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Looking Inside the Future of Architecture with Huat Lim

June 3, 2021 | Campus News
Looking Inside the Future of Architecture with Huat Lim

With the aim of promoting and nurturing creativity among the young generation as well as inspiring them to bring forth their talents in this thriving creative era, The One Academy organised the Virtual International Design & Creative Masterclass, following last year’s successful stint. The live sharing this year saw onboard eight master experts from various industries connecting to a wider audience of secondary school students and industry players keen on broadening their perspectives.

The architecture segment of the event was led by Huat Lim, an esteemed award-winning international architect and co-founder of ZLG Design, which focuses on building technology and materials for low-energy design solutions. Having first started his career in London and France in the 1980s, he possesses a vast experience specializing in large and complex buildings, such as the London Stansted Airport, France’s Nîmes Médiathèque Museum, King’s Cross Redevelopment and the Boh Visitor Centre in Cameron Highlands, just to name a few.

Huat Lim presented his personal journey of taking on an active role in architecture both locally and abroad. He also touched on interesting ideas regarding humanist manifesto, sustainable development protocol, biophilia and placemaking. His talk was titled “Biographical Nature of Things”, where biographical means having elements of nature and the way that nature is ever-changing. He brought the audience back to the basics of architecture, of co-existing with nature and building sustainable architecture that benefits both humankind and nature in the long run.

Looking Inside the Future of Architecture with Huat Lim

His presentation consisted of four general concepts – people, philosophy, process and projects. He said that people are in essence the crux of every decision-making and that architecture is first and foremost about people and they are the crux of every decision-making, is a saying that he keeps close to heart by Lord Norman Foster, renowned English architect and highest earning in the world, of whom he had the pleasure of working for. He introduced several books about philosophy touching on nature, civilization, current building trends and different cultures, that are good reads and can propel trajectory in the career of design.

“It’s very important that we don’t forget that architecture is for human beings. Everything points out to how we have to be aware of the fact that we are human beings and we want to remain as such for a very long time,” he reminded about the importance of sustainability and preserving nature for the future.

He also commented that the younger generation are slowly getting back to the drawing board, and that it was nice to see more people pick up the pencil and moving around with their sketchbooks. While buildings have become more sophisticated with time, he said that the young generation has to embrace the techniques, know-hows and expertise in the manifestation of designs.

“Urbanisation doesn’t have to be ugly or bad. There are ways in which we can invite nature to be part of our urban form. Nature is a very big part of our culture and we should bring that back into education, to understand ecology more and to research on how we can bring nature back into the science of buildings,” urged Lim.

Looking Inside the Future of Architecture with Huat Lim

He showcased the design philosophy behind some of his award-winning projects, the Boh Visitor Centre in Cameron Highlands, Point 92 in Damansara Perdana, and the W39 House, a 3-storey contemporary terrace house with an open plan that incorporates a lifestyle of connecting with nature.

“The new luxury is when you can sit out there and embrace nature as it is. Air movement is natural ventilation, light and energy from the sun, and rainwater. All these are available and free of charge, but we are not using them as we should. Luxury is when you don’t have to pay for any of these resources. Nature is perfect, there’s never an ugly cloud,” he said on how he foresees the trend of architecture will be.

The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its “Masters Train Masters” coaching philosophy, which has been practised for the past three decades, by providing diploma and degree courses namely Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts and Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making. For more information on The One Academy, visit or call +603-7875 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected].

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