We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd prize winner of our “SKYHIVE 2019 Skyscraper Challenge” competition - Bryant Lau Liang Cheng from Singapore!
Bryant Lau Liang Cheng from Singapore
Bryant Lau Liang Cheng is a young designer with interests in prototypical typologies and urban morphologies. His thesis project from National University of Singapore was nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal and subsequently exhibited in both Taiwan and Singapore. He was also named the Emerging Designer of the year for IDA International Design Awards in 2012 and had his work exhibited during the 100% London Design Festival in 2012.
Every project that I have done so far revolves around two simple words - "What if?" I am more interested in the question rather than the answer; and the complex relationship shared among them. I have participated in close to 50 International competitions over the years in an attempt to extend this thinking methodology - hoping that my projects can go beyond architecture itself and provide new perspectives on examining and thinking about things. For example, my competition entry in UIA HYP 2018 - which emerged in the 30 out of close to 2000 entries as an Honourable Mention - asked the question of whether or not it is possible to create more greenery through expansion of housing units; when usually it is the other way round.
What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?
Fundamentally, architecture is meant to improve people's lives. In regards to this, I believe that the role of architects will change in the future into a "softer" approach where they take on more of the role of a facilitator to allow individuals and communities to have more say in the buildings that they live in; instead of just purchasing it off the shelf. I strongly believe that this will be the next step forward moving from the sharing economy that we currently live in today.
Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?
Over the years in my architecture education, my ideas have often been criticized for being "bad" due to dealing with polarizing issues that simply cannot be solved by architecture alone - a criteria which architecture is based upon especially in academia settings. Once, I was even told by a tutor that I did not belong in architecture school and that I should quit because of how bad my ideas were. The solution I eventually found was to use ideas that don't work well in schools for international design competitions instead - allowing these ideas to be freely explored and developed without having to deal with consequences. This is the main reason I participate in architecture vision competitions.
What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?
You don't need a reason to participate in architecture competitions, you do it simply because you want to. If you need reasons or motivation from external sources then there really is no point in joining architecture competitions to begin with.
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