Architecture has always played a pivotal role in shaping our world, and as society continues to evolve, the concept of adaptability becomes more important than ever. Archifest 2023, organized by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), is back for its 17th edition, exploring the theme of “Interim: Acts of Adaptation.” From 29 September to 28 October, this annual festival promises a thought-provoking journey into the realm of architecture, with over 80 diverse events.
Meet the Festival Director
Leading the curation of Archifest 2023 is the festival director, Calvin Chua, Founder of Spatial Anatomy and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). With his visionary leadership, the festival promises to be a transformative experience.
Kampong Gelam: A Nexus for Architectural Discourse
For the first time, Archifest is activating the cultural precinct of Kampong Gelam, infusing architectural discourse into the physical landscape of this unique district. Kampong Gelam’s blend of modernity and tradition, coupled with its rich historical significance, makes it the perfect backdrop for experimentation and dialogue. The precinct allows the festival to explore a wide range of architectural topics while celebrating Singapore’s heritage.
AF Installations: Rethinking Tradition
Archifest has reimagined its traditional pavilion format into AF Installations, a series of six urban installations scattered throughout Kampong Gelam. These installations aim to shed light on the heritage of the district and challenge perceptions of how spaces can be rejuvenated. Visitors can explore these meaningful art encounters as they wander through the district.
Fabric Forest: This installation transforms an unused space into a gateway for Kampong Gelam, offering versatile community areas inspired by its pilgrim history. It features canopies and benches under Angsana trees, reflecting the district’s textile charm.
Dulang-Dulang: Shaped like a long table inspired by Malay culture, this vibrant communal space celebrates community interaction and is located at the coach lots at Sultan Gate.
Collective Memories of Kampong Gelam: This artwork pays homage to the diverse communities that have journeyed to Singapore from distant lands.
A Particular Place: Integrating iconography found within Kampong Gelam, this mural artwork captures the essence of the precinct through images and photographs.
Scaffold Bridge Over Fence: This interim bridge reflects the desire to enter the previous landmark gathering site.
Asterisk: A canopy comprising overlapping asterisks serves as a spot for people to rest and watch the bustling Kampong Gelam in action.
AF Play!: Explore Kampong Gelam
Archifest has partnered with Hidden SG! to create AF Play!, an outdoor exploration game that allows visitors to uncover the hidden stories of Kampong Gelam. Accessible via mobile, this game offers a fun way to explore the vibrant streets of the district.
New Programs for Creative Exchange
The festival will host new programs that connect visitors with the architecture community to stimulate conversations.
AF Residency: Six international designers from various countries will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the festival, explore Singapore, and work in a studio where visitors can witness their creative processes.
AF Incubator: This one-week program offers design workshops for students, connecting them with workshop leaders from the architecture community. They will explore inventive solutions within the built environment and the potential of adaptive architecture.
AF Happenings: This platform fosters research and inquiry into architecture, culture, and the city by bringing together thought leaders from various architecture disciplines.
- Festival House: The Festival House is home to the AF Exhibition, displaying industry-shaping projects from Singapore and the region. This year’s exhibition delves into architecture’s relationship with change and volatility.
- AF Main Conference: Featuring ten leading voices from the industry, this conference focuses on the applications of “Interim” thinking in architecture and the city.
- Architours: Participants can embark on immersive journeys to discover architectural works and gems across three sites, starting at Kampong Gelam.
- Archicraft: Explore interim cultures, environments, and technologies through hands-on crafting workshops using traditional, local materials and techniques.
Archifest 2023 promises to be a transformative experience, encouraging us to rethink our built environment and embrace adaptability as a response to change.