Young architects on the move

August 31, 2019 | By: ARCH. MARIA ALORA P. ANGELES (first published in The Manila Times last August 27, 2019)

The Architects Regional Council Asia (Arcasia) is a nonprofit organization formed during the conference of the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) in New Delhi in 1967.

India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong are the six Asian member institutes of CAA. It has the urgent need to address the environmental design and unity among these countries.

It proposed for the creation of the Center of Environment and Technical Advance and the Arcasia Formation Council. In 1970, the Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia supported the proposal. In 1972, the Institute of Architects Bangladesh and the Association of Siamese Architects became members. In 1977, the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) joined the organization.

Arcasia is represented by the presidents of various national institutions of architects in Asia as the council of presidents. It is composed of the Committee of Architectural Education, Committee on Professional Practice, Committee on Social Responsibility, Committee on Green and Sustainable Architecture and the Committee on Young Architects (ACYA).

Last July 3 to 6, 2019, the ACYA held a roundtable meeting, Stormathon 2.0, in Kuala Lumpur with 18 institutes of different countries — Association of Lao Architects and Civil Engineers, Association of Myanmar Architects, Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage, Architectural Society of China, Bhutan Institute of Architects, Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia, Institute of Architects Pakistan, Indian Institute of Architects, Japan Institute of Architects, Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), Pertubuhan Ukur, Jurutera dan Arkitek, Brunei, Singapore Institute of Architects, Society of Nepalese Architects, UAP, and the Vietnam Association of Architects. All of them were well represented by young architects aged 40 and below.

During arrival at the airport, delegates were warmly welcomed by the PAM representatives and accompanied to the NowHere Boutique Suites in Bangsar.

The event started with the Eid Mubarak celebration, closing of live design discourse, welcome dinner for ACYA delegates and the opening of Stormathon 2.0. The latter was held at the PAM Center in Bangsar and hosted by PAM representatives ACYA Head architect Ridha Rizak and architect Adrianta Aziz, together with Nor Suryati Sulong of the PAM Secretariat.

The Architects Regional Council Asia (Arcasia) is a nonprofit organization formed during the conference of the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) in New Delhi in 1967.

India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong are the six Asian member institutes of CAA. It has the urgent need to address the environmental design and unity among these countries.

It proposed for the creation of the Center of Environment and Technical Advance and the Arcasia Formation Council. In 1970, the Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia supported the proposal. In 1972, the Institute of Architects Bangladesh and the Association of Siamese Architects became members. In 1977, the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) joined the organization.

Arcasia is represented by the presidents of various national institutions of architects in Asia as the council of presidents. It is composed of the Committee of Architectural Education, Committee on Professional Practice, Committee on Social Responsibility, Committee on Green and Sustainable Architecture and the Committee on Young Architects (ACYA).

Last July 3 to 6, 2019, the ACYA held a roundtable meeting, Stormathon 2.0, in Kuala Lumpur with 18 institutes of different countries — Association of Lao Architects and Civil Engineers, Association of Myanmar Architects, Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage, Architectural Society of China, Bhutan Institute of Architects, Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Institute of Architects Bangladesh, Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia, Institute of Architects Pakistan, Indian Institute of Architects, Japan Institute of Architects, Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), Pertubuhan Ukur, Jurutera dan Arkitek, Brunei, Singapore Institute of Architects, Society of Nepalese Architects, UAP, and the Vietnam Association of Architects. All of them were well represented by young architects aged 40 and below.

During arrival at the airport, delegates were warmly welcomed by the PAM representatives and accompanied to the NowHere Boutique Suites in Bangsar.

The event started with the Eid Mubarak celebration, closing of live design discourse, welcome dinner for ACYA delegates and the opening of Stormathon 2.0. The latter was held at the PAM Center in Bangsar and hosted by PAM representatives ACYA Head architect Ridha Rizak and architect Adrianta Aziz, together with Nor Suryati Sulong of the PAM Secretariat.

In Datum:KL, the first speakers were Khim Joe and Ruben Cortes of Kebun-kebun, Malaysia. They promoted urban agriculture and aimed to bring local communities together for healthy and nutritious food.

Second to speak were siblings from Finland — Sabrina and Natasha Viitasaari of Nusa Sentara. They were from a Finnish environmental design and development company, which offers new environmental technologies to set up a regenerative ecosystem in all communities where we work.

The third speaker was Kevin Flanagan from PLP Architecture, United Kingdom. He exhibited the maximum use of timber for high-rise structures. Archidex 2019 was an exhibit that catered to international architecture, interior design and building construction industry.

Such events help the industry partners to promote and create further awareness of their brand, new technology and sustainable materials that can help improve the construction industry.

In the afternoon, we visited the Unsung Heroes Exhibit at the Galeri Petronas Suria KLCC. The exhibit showcased the heroes in building an architectural vision that centers on the unity between the built environment and its surrounding. It also highlighted Malaysia’s architecture, which is historically accommodative, adaptive and acclimated to its surroundings. People behind the design are not well-known architects, but deserved the long overdue recognition.

The second day started at the PAM Center for the Stormathon 2.0. ACYA Secretary architect Bisma Askari from the Institute of Architects Pakistan discussed the minutes of the meeting in Japan last September 2018 for the Stormathon 1.0 headed by architect Tan Szue Hann of the Singapore Institutes of Architects. Hann was chairman of ACYA for 2018 to 2019.

The delegates talked about the previous activities their institutes conducted the previous year and the proposed activities for the young architects in their respective countries. During Stormathon 2.0, Arcasia President architect Rita Soh visited the delegates and personally welcomed and congratulated them for the activities of each institute.

After the reporting, we were grouped into Zones A, B and C for the workshop. It aimed to enhance the skills of the delegates to cooperate and discuss the factors affecting organizations, environment, communities and end-users.

At the same time, the ACYA KL made a declaration that young architects should offer a one-stop shop solution for future design disciplines to provide timely and quality services to clients. Young architects can save the planet by encouraging a sustainable and circular economy where trash is turned into architecture. Young architects can also become agents to convert big data into sustainable smart city design solutions.

The third day was all fun and energy with the Colonial Walk City Tour by Mariana Isa, an architecture graduate and author of Kuala Lumpur Street Names. The tour started at the River of Life where Kuala Lumpur was founded before proceeding to the Old Market.

We learned about the history of the surrounding buildings and architectural design; walked around the areas where a community is focused on urban regeneration called Think City, which works closely with local government, international agencies and various local communities; and visited the Chinese Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, which is known to be the oldest temple in the city, and the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral.

We were mesmerized by the architecture of Masjid Jamek, before having a feast at a restaurant called Old China in Central Market, which serves authentic Malaysian cuisine like nyonya laksa (curry laksa), nasi lemak (coconut milk rice with chicken), coconut blue rice and a lot more.

We also experienced the first food party at Jalan Raja Street. A total of 81 mosques participated in the event, where they put up stalls that served free food from 2 p.m. until the evening.

Stormathon 2.0’s success shows that despite different personalities, races and religious beliefs, for the love of art and architecture, we can unite and have camaraderie. We were able to deepen our understanding of the different cultures and share ideas to helps us gain knowledge useful for the promotion and protection of the profession.

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The writer is a graduate of the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Quezon City. In October 2011 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree and, after taking the required apprenticeship and diversified training experience, passed the licensure Board exam for Architecture in June 2013. Eventually joining the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), she later became the chapter president of the UAP Quezon City Silangan chapter for fiscal year (FY) 2017-2018. She is now appointed as the head for the Committee on Young Architects of the Special Committee under 4P’s Priorities under the Office of the National President, FY 2019-2020.