The SUTD Leaders Series by Mr Tai Lee Siang

05 Oct 2015 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm SUTD, 8 Somapah Road, Building 2, Level 4, LT 4


I started my career always aiming to be a good architect. I am taught to design good buildings with sensitivity to context. Often the resultant architecture is one that respects the physical context with good manners. It is right so long as the context is right. Unfortunately the city that we operate in is no longer ideal. More often than not, cities have struggled against climate change and they are also often the cause of climate change. Where does this leave good architecture? I think the future buildings will have to be primarily defensive - against bad environment. This leaves us to wonder about the future of architecture. I think, as architects and planners, we have to go back to the fundamentals and start changing our cities first. This talk aims to connect my architecture journey with my latest thinking about fundamental revamp of cities.

Speaker's profile
Mr Tai graduated with honours from NUS in 1987 and has practised as an architect and urban planner since 1990. His key projects have won both local and international awards and he was featured in the URA exhibition “20 under 45” in March 2004.

He held the position of President of Singapore Institute of Architects from 2007 to 2009. During his term, he inaugurated the formation of ARCHIFEST that has become the top and only architecture festival in Asia. In 2009, following his impact on the design world, he was elected as the first chairman of Design Alliance of Singapore, DesignS - an alliance representing 9 design associations in Singapore.

In 2011, he was elected as President of Singapore Green Building Council. Under his leadership, the first green building product certification scheme in Singapore was established. The growth of the green building industry gained significant milestone both locally and globally during his tenure. In 2013, he was officially appointed as a Board Director of World Green Building Council and was subsequently elected as Vice Chairman in 2014.

On the design front, he was elected President of Design Business Chamber Singapore in 2013. He is overseeing the transformation of the design industry through the installation of several initiatives such as the launch of the Singapore Good Design Mark in 2014. Mr Tai currently holds the position of Group Managing Director of Ong&Ong Group - a multi-discipline design firm of 900 strong. He is also Board Member of the Health Science Authority and Board of Trustee of the Singapore University of Technology and Design.