Podcast Episode

From Architecture Practice to Education (Interview w Lee Siang, SUTD ASD) | S3E5

Considering a career in architectural education after years of practice? Tune in to this podcast episode with Lee Siang on how he did it.

May 14, 2024

We discuss the following:

- Lee Siang's Architecture Journey from school to working at URA, to a partner at DP Architects, Ong and Ong, BCA and eventually Singapore University of Technology & Design Architecture and Sustainable Design pillar head (SUTD ASD)
- Importance of getting QP (but after sufficient experience)
- Why you should take the Professional Practice Exam and not limit yourself to be a designer without license to practice.
- Why you should sound out if you feel that certain design is not compliant and/or can be improved.
- How and why his supervisor at DP Architects allowed him to explore his short stint as a counsellor.
- How hearing people's stories as a counsellor has affected the way he view architecture.
- Why fresh architecture graduates should consider and join the best employer they can find.
- How a homestay experience in Thailand has shaped his second half of his architecture journey
- The difference working at DP vs Ong and Ong where the focus shifted towards a more entreprenurial and pioneering mindset.
- "The key challenge right now is how to retain talent"
- His invovlement as Singapore Institute of Architects President and Singapore Green Building Council - Why he transitioned to SUTD ASD.
- His role in SUTD (ASD, DAI and DesignZ).
- His first action as a new Head of Pillar at SUTD ASD after observing as a Board of Trustees
- Why SUTD ASD graduates are ahead of the curve
- How an Architect should deal with rapid changes in technologies and changing views on sustainability, especially after COVID.
- Why there is a reduction of intake of new architecture students not limited to SUTD ASD. - Why there is an issue with demand and supply of young Architects, who are overworked and underpaid (after the 2000s).
- Why SUTD ASD has started to focus heavily on the use of artificial intelligence to aid/augment architectural design.
- The goal of involving cutting edge firms in the studios at ASD and interactions with students.
- How SUTD ASD is collaborating and supporting their alumni in various initatives. - How I will be involved in the ASD Alumni events.
- Why SUTD ASD is working on Continued Education Programs for alumni as well as opportunities for knowledge sharing.
- His message to current students and young architects. - "Architecture in Singapore should be more _____."
- "SUTD ASD students should be less ______."
- "Lee Siang's secret skill is ________."

About Lee Siang

Lee Siang has dedicated over three decades to his career in architecture. In 2016, he was elected chairman of the World Green Building Council. During his two-year term, he traveled to nearly 30 cities, advocating for advancements in green building initiatives. After returning to Singapore in 2018, Lee Siang worked closely with the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore to promote the Industry Transformation Map among industry professionals, marking a pinnacle in his career until the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. The following two years proved challenging as he navigated the impacts of the pandemic, learning about the resilience of the built environment sector. In August 2021, he began a new chapter by joining the Singapore University of Singapore as the head of the Architecture and Sustainable Design Pillar. Additionally, he launched the new design center, DesignZ, in October 2021. This return to education and research has reignited his enthusiasm at this stage of his career.

About the show

Architecture Siol! is a podcast from Gabriel Chek featuring Stories, Issues, Opportunities, Learnings within Architecture.

Tune in as Gabriel chats with fellow architects, designers and students to discover more about them and their ‘badass’ work in the architectural industry in Singapore and beyond.

siol - Singaporean slang (Singlish). Commonly used at the end of a sentence to emphasize the 'badass' qualities of someone/something.

If you would like to join me as a podcast guest, feel free to contact me.

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