Frontiers and Trends

A complimentary IBEW affiliated event organized by SUTD


As the 21st century develops into an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world at every turn, the Built Environment finds itself having to confront issues and concerns that are increasingly complex, multi-layered and on a scale where conventional silo approaches are no longer sufficient.

Knowledge co-creation and sharing, multi-disciplinary and holistic approaches, coupled with innovative tech/AI-driven solutions are key in addressing hard-pressed questions in this climate. The conference brings together governmental agencies as main drivers of industry transformation, institutes of higher learning who are at the forefront of research trends as well as industrial partners who are vital collaborators to develop Living Labs and test-bedding new solutions, to present to attendees possibilities of the future.

Each segment presents a glimpse into the potential future empowered by the synergy of a well-connected tripartite eco-system to pave the way forward for Singapore to become a leading knowledge and innovation hub both regionally and globally.


Morning Opening and Keynote address

09.00AM – 09.30AM (SGT)

Future of Cities

09.30AM – 10.30AM (SGT)

Shaping Urban Futures

This segment highlights SUTD’s cutting edge contributions to urban research, planning and design over the last ten years and maps out important approaches to addressing major challenges cities face in the 21st Century. We will share new technologies created at SUTD including for urban sensing, analysis, digital planning and design as well as examples of practical applications. Can we know how a space makes people feel... in real time? How can we shape the future of Singapore as a city in nature in three dimensions? How can digital tools help to generate urban form that is resilient, sustainable and economically viable? We will debate these questions with leading figures from academia and practice in a discussion that will chart a path for the next decade of research on the future planning and design of cities.

Break Time

10.30AM - 10.45AM (SGT)

Future of Building

10.45AM - 11.45AM (SGT)

Building Systems Design for Reduced Carbon and Design Variability

This segment presents SUTD’s building technology research which reconsiders the materiality, assembly, and design of buildings to reduce their carbon footprint while expanding design possibilities. Contributions leverage emerging technologies including Mass Engineered Timber design, design-for-disassembly, circular design, LCA-informed design, responsive architecture, biomaterial design, and lightweight/tensegrity structures. Manifested through demonstrator prototypes, student designs, digital design tools, and full-scale projects the work develops workflows that integrate simulation and analysis with design automation that considers the logistics of production and assembly. We will present visions of the future of building construction and debate these trajectories with leading figures from academia and practice.

AM Panel Discussion

11.45AM - 12.15PM (SGT)


12.15PM - 13.45PM (SGT)

Future Health

14.00PM - 15.00PM (SGT)

A Human-centric Approach to Designing Future Healthcare Systems

Designers of tomorrow’s healthcare systems are confronted by a wicked set of issues ranging from novel communicable diseases to an aging population. In this presentation, we showcase work undertaken by ASD faculty, researchers, and students at the Social Urban Lab (SOULab) and Future Health Lab-Studio in partnership with collaborators such as Singhealth and MOH Office of Transformation to address this overarching design challenge. Can we apply the concept of ‘Urban Acupuncture’—using data analytics, gamification techniques, and innovative urban design strategies to nudge residents' behaviours towards active living and preventive health? How do we design occupant aware buildings that respond to the changing needs of individual patients? Can we reduce the carbon footprint of medical architecture without detracting from the level of care delivered? These are some questions we will discuss while outlining possible design directions for the healthcare systems of tomorrow.

Break Time

15.00PM - 15.15PM (SGT)

Climate Change

15.15PM - 16.15PM (SGT)

From geo specificities toward universal emergencies: The need for a Planetary Project

This segment aims to share how interdisciplinary research culture, political, cultural, business, academic and community leaders in key regions can convene to explore the interplay between critical factors such as climate change, the built environment and social, cultural and political structures. Insights will be drawn from fore runners that are amongst the earliest to evidence the impacts of climate change and its inequities across the planet.

During the seminar, a multi-lateral action plan that is developed by an alliance between PaceUniversity, Pratt Institute, and SUTD will also be launched. The plan will focus on advancing climate solutions targeted at water resiliency and climate justice. Understanding the shifts produced by climate change as an assemblage of networked interactions, so colossal that it escapes spatio-temporal specificity, research will extend beyond and into other regions nationally and/or globally that align with the alliance’s mission and its specific geological, climatological and social areas of interest. Projects that epitomise the alliance’s approach toward the futures imagined will be shared.

Break Time

16.15PM - 16.30PM (SGT)

Artificial Intelligence and Architecture

16.30PM - 17.30PM (SGT)

Generative Automation with AI, Metaverse & NFTs

The future of artificial intelligence (AI) is not just about AI alone, but an AI that is increasingly interwoven with other emerging technologies related to synthetic datasets, metaverses, and blockchains, that are posed to challenge the traditional disciplinary understanding of what used to constitute the AEC industry. In particular, architects will have to grapple with the rise of automated generative design using deep neural networks, the expansion of scope of work that includes designing intelligent cyber-physical metaverses, and the architectural appropriation of blockchain-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs) managed by decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).

In this segment, ASD will showcase a series of AI-driven and industry-funded research projects by Faculty as well as a selection of student projects that creatively address the architectural implications of AI, metaverse and blockchain technologies. Industry partners will also shed light on how these technologies will change the future of artificial intelligence within the AEC context.

PM Panel Discussion

17.30PM - 18.00PM (SGT)

Closing address

18.00PM - 18.15PM (SGT)

End of Event

18.15PM (SGT)

Frontiers and Trends, an IBEW-affiliated event organized by SUTD, is a complimentary event. To register your interest to attend please click on the button below.

If you are not participating in the IBEW conference as a paid delegate, you can still join Frontiers and Trends by selecting the BEX Asia visitor and adding this event as part of your visitor registration.