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Book Discussion: Rethinking "Big Thinking on A Small Island"


About the Book and its Author

Tay Kheng Soon is one of Singapore’s most important public intellectuals and thinkers. A pioneering architect of Singapore’s post-independence era. He was Chairman of the Singapore Planning and Urban Research Group (SPUR) in the 1970s and later president of the Singapore Institute of Architects, receiving its Gold Medal in 2010. Tay is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a member of the World Ekistics Society.

This collection brings together, for the first time, Tay’s writings on these and various other topics that occupied him in a lifetime of thinking, teaching, building and expounding.

About the Book Editor and Moderator

Kevin YL Tan is one of Singapore's leading scholars of constitutional law and legal history. He is concerned with the built environment. He is active in urban conservation. He is currently Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and Visiting Professor at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. Kevin has written and edited over 50 books on the law, history and politics of Singapore, and has co-edited, with Terence Lee, Voting in Change: Politics of Singapore’s 2011 General Election and Change in Voting: Singapore’s 2015 General Election (both with Ethos Books).

About the Panelists

Robert Powell

Robert Powell is an architect, city planner, author/editor and critic. He was, from January 2016 until November 2019, Professor of Architecture at Taylor’s University, Selangor, Malaysia. Prior to that he was Head of EcoMasterplanning with Llewelyn Davies Yeang, London, UK. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Architecture at the National University of Singapore (1984 to 2000).

He is the author/editor of over 40 books including, Innovative Architecture of Singapore (1989), Living Legacy: Singapore’s Architectural Heritage Renewed (1994), Singapore: The Architecture of a Global City (2000), and Singapore Good Class Bungalow (2016) He has written several monographs including, Modern Tropical Architecture: Line, Edge and Shade: The Architecture of Akitek Tenggara (1997).

He was a member of the Singapore Institute of Architects team led by Tay Kheng Soon that produced The Kampong Bugis DGP (1989).

Rita Soh

Rita Soh obtained in 2011, Master of Science in Sustainable Building Design from the University of Nottingham (UK. She graduated with honours from the National University of Singapore in 1987 and is currently the Managing Director of RDC Architects Pte Ltd.

She is the immediate past President of ARCAISA; comprising National Institutes of Architects from 21 Asian countries.

Ms Soh was a Nominated Member of Parliament (2014-2015)

From 2004-2007, she was President of Singapore Institute of Architects.

Liak Teng Lit

Liak Teng Lit served 38 years in the public healthcare sector. He was the Group Chief Executive Officer of Alexandra Health System which managed the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Yishun Community Hospital in the north of Singapore.

A pharmacist by training, he was involved in the restructuring of major hospitals including The National University Hospital, Kandang Kerbau Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

Mr Liak was the Chairman of National Environment Agency and National Parks Board, and Advisory Board of Centre for Liveable Cities.

Luther Seet

Ar. Luther Seet is lead architect and co-founder of AL+ in Singapore, and Inully Limted in the UK, specializing in sports complexes, agricultural projects, community institutions, low-cost housing and landed houses. He was previously responsible for projects like the National Gallery Singapore, Changi Airport T4 and mixed-use developments in Vietnam, India and Indonesia. Luther is adjunct at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Centre for Liveable Cities, where he lectures and researches on urban sustainability.

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