FuturArc Interview / 3rd Quarter 2019

Ken Yeang

by Heather Banerd

Ken Yeang

It has been more than 10 years since FuturArc last spoke to Ken Yeang, who is essentially the O.G. of ecological design in Southeast Asia. He has been on the frontier of the industry for decades, behind projects such as Singapore’s National Library, Solaris, and more recently, Putrajaya 2C5 near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His work centres on the integration of natural and constructed systems, and has been fundamental in pushing design boundaries in bioclimatic high-rise architecture, ecological master-planning and biomimicry. He has published 12 books, including titles such as The Green Skyscraper and Constructed Ecosystems, and was included in The Guardian’s “50 People Who Could Save The Planet” in 2008.

Yet, these days, he seems frustrated with how little progress the design industry has made in reshaping the built environment. He speaks with FuturArc’s correspondent Heather Banerd on the need to move beyond architecture and take a more radical approach, and why design alone can’t change the world.

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