Design Talks

Within the monsoon cultural & geographical region, architecture is constantly trying to resolve the debate between standardized international architecture & standardizes local vernacular. In this debate, Living Monsoon Design Talks series brought Architects whose works were neither new nor old, but something true, to the place, people & time. Through architectural projects, which were largely conceived for the society, foregoing any pre conceived design notions or irrelevant past references, letting the project grow with its own natural pace with people and context, which have redefined the role of architect as a facilitator for society.

Dr. Ken Yeang

Architect | Malaysia

Ken Yeang is both an architect and ecologist, known for his authentic innovative ecology-based signature ecoachitecture and masterplans that have a distinctive verdant green aesthetic, that are beyond conventional accreditation. He trained at the Architectural Association School (UK). His doctorate is from Cambridge University on ecological architecture and planning.

He has authored over 12 books on green architecture. Awards received include the Aga Khan Award, Malaysian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, Malaysian Government’s Merdeka Award. He holds the Distinguished Plym Professorship (Illinois University). The Guardian newspaper names him as, “ of the 50 people who could save the planet..”

Philip Goad

Academician & Writer | Australia

Philip J. Goad is an Australian academic, currently serving as Professor of Architecture and Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Professor Goad researches in the areas of architectural history, theory and design. He is an authority on modern Australian architecture& tropical Asian architecture. He has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University, the Bartlett School of Architecture (London) and UCLA (Los Angeles).

In 2000 Professor Goad was awarded the Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media, from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. In 1994 he received the Joint RAPI Award for Excellence from the Royal Australian Planning Institute and in 1991 he was a recipient of the RAIA President’s Award.

Tay Kheng Soon

Architect | Singapore

TayKheng Soon is a practicing architect based in Singapore and Malaysia and Adjunct Professor at National University of Singapore. He graduated in 1963, was founding member of SPUR the Singapore Planning and Urban Research Group and was its chairman in 1968 that pioneered many new planning and developmental concepts which challenged and contributed to Singapore’s development over the years.

He was awarded the SIA Gold Medal in 2010 for achievements in architecture and the profession. He received the 2015 Singapore Design Golden Jubilee Award from the Singapore Design Council. He was awarded the International Passive Low Energy Architecture prize for his work in rural areas of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Rahul Mehrotra

Architect & Academician | India

Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urbanist and educator who is the Founder Principal of RMA Architects and is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He studied at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad graduated with a Master’s Degree in Urban Design with distinction from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard.

He was the Executive Director (1994–2004) of the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), where he is now a Trustee and has earlier taught at the University of Michigan and at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT.


Architectural Photographer | Netherlands

Dutch photographer Iwan Baan is known primarily for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture.After his studies in photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Baan followed his interest in documentary photography, before narrowing his focus to record the various ways in which individuals, communities and societies create, and interact within their built environment.

With no formal training in architecture, his photographs mirrors the questions and perspectives of the everyday individuals who give meaning and context to the architecture and spaces that surround us, and this artistic approach has given matters of architecture an approachable and accessible voice.Baan is the recipient of the Golden Lion for Best Installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, AIA Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award and the inaugural recipient of the Julius Shulman award for photography.

Iwan Baan was named one of the 100 most influential people in contemporary architecture world by the ‘Magazine dell’Architettura’.


Architect | Bangladesh

KashefChowdhury graduated in architecture from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1995. In 2006, he attended the Glenn MurcuttMasterclass in Sydney.KashefChowdhury has a studio based practice whose works find root in history with strong emphasis on climate, materials and context - both natural and human. Projects in the studio are given extended time for research so as to reach a level of innovation and original expression.

The multi talented Architect has also worked as a professional photographer and has held seven solo exhibitions. He has designed and published three books and takes an active interest in the field of Art. He was twice finalist in the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and has won first prize in Architectural Review's AR+D Emerging Architecture Award 2012.


Architect & Artist | Thailand

David Schafer blends Space making with craft. His practice maintains that there is no distinct boundary between the act of design and the act of construction. In their studio and workshops the team of architects and craftsmen explore the overlapping realms of architecture, interiors, furniture, and object design.

He first explored architecture at the University of Arizona, worked for several significant studios in San Diego, earned his architecture license from the State of California, and then returned to academics to study a more intimate scale of making. At Cranbrook Academy of Art he cast, cut, machined, lathed, constructed and construed; formulating the approach that would lead him and his late partner, ImSarasalin Schafer, to establish Studiomake.

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