Stop Architectural Deforestation!

John Hill
22. September 2021
Photo: Screenshot

"Stop Architectural Deforestation!," a 15-minute film produced for Contested Modernities, now on display in Berlin, argues "that the discussion of heritage conservation has to move towards a more holistic view that includes an ethical discourse of environmental and social sustainability."

Like the other parts of Contested Modernities, itself part of the long-term Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism program, "Stop Architectural Deforestation!" focuses its argument on a Southeast Asian context. Hossein Rezai of Web Structures, Ho Weng Hin of Studio Lapis, and Seah Chee Huang of DP Architects speak about the conservation of modernist buildings in Singapore. Views of such buildings in Singapore as "ugly," "run-down," and "urban blight" often leads to their demolition, but arguments over embodied energy and embodied carbon, among other things, can reverse the trend. Released to coincide with a Contested Modernities symposium in June, the 15-minute video "explains [the] cycle of a city consuming its own heritage."

"Stop Architectural Deforestation!" is included in the exhibition Contested Modernities. Postcolonial Architecture in Southeast Asia, on display at Haus der Statistik in Berlin until October 24.

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