Friday 15 March 2019
8.30 am – 5.30 pm ()


Auditorium 1 and Queensland Terrace, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place
South Brisbane Queensland
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Ticket sales for this event are closed.

Program Info

Explore the innovative thinking and transformative projects creating new world cities for the emerging Asian Century.


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Header Image Paragon Walk by (AK+) Archipedia. Photography: Patrick Teow.


  • 8.30 am Delegate arrival and seating
  • 9.00 am Welcome
  • 9.15 am Keynote
    Yarinda Bunnag, co-founder, Imaginary Objects (Thailand)
  • 10.00 am Keynote
    James Grose, principal, BVN (Australia)
  • 10.45 am Morning tea
  • 11.15 am Keynote
    Alan Kueh, founder, (AK+) Archipedia (Singapore)
  • 12.00 pm Keynote
    Elva Tang, founding partner and managing director, Henning Larsen (Hong Kong)
  • 12.45 pm Lunch
  • 1.45 pm Keynote
    Boonserm Premthada, founder, Bangkok Project Studio (Thailand)
  • 2.30 pm Keynote
    Eleena Jamil, founder, Eleena Jamil Architect (Malaysia)
  • 3.15 pm Afternoon tea
  • 3.35 pm Keynote
    Nicholas Dalton, founding director, TOA Architects (New Zealand)
  • 4.20 pm Keynote
    Sheng-Yuan Huang, founder, Fieldoffice Architects (Taiwan)
  • 5.05 pm Closing comments
  • Closing drinks at co-located Minister's Award for Urban Design 2019
  • 6.30 pm Event closes

Keynote Addresses.

Identity in practice

Presented by
Yarinda Bunnag, Co-founder, Imaginary Objects

This lecture will explore challenges that architects face in positioning the identity of their own practice. Having transitioned from Hypothesis Design Agency – a Bangkok-based architectural practice that consciously denies stylistic inclinations, to Imaginary Objects – a new trans-regional architectural firm that attempts to form a distinct identity via its first projects, Bunnag will reflect on the struggle to distinguish the characters of each company, and the symbiotic relationship between the identity of the company and the identity of its projects. The discussion will unfold through exploration of four projects from the two companies.

Cultural narrative

Presented by
Nicholas Dalton, Founding director , TOA Architects

Nicholas Dalton is an award-winning Indigenous architect. He founded TOA Architects in 2010, based on the principles of celebrating both physical and non-physical environments. The heart of TOA is to bring soul to the craft of architecture.

"At TOA we are Tiaki (guardians) of our client’s projects and the communities we serve. We fiercely guard and believe in the wairua (spirit) of design in architecture and the values of engineering that are innate within both Māori and contemporary design. Our business fuses indigenous and western design principles so that our buildings stand apart but are in harmony with their environments."

Nicholas will discuss a number of recent projects, where the designs have been drawn from a cultural narrative giving both purpose and meaning to those who will work, live and play in them. TOA projects encourage people to pursue insight and to trust intuition.

Materiality, mass and time

Presented by
James Grose, Principal, BVN

James Grose will present BVN’s new Australian Embassy in Bangkok, referencing the development of ideas in a range of buildings since 1994; particularly considering materiality, mass and time.

Opening up possibilities

Presented by
Eleena Jamil, Founder, Eleena Jamil Architect

This talk revolves around an approach in architecture that combines natural local resources, cultural patterns and modern building techniques through innovative construction strategies. The use of local materials and patterns drives the architectural concepts to create engaging and meaningful structures.

The designs are motivated by the belief that architecture that responds to the stimulus of a place will start charging the spaces around it with connective possibilities. It will allow for multiple occupancy patterns to take place, sometimes in unexpected and surprising ways. The idea that architecture can open up possibilities of use means that it is a powerful tool with which to contribute and to learn about the world.

Building strong communities

Presented by
Alan Kueh, Founder, (AK+) Archipedia

People and their ways of living evolve and we aim to create structures, of products and byproducts, that are enduring in character, designed to maintain utility and a relevance to society. Design norms can and should be re-examined and repurposed, with the goal of challenging expectations to allow for more communal spaces where people can congregate and make meaningful connections.

We respect the past in order to design the future. By breaking conventions and applying global thinking in ways that make sense in a local context, we will be able to build strong communities through the spaces we create. This requires a careful balance of, at times, conflicting demands and expectations to produce works that will last and stay relevant for generations to come. To embrace international influences while staying true to our local DNA, we are constantly attempting to construct frameworks that make room for the organic growth and inclusion of local culture. We aim to weave together seamless communities through architecture.

Overcoming restrictions

Presented by
Boonserm Premthada, Founder, Bangkok Project Studio

In this presentation I will share how I use construction technologies that make construction easier and save cost, by using locally produced and handmade materials that are cheap and strong. By doing this, my works help to preserve communities’ legacies. In my work I am commonly faced with economic constraints such as low budget, and we need to turn local materials into a solution that overcomes the restrictions. We have to think of simple ways to construct a building. Often we cannot find contractors and we have only a handful of people to work on a project. These are some of the constraints that architects in developing countries have to face. I like to say that my works represent sustainability that keeps moving forward.

Practising architecture in Asia

Presented by
Elva Tang, Founding partner and managing director, Henning Larsen

As the founding partner of Henning Larsen Hong Kong, Elva will speak about her experiences in practising architecture in Asia. From Hong Kong, Manila, Hangzhou, Shanghai to Shenzhen, Henning Larsen’s strong portfolio of projects created in response to specific local contexts in Asia also carries Scandinavian ethos and visionary concepts. While the region is still in a phase of rapid development and transformation in political landscape and social needs, unique opportunities are unfolded for urban planners, architects and designers. A Collection of Differences is a portfolio of work in search to balance heritage and modernity, to bridge different cultures and generations and to shape the life of tomorrow.

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