Tuesday 16 March – Friday 30 April 2021
5.00 pm (AEST)


Design Speaks Virtual Portal
Virtual Event


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Program Info

This edition of The Architecture Symposium will explore the theme of the 2021 Asia Pacific Architecture Festival, “How new is now?”

Is there any such thing as a new idea? The cyclic nature of the world can make it difficult to distinguish innovation from iteration. Though we may think something is new, is it really new? In response to changing times, including a global pandemic, economic crisis and climate emergency, architectural and design agency has the potential to be applied in different and exciting ways. In this program, we will simultaneously learn from the past and optimistically look forward to the next decade of design with a careful balance of vision and pragmatism.

Presented over four days from 16 March, the program includes three hour-long speaker sessions and concludes with a plenary discussion. Choose the sessions that are most valuable to you, capped off with an engaging interactive live discussion, Dissection: How new is now?


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Sophia Buckle

Event Coordinator Header Image School of Design and Environment in Singapore by Serie Architects. Photography: Rory Gardiner.


  • New Opportunities
    The words “never let a good crisis go to waste” were never more relevant than in this moment, as the pandemic and recession reshape a world on the precipice of climate calamity. But how should architects respond? What opportunities can be seized on to move towards a more sustainable, more equitable future? In this session we hear from three very different speakers, who each approach architecture in a way that is attuned to the contradictions and challenges of our time.
  • 12.20 pm Welcome
    Log in to the Design Speaks Virtual Portal
  • 12.30 pm Presentation
    Christopher Lee, Serie Architects (Singapore, India, UK)
  • 12.50 pm Presentation
    Karamia Muller, University of Auckland (New Zealand)
  • 1.10 pm Presentation
    Samaneh Moafi, Forensic Architecture (UK, project in Indonesia)
  • 1.30 pm Session 1 concludes
    Return to the Design Speaks home page to see the full program


Christopher Lee

Principal, Serie Architects

Christopher Lee is the co-founder and principal of Serie Architects London, Mumbai and Singapore, and leads the design of Serie across all three offices.

Serie Architects is known for its theoretical position which emphasizes the study of building typologies and their evolution. Thus, Serie advocates careful study of historical building precedents as a basis for speculating on new solutions. With a close relationship to the internationally recognized Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and Harvard Graduate School of Design in the USA where Chris Lee is a member of the academic faculty, Serie has reopened interest in this field as one of the key areas of architectural discourse.

More About Christopher Lee →

Samaneh Moafi

Senior Researcher, Forensic Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London

Dr. Samaneh Moafi is the senior researcher at Forensic Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London. She provides conceptual oversight across projects and in particular oversees the Centre for Contemporary Nature (CCN), where new investigative techniques are developed for environmental violence.

Samaneh graduated with a BA and MA in architecture from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where she specialized in environmental urbanism in conflict zones. She earned her PhD, from the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture with a dissertation on the contemporary history of state initiated mass housing in Iran and the class identities and gender roles it informed.

More About Samaneh Moafi →

Karamia Müller

Lecturer, University of Auckland

Karamia Müller is a Pacific academic specializing in indigenous space concepts. Currently a lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning, Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland, her research specializes in the meaningful ‘indigenization’ of design methodologies invested in building futures resistant to inequality. She is the project lead for the time-mapping research project “Violent Legalities,” which presents interactive maps of Aotearoa, specially developed to plot historical instances of racial violence and tracks these against a chronology of legislative changes.

More About Karamia Müller →

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