Recently, the Hong Kong chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) held Emerge! 2016 AIA|HK Young Architects Forum at PMQ
In 2015, AIA Hong Kong inaugurated the Young Architects Committee to engage young members with the professional community. The chapter endeavours to create a platform for these architects and their firms to showcase their designs and projects and to engage in further dialogue with their peers and the professional community, both in Hong Kong and internationally.
So, earlier this year the first Emerge! 2016 AIA|HK Young Architects Forum was held at PMQ. Six firms from throughout the region were invited to present a selection of their projects to AIA members and invited guests in a bid to drive positive change through the power of design. Hong Kong-based firms openUU, ESKYIU and Design Trademark all took part in the event alongside O-office Architects from Guangzhou, Supermachine Studio from Bangkok and OBBA from Seoul.
Kenneth Hau, president of the Hong Kong chapter of AIA said on the selection process for the forum, "We looked for diversity; firms from different regions of Asia, working on different project types, and with different approaches to design. That led us to invite these six young firms who are doing interesting work." Many of the participants are award-winners from Architectural Record’s annual Design Vanguard, Architectural Review’s annual Emerging Architects Award and Perspective's own 40 Under 40 Awards.
Each firm discussed projects that they had worked on in which a number of challenges had been overcome to ensure completion. Supermachine Studio discussed its transformation of dated student accommodation at Bangkok University Rangsit into the BU Student Activity Center, while Design Trademark engaged in dialogue surrounding the creation of a maternity hospital, despite having never designed one before.
“The speakers presented a wide variety of projects, and shared stories of their practices. We hope this would give the audience a new dimension to view the architecture and design profession, to be inspired to make a positive impact to the society with their design works. At the panel discussion, there were more candid and casual conversations on the state of the profession, the challenges and opportunities that the panelists encounter in their career. We have been getting positive reviews on the event from the audience, including students from university architecture programs and practicing professionals,” notes Hau.
Paul Chan, MH, JP Secretary for Development Hong Kong SAR Government, gave the keynote address at the forum, reminding the audience that challenges have been faced over the course of history to revolutionise the world of architecture and urban planning. He noted that when the MTR was originally proposed for Hong Kong, an overwhelming majority of people were against the development, however the region now has one of the most advanced and successful transit systems in the world.
Hopefully set to become an annual event on the AIA calendar, there is no doubt that the Emerge! 2016 AIA|HK Young Architects Forum was a great success.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the forum in the bumper July/August edition of Perspective