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Conference: The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia)

14 Nov 2016, Mon 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM
25 Nov 2016, Fri 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM
26 Nov 2016, Sat 09:30 AM - 06:00 PM
The Single Screen and The Seminar Room

The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore kicks off the three-part NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17 CITIES FOR PEOPLE with the conference The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia).

The conference extends what is presented spatially in the exhibition Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice, and further engages with its key themes through cross dialogue and exchange between architects, artists, cultural producers and urban researchers. The conference will focus its discussions on (Southeast) Asia and its multiple modernities in relation to architecture, urban experimentation, planning, and development.

Responding to eminent architect William S. W. Lim’s provocation “Imagining the Unimaginable”, the conference commences with a keynote lecture by Professor Leon van Schaik, with a response by Dr Lilian Chee, on Monday14 November 2016. The  keynote lecture is co-presented with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) as part of the URA Speakers Series.

A two-day conference continues on 25 and 26 November with panels chaired by Asian Urban Lab and William S. W. LimRoger Nelson and Dr Etienne Turpin, and featuring presentations by 17 speakers who are active in the fields of architecture and urban studies.

The programme includes a tour of the exhibition by Shirley Surya, and hosts the Singapore premier of Christopher Rompré’s film The Man Who Built Cambodia.

Free admission, registration is required. For enquiries, please email

Keynote Lecture

Keynote Lecture in Honour of William S. W. Lim
Contesting Modernity in Asia: reaching towards a Non-West Modernist Past; reflections on the thinking of William Lim
By Professor Leon van Schaik (South Africa/Australia), Innovation Professor of Architecture, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia

Monday, 14 November 2016, 6.30 – 8.30pm
URA Function Hall, Level 5, The URA Centre, 45 Maxwell Road

“We are the creatures of our mental space, a space formed through our life experience.” In this lecture, Professor Leon van Schaik argues, as he has in his book Spatial Intelligence (2008), “that we have a responsibility to uncover and analyse how our histories in space have formed the intellectual and experiential assumptions that are the frame of our lives as professionals and as citizens”. Professor Van Schaik’s keynote lecture addresses the influence of William S. W. Lim over his career and manifold collaborative practices.

6.30 – 7.00pm

Registration and Reception

7.00 – 8.30pm

Welcome Address
Larry Ng, Group Director, Architecture & Urban Design Excellence, URA; and Khim Ong, Deputy Director, Exhibitions, Residencies & Public Programmes (Singapore)

Introduction by Chairperson

Keynote Lecture by Professor Leon van Schaik

Response by Dr Lilian Chee (Singapore), Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore

Followed by a Q&A










Friday, 25 November 2016, 1.00 – 6.00pm
NTU CCA Singapore, The Single Screen and The Seminar Room,
Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, S109443




Tour of exhibition Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice by Shirley Surya (Indonesia/Hong Kong), contributor to the exhibition and Associate Curator for Design and Architecture, M+, Hong Kong



Panel I: Imagining the Unimaginable
Chairpersons: William S. W. Lim (Singapore), Chairman, and Tan Dan Feng (Singapore), Director, Asian Urban Lab, Singapore


Welcome address
Professor Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore), Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

Introduction by Chairperson
William S. W. Lim


Panel Presentations
Koon Wee (Singapore/Hong Kong), Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong
Dr Eunice Seng (Singapore/Hong Kong), Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong
Dr Sacha Kagan (Germany), Research Associate, Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany
Jeremy Chia (Singapore), Researcher, Asian Urban Lab and AA Asia, Singapore


Tea break

Tour of exhibition Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice by NTU CCA Singapore curator


Panel Discussion
Constance Singam (Singapore), author and civil society activist
Professor Kwok Kian Woon (Singapore), Associate Provost (Student Life), NTU, Singapore
Dr Sharon Siddique (Singapore), Director, Asian Urban Lab, Singapore; Visiting Professiorial Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Singapore University of Technology and Design; and Adjunct Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
Alvin Tan (Singapore), Founder and Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage, Singapore








Saturday, 26 November 2016, 9.30am – 6.00pm
NTU CCA Singapore, The Single Screen and The Seminar Room,
Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, S109443




Panel II: Mid-century Modern: Forms and Spaces in Cities
Chairperson: Roger Nelson (Australia/Cambodia), independent curator and PhD candidate, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


Welcome address
by Professor Ute Meta Bauer

Introduction by Chairperson
Roger Nelson

Panel Presentations
Dr Chomchon Fusinpaiboon (Thailand), Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Pen Sereypagna (Cambodia), architect, artist, and Project Manager, The Vann Molyvann Project

Dr Thanavi Chotpradit (Thailand), Lecturer, Department of Art History, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Dr Simon Soon (Malaysia), Senior Lecturer, Visual Art Department, Cultural Centre, University of Malaya, Malaysia


Panel Discussion



Screening of The Man Who Built Cambodia, Christopher Rompré, Cambodia, 2015, 35 min



Panel III: The Multiple Must Be Made
Chairperson: Dr Etienne Turpin (Canada/Indonesia), Research Scientist, Urban Risk Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States, and Visiting Research Fellow, NTU CCA Singapore


Introduction Lecture by Dr Etienne Turpin


The Multiple Must Be Made
Panel Presentations
Giovanni Dessy Austriningrum (Indonesia), Head of Content Writer Division, Bandung City Watch, Bandung, Indonesia

Hong Phuc Dang (Vietnam), Founder, FOSSASIA, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Christina Leigh Geros (United States/Indonesia), Design Research Strategist,, Jakarta, Indonesia

Nashin Mahtani (Indonesia), Designer,, Jakarta, Indonesia


Tea break


Roundtable Discussion


Part of CITIES FOR PEOPLE NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17.

Click here to download the full schedule of the conference.