close icon

What's on


Symposium: Biodiver-city and Urban Futures

18 Jan 2020, Sat 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM
The Single Screen, Block 43 Malan Road

2.00 – 2.15pm
Introduction by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, NTU ADM, and Laura Miotto, Associate Professor, NTU ADM

2.15 – 3.00pm
Lecture: A Global Art Criticism for a Global Climate Crisis
by Jason Farago, art critic, The New York Times

From Schiller and Hegel onward, art critics and philosophers of aesthetics have defined art in contrast to nature—but that distinction has collapsed in the epoch of the Anthropocene, when humans have become the authors of geology itself. This talk will consider how artists and curators have approached urbanisation, climate change, and extinction in the 21st century, from Hou Hanru’s Zone of Urgency (Venice Biennale, 2003) to Maria Stavrinaki’s Prehistory (Centre Pompidou, 2019). It will also assess the climate externalities of the global art market, and how fairs, biennials, and other nodes of the global art world might reshape themselves in a post-carbon economy.

3.20 – 5.00pm
Presentation and Conversation: Biodiver-city and Urban Futures
with Animali Domestici, artists; Yun Hye Hwang, Associate Professor, School of Design and Environment, NUS; Sarah Ichioka, Desire Lines; and Michelle Lai, TANAH; moderated by Laura Miotto, Associate Professor, NTU ADM

Thinking through co-existence of species and the city as a habitat for diverse life forms, this panel consists of artists, researchers, and practitioners for whom interspecies interaction is at the core of their practice. Animali Domestici studied the existence of pythons in the city of Bangkok, Yun Hye Hwang observes the outcomes of zero intervention on landscapes, Sarah Ichioka looks at social-impact architecture at the intersections of urban planning and ecology, and Michelle Lai advocates for urban farming embedded in local culture and knowledge.



Ute Meta Bauer (Germany/Singapore) is the Founding Director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, Singapore. Previously, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where she also served as Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2005–13). For more than three decades, Bauer has curated exhibitions and presentations, connecting contemporary art, film, video, and sound through transdisciplinary formats including Documenta11 (2002), 3rd berlin biennale for contemporary art (2004), and the US Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). 

Animali Domestici (Italy/Thailand), founded by Antonio Bernacchi and Alicia Lazzaroni (both b. 1983), is a duo and design practice based in Bangkok. They focus on the development of experimental and speculative projects, products, and processes, beyond the dichotomies of culture and nature, “infra-ordinary” and “ab-normal,” human and non-human. With admittedly fragmented and heterogeneous sources of inspiration, they are interested in post-anthropocentric spaces, subjects, and materialities, in human and animal behaviour, vernacular crafts and traditions, popular tastes and everyday life references, rendered “lifestyles” and marketing strategies. Animali Domestici is also intensively involved in teaching and research. Lazzaroni and Bernacchi, who obtained a postgraduate Master from ETSAM, Polytechnic University of Madrid, worked in Singapore from 2010 to 2014, and since 2015 have been teaching architectural design at the International Program in Design and Architecture (INDA) of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Jason Farago (United States) is an art critic for the New York Times. He reviews exhibitions in New York and abroad, with a focus on global approaches to art history. From 2015 to 2018 he edited Even, an art magazine he co-founded, whose ten issues are collected in the anthology Out of Practice. He has also been a regular contributor to the Guardian, the New Yorker, the New York Review of BooksArtforum, and Frieze. Farago studied art history at Yale University and at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. In 2017 he was awarded the inaugural Rabkin Prize for art criticism.

Yun Hye Hwang (South Korea/Singapore) is an accredited landscape architect in Singapore, and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the School of Design and Environment, NUS, currently serving as Programme Director of the Bachelor’s programme. She holds two Master’s degrees in landscape architecture, one from Seoul National University in Korea and another from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Her research, teaching, and professional activities speculate on emerging demands in fast-growing Asian cities by exploring ecological design and management versus manicured greenery and the multifunctional role of everyday landscapes. She focuses on transferring knowledge of urban ecology from academia to practice through active interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations.

Sarah Ichioka (United States/United Kingdom/Singapore) is an urbanist, curator and writer, currently leading Desire Lines, a strategic consultancy for environmental, cultural, and social-impact organisations and initiatives. In previous roles, she has explored the intersections of cities, society, and ecology within leading international institutions of culture, policy, and research. Ichioka’s outlook is glocal, interdisciplinary, and future-facing. She has been recognised as a World Cities Summit Young Leader, one of the Global Public Interest Design 100, a British Council/ Clore Duffield Cultural Leadership International Fellow, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Michelle Lai (Singapore) is an urban farmer and forager, who spends her time tinkering with food experiments at Native, a cocktail bar in Singapore. Interested in issues related to the local agricultural and food system, she explores community-driven innovation and community engagement practices, forming symbiotic relationships through everyday participation, research, and dialogue. Lai is also part of TANAH, an interdisciplinary collective that playfully questions urban living via site-specific interventions within and around the city.

Laura Miotto (Italy/Singapore) is Associate Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) at Nanyang Technological University, and co-chair of the MA programme in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices at ADM. She is also Design Director of GSM Project in Singapore, an international firm specialised in exhibition design originating from Montréal, Canada. With 20 years of experience in the design field, both as a creative director and an architectural designer, Miotto has worked on exhibitions focusing on heritage interpretation and sensorial design strategies in the context of museums, thematic galleries, and public spaces.


Animali Domestici, Bangkok Opportunistic Ecologies (detail), 2019, printed synthetic fabric canvas, embroidery, 300 x 300 cm. Courtesy the artists.