impact the design and architecture industry? We present a collection of perspectives and are heartened to hear optimism is in the air for next year.
Low Shi Ping

What is a major project you completed in 2020?

I would consider completing 2020 in itself a major project given how the world has changed and continues to do so. Such challenging times have also proved to us how resilient we can be, as long as we put our minds to it. This has also presented an opportune time for us to bring forward and accelerate some of our long-term plans to provide more value to our partners.

What is the most important architectural lesson COVID-19 has taught you?

COVID-19 reminded us that architecture can neither pre-empt nor lead our lives. It is but a medium that enables a certain set of outcomes within its context. Inevitably, the pandemic has altered how space is used. Building owners have a renewed focus on wellness and with a change in their brief as well as the new world we live in today, there will be new strategies, products and features to tackle design post-COVID-19. At a deeper level, the pursuit of providing design solutions that are relevant to the context as well as able to enrich and transform people’s lives does not change.

What can we expect from RSP in 2021?

We have a renewed focus on pursuing the most fundamental part of our work: “design-ness”. This is an empathetic desire to explore and connect with whatever you are designing, and make it better for people. It covers both the aesthetic realm as well as the functional aspect, that looks at everything from its relationship to the macro environment, to the resources you have on hand to work on it. Therefore, “design-ness” will create that understanding of architecture’s role as a medium and the architect’s role as the mind behind that medium. This is ultimately what makes our work purposeful and will live on for longer than any of us. We will also be focused on drawing out the best outcome from the entire firm. This will be enabled by increased investment and accelerated implementation of our digital and technical initiatives, as well as a new dynamic workplace strategy that will support the incubation of ideas and push new frontiers.

Completed project in 2020: Bewboc House was finished recently. The project has a vaulted-shaped pavilion with a series of platforms attached to the existing house at an angle, to allow different layers of light to penetrate. At the end of the pavilion are two large timbre doors that open out into the garden, extending the space into the outdoors. I wanted to create a sense of continuity, and that could only be achieved by making the wall and ceiling as “one”. The resulting shape that came to mind was an arch. This idea could also be inspired by my childhood fascination for caves and primal living.

Lessons learnt: COVID-19 has taught me to prioritise staying focused and time management. Although the lockdown has caused our work to slow down tremendously, I have also gained a lot through reflection and contemplation of my ideas around architecture. This was something I did not do previously, as it is not easy to focus on these thoughts in a world filled with noise and distraction. I’ve also realised that how you choose to spend your time – on work, life and relationships – is a choice that requires mindfulness.

Looking ahead: I am very excited for 2021, as our firm is busy with small and larger projects that range from terrace houses to bungalows. We are also doing some new commercial projects, so the outlook is very positive.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM D+AView All

RAPID RECOVERY

THE OUTRAM COMMUNITY HOSPITAL SERVES AS THE SINGAPORE GENERAL HOSPITAL CAMPUS’ REHABILITATION FACILITY AND MAIN LOGISTICS HUB.

4 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

NEW LAYERS

SENSITIVE AND RESPECTFUL EXTENSIONS BY OFYK ARCHITECTS ALLOW OLD AND NEW STRUCTURES TO COEXIST HARMONIOUSLY IN THIS BUNGALOW THAT HOUSES A MULTI-GENERATION FAMILY.

4 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Flowers In The Mansion

Suzhou’s traditional Chinese Manor house and its well-known gardens guided the interior concept of the New Park Hyatt Suzhou.

4 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Perfect Synthesis

Set within the Chao Phraya estate, Capella Bangkok is a destination-inspired hotel and Urban Oasis that showcases the collaborative effort of architecture firm hamiltons international and interior design practice bamo.

4 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Equity By Design

GDP Architects’ new AICB building balances the complexities of need, function and context in a multi-faceted institutional training centre.

4 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Burst Of Energy

A metaphor for Shenzhen’s innovative design spirit, the iadc design museum in guangdong, china is literally breaking out of the box.

3 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Defining Singapore Design

We get insights from a group of Singaporeans, creatives and business leaders.

4 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

The More We Get Together

Placemaking efforts in Singapore have gained momentum in the last 10 years and the covid-19 pandemic is serving to accelerate it and highlight its role in connecting various communities.

9 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Let There Be Light

This three-storey house by ming architects features a series of staggered voids without compromising on spatial efficiency.

3 mins read
d+a
Issue 119

Chris Lee - The Hospitality Designer

Chris Lee, founder and creative director of asylum, is helping hotels engage the local community and be more than just solely the domain of tourists.

3 mins read
d+a
Issue 119