Related Staff : Stephen Lau
Studio: Lau, Stephen
Teaching Assistant: Perera, Dulmini
Students: Ednalaguim Katarina Camacho, Lai Kieran, Lam Ka Cheung, Lam Shun Sean, Leung Cyril Hin Yan, Lui Cheryl Cecilia, Nam Tien Wei Gloria, So Yeuk Yan Sebastian, Sum Wing Sze, Wun Michelle Hiu Shuen, Xue Xuan, Zhang Meng
The Yangon sustainable design studio was a research led design endeavor on understanding issues of ‘sustainable development’ in relation to the specific urban and architectural challenges within the Yangon region. The studio explored these challenges via an adaptive reuse operative on three existing building typologies: a historic public building that houses various Ministries and NGOs on the building sector; a heritage building formerly the HQ Office for the Yangon Railways destined to be converted into a six star boutique hotel; and lastly the row house (‘slave’ house) which is part of the Colonial legacy of former Burma. The multiple challenges posed in relation to design projects called for a series of theoretical questions that prompted critical reflection on the role of ‘sustainability’ and ‘green design’ in a developing south Asian city. The student projects reflected innovative approaches to the questions of; how one could re-design and transform prevailing building typologies into sustainable and livable places, how a design schemes aimed at the sustainable regeneration of these particular typologies work at multiple levels of creating a positive effect of the development of the city and its inhabitants, how architects, academics, professionals, students, Yangon residents, and government institutions can from collaborations to overcome these challenges and how one could rethink the role of elements like the courtyards, existing facades within the adaptive reuse strategies. Special emphasis was placed on the deployment of ‘passive design techniques’ instead of active technologies of harnessing climatic elements in the given settings.