National University of Singapore

Building a resilient support platform for disaster prone Asian communities

Inspiring solutions for resilience from the next generation
Connect architects, planners and designers to each other to develop resilient solutions for vulnerable Asian metropolitan areas.
DRIA, a platform that promotes discussion about innovative ideas and propositions towards the resiliency of Asian cities.

In the last decade, natural disasters and extreme weather events have besieged human settlements across various continents at greater frequencies. Asian metropolitan areas are perhaps most vulnerable and least prepared for the occurrence of multiple, different natural disasters.

Since 2015, APT811 has worked closely with National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Design and Environment and O'lief to address this pressing environmental challenge. Together, Design Resilience in Asia (DRIA), International Design Competitions and Symposium was formed. The objective was to promote and foster a substantive discussion about innovative ideas and propositions towards the resiliency of Asian cities.

Given the complex and potentially overwhelming subject matter, the team focused on developing strategies that band the future generations across cultures of leading architects, planners and designers together to focus on new resilient solutions.

In the early stages of the project, the team realised that resilience in city planning usually mentions
 how a community recovers from disaster. 
However, searches for the term ‘Disaster’ often contain disturbing images of crumbled buildings
 and lost lives, while a picture search on ‘Resilience’, 
which signifies hope, does not turn up as much.

To allow viewers to understand the feeling of recovery from disaster, we identified various visual cues and arrived on the act of recovering from displacement. Thus the development of the logo, events, online and offline communication materials focused on one core message: rebounding from displacement. 

The international competition saw universities across ten countries contributing solutions. After the successful launch of DRIA, it partnered UN-Habitat, a United Nations programme to promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities, spreading DRIA initiative through exhibitions at Barcelona and Valenzuela.

With a screen as the backdrop, we could make it animated to have more visual interest

To learn more about this project and how to work with APT811, contact