SIA Conference 2018

About SIA Conference 2018

Building agency emphasizes the facilitating and building up of agency and citizen participation through architecture. It foregrounds the agency of buildings as important materials and spaces of urban life. It is about an empowerment of the people as active agents in the making of our built environment.

Architecture, in terms of building, is typically understood as a container of space and activities, as receptacles of memories and aspirations. It has been presented as a monument to an idea or an ideal, a symbol for a collective. The highly mediatized events, socio-political and economic shifts of the last decade have reinforced yet challenged these long-held notions of architecture and inadvertently impacted the practice and the education of the architect. Alongside increasing specialization of expertise and digitization of scopes of work, the collaborative nature of architectural practice has come to the fore. New multi-disciplinary practices have emerged, predicated on the energies of collaboration and networking in which architectural knowledge and design is crucial but not necessarily central. In advanced societies, architects, urban designers and planners grapple with the escalating cries of the people – often through interests groups and activists – for more engaging, meaningful and inclusive public spaces, and still respond to state regulations on urban vigilance.

More than ever, architectural biennales, exhibitions and festivals have emphasized the city’s engagement with its citizenry. This necessitates the question of stake-holding, beyond the simple triad of client-architect-user: Who are the stakeholders of the architecture of building? How can stakeholding be more equitable in terms of the acknowledgements of intellectual and labour production? How can architecture be an agent for empowerment and dissemination without compromising on aesthetic and value? In conception, process, execution and sustainability, what is the agency and potential agencies of architecture? In what ways can we nurture our children to be accountable and critically-minded stakeholders of the urban environment?

The festival will be a platform to create a network of multiple stakeholders of the built environment – from government institutions to academies to architects and their clients and patrons to NGOs, think tanks to individuals and user groups – to engage in meaningful conversations and creative co-production.

The Conference is an open platform for conversations between local and overseas architects and academics on the issue of “Building Agency” through presentations and panel discussions as the industry and students gather together to discuss the impact of architecture in the city and the importance of engaging the multiple stakeholders in the conception, production, inhabitation and maintenance of architecture. 


More information will be provided closer to date


More information will be provided closer to date

Registration & Enquiries

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