DRS+Holcim Symposium

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Venue: Mahachakri Sirindhorn Building
14.30 DRS+Holcim Symposium opening
14.45 Singh Intrachooto (Thailand)
Holcim Awards Silver 2011
on "Urban Farm Urban Barn" (UFUB)
15.30 Dirk Hebel (Germany)
on "Which kind of More?"
16.30 Coffee Break
17.00 Jürgen Mayer H (Germany) Holcim Awards Bronze 2005 Europe (MetropolParasol, Seville, Spain)
on "Activators"
18.00 "DRS +Holcim" Panel discussion
18.30 Closing Ceremony
19.00 "DRS+Holcim" Closing Reception

Singh Intrachooto, Ph.D.

Singh Intrachooto

"Urban Farm Urban Barn" (UFUB)

Singh Intrachooto is Head of the Building Innovation and Technology Program at Kasetsart University Architecture, Bangkok and Design Principal at OSISU, Thailand’s leading eco-design venture. He holds Doctor of Philosophy degree in Design Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His design evolves around sustainable design concept as his research focuses on identifying patterns of technological innovation in environmentally responsible architecture. Dr. Intrachooto’s investigations also include material developments from manufacturing and agricultural by-products as well as waste reclamation from buildings’ construction and debris. He is considered a pioneer of ecological design in Thailand. Of particular interest is his focus on bridging academia and industry to leverage technology, education and production approaches to stimulate environmentally responsible innovations within the design and architecture industry. Dr. Intrachooto also teaches design at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Washington and gives lectures in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and the United States while maintaining his design practice in Thailand with industrial products, residential works, commercial facilities and urban redevelopments. He is Design Innovation Ambassador for Thailand’s National Innovation Agency. In 2007, he received Thailand’s Emergent Designer of the Year Award, Elle Décor’s Designer of the Year as well as Top Environmentalist 2008 Award from Thailand’s Department of Environment. His "urban farm" project has also been awarded by the Holcim Foundation as a leading example of sustainable building and construction for the Asia Pacific region.


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Dirk Hebel

Singh Intrachooto

"Which kind of More?”

As urban populations grow so does the demand for materials and resources to support them. Where such resource demands were once satisfied by local and regional hinterlands, they are increasingly global in scale and reach. This phenomenon has generated materials flows that are trans-continental and planetary in scope, and has profound consequences for the sustainability, functioning, sense of ownership and identity of future cities. Seen from this perspective, the project for urban sustainability must be global in ambition, but cannot be a matter of applying a universal set of rules. Rather, sustainability requires a decentralised approach that both acknowledges the global dimension and is sensitive to the social, cultural, aesthetic, economic, and ecological capacities of particular places to thrive and endure.

Urban sustainability is therefore the capacity of densely populated conglomerates for a social, economic and ecological endurance. In this sense, the urban has to be understood as an open dynamic system with changing parameters characterizing long-lasting measures to achieve a sustainable behavior. In past decades, a phenomena of global “best construction practice” traveled through universities and building industries worldwide. Handbooks of sustainable construction, no matter in which location or context they were produced, were applied in a global scale, leading to a misunderstanding that sustainability could be measured as a universal standard. Sustainable construction methods must acknowledge their specific context und cultural setting, including the skills of local workers. Availability and origin of materials as well as their connection and economic as well as ecological value need to be taken into consideration, before deciding on certain construction methods. The context of a certain construction application includes the cultural space (history, religion, language, etc), the ecological space (which materials and products are produced locally with how much energy and other input sources), the ethical space (who produced the materials and products where and at which costs), as well as the economical space (which materials and products generated a local value chain and which are imported).

The Chair of Architecture and Construction of Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in Singapore concentrates its research on alternative construction materials and their application in specific contextual settings, taking into account the availability of materials, human resource capacities, and skills. The ‘alternative’ aspect of this focus emerges from an exploration of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. This approach informed over the past years an urban laboratory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to test new building proto-typologies as open-ended building scenarios. Dirk E. Hebel will introduce three examples of the laboratory.

Why Singapore?

Being located in Singapore, the “hinterland” could be considered as the Southeast Asian region, including the “magic” triangle of some of the fastest developing territories in the world today with India, China and Indonesia. Within a radius of only 4000 kilometers, covering only 9.8% of the globe`s surface, one third of the world`s population can be found with 2.5 billion people (3.4 billion by 2025) and the steepest urbanization rate worldwide placing highest pressure on global environmental sustainability.

Urbanized settlements in this area have average growth rates of up to 5%, which is comparable to the African continent, where the urban population doubles every 10 to 15 years. The prognostications for the “magic” triangle show a population increase of almost 1 billion people in the next 15 years. Along those numbers, an increased demand for basic resources like food, water, safety, and shelter will occur. The two decades to come will certainly be formative in the further long-term development of those territories. But will developing countries like most of the African nations continue to be depended on imported building materials? Statistics show, that in most developing countries, next to the import of energy, the import of building materials and machineries is responsible for the bulk of trade deficits. The aim must be to re-invent indigenous building methods, construction technologies, and material use and with it coming to an understanding of appropriateness and sustainable thinking.


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Jürgen Mayer H

Jürgen Mayer H


Founded in 1996 in Berlin, Germany, J. MAYER H Architects’ studio, focuses on works at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. Recent projects include, a student centre at Karlsruhe University, the villa Dupli.Casa near Ludwigsburg, Germany and the redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacion in Sevilla, Spain, the office building ADA1 in Hamburg, Germany and the extension of the science park in Danfoss, Denmark. From urban planning schemes and buildings to installation work and objects with new materials, the relationship between the human body, technology and nature form the background for a new production of space.

Jürgen Mayer H. is the founder and principal of this cross-disciplinary studio. He studied at Stuttgart University, The Cooper Union and Princeton University. His work has been published and exhibited worldwide and is part of numerous collections including MoMA New York and SF MoMA. National and international awards include the Mies-van-der-Rohe-Award-Emerging-Architect-Special-Mention-2003 ,Winner Holcim Award Bronze 2005 and Winner Audi Urban Future Award 2010. Jürgen Mayer H. has taught at Princeton University, University of the Arts Berlin, Harvard University, Kunsthochschule Berlin, the Architectural Association in London, the Columbia University, New York and at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Holcim Awards 2005 - Europe - Bronze
Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain


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