ArchiFest 2015, an annual architecture festival organized by Singapore Institute of Architects and conducted this year between 26th September 2015 to 10th October 2015 under the theme ‘What Future?’. Archifest is a platform for all walks of life to discuss, debate and deliberate architectural issues. The event was an opportunity for the participants to engage in uninhibited dialogue, creative collaborations and exchange ideas. Professor Vinodh Vijayakumar, Director of Chennai Academy of Architecture and Design was on trip to Singapore to take part in the various events of the ArchiFestprogramme.
Prof. Vinodh was a part of the open jury session which was conducted by the SIA-Singapore Institute of Architects at their signature address 79, Neil Road Singapore. Over the intensive two day programme, the students of premier architecture schools of Singapore presented a palette of design works ranging from single family dwelling to projects of urban scale.
The ArchXpo 2015 was an International Exhibition for Architecture & The Built Environment Co-organised by Singapore Institute of Architects and Conference at the Marina Bay Sands. The event garnered display of avant-garde products and technologies in the architecture and building services industry. A gallery of the best works of architects featured under the SIA awards were displayed for public viewing as a part of the ArchXpo and served as an excellent platform bridging innovation in the industry and the research in the academia. Samples of the products and the images of the best works of architects have been captured and put on display at CAAD for the benefit of the students to get acquainted to the practices of the first world Architecture.
Professor Vinodh observed that the students of the Singapore schools were very strong in their means of presentation for which due credits need to be given to the institutions which are equipped with state of the art workshop equipments facilitating the students to produce spectacular models. An alumnus NUS – National University of Singapore himself, Prof. Vinodh is installing the workshops at CAAD on similar lines. The Ministry of Education (MOE) at Singapore extensively promotes experiential learning and experimentations right from the schooling fostering confident individuals with sound communication skills and individualistic thoughts which avails them stand the criticisms of the jurors in a design programme.
The architecture curriculum of our state does not have a structured training in communications although majority of the credits are earned from subjects on a viva based evaluation system. To bridge this gap, students at CAAD undergo a continuous soft skills enhancement programme conducted by qualified corporate trainers through the CAAD-ECL (CAAD Effective Communications Lab), an in-house Centre of Excellence. Different aspects of the soft skills are moduled for each semester and floated as additional course which the student has to audit as a part of their weekly time table.
Prof. Vinodh Vijayakumar also visited a couple of Universities and architecture firms in Singapore to understand the recent developments in the architecture industry as a response to the market practices to test the same in CAAD. With these initiatives from the institution, Prof. Vinodh was confident that the students of CAAD will emerge as global professionals once they pass of CAAD ready to face the ever changing scenarios of the building industry.