The MEM Seminar Series 2002/2003




Public Seminar on




THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION” – a discussion on the city, economic change and the environment





Mr Tay Kheng Soon


Adjunct Assoc. Professor

Department of Architecture,

School of Design and Environment










Saturday,  1 March 2003

10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Executive Room ER 4

SDE 2  Level 3



Download Reply Slip


For more information, please call

Jennifer @ 6874-3563 or e-mail



In Mr Tay’s views, everything we see around is the result of "Plan A" – an extension from 19th Century Industrial Revolution till now. The paradigm assumes the limitless capacity of nature to process human-generated waste and that international relations is premised on productive power. This is clearly reaching limits and a new paradigm is thus indicated; one which places nature at the centre of human actions and appetites. Moving from a "Plan A" to a "Plan B" economy entails not only changes in technology but also changes in human values and institutions. Mr Tay will share his thoughts on these changes and also the following related issues - sustainability and economics in a "full" world, dynamics of the human condition, historical process, many capitalisms, natural capitalism, slow-Life cities/fast-life cities, co-housing and human potential development, hydrogen economy, industrial bio-mimicry, urbanisation and protection of bio-diversity and Singapore's role in the next industrial revolution.


About the speaker

Mr Tay Kheng Soon has been a professional architect since 1964. He was chairman of the Singapore Planning and Urban Research Group ( SPUR ) in 1970 - an independent group examining urban environment and was active in proposing innovative solutions. He was President of the Singapore Institute of Architects from 1991  - 1993. 

His professional activities included a specialisation in high density, lowrise, low-cost housing in Malaysia. He did pioneering work in commercial centres and shopping centres in the 70’s. Currently he is involved in institutional projects which include a 800-bed Women’s and Children’s Hospital, a private hospital in Batu Pahat, several schools, institutions of higher learning as well as recreational projects.

Mr Tay is also currently involved in technology identification, development and the implementation of such technologies in the context of urban and rural economies. He envisages that these technologies are essential to sustainable urbanisation and proper agro-ecology management. He is involved in an experimental aqua-culture farm in Johore and runs Kem-Eco, an educational camp also in Johore

His public contributions have been as Chairman of the Task Force for the Long-term Development of the Singapore National Museum, Chairman of the Committee on Heritage for the Singapore Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts. He was also Founding Chairman of The Substation, a cutting-edge arts centre.  His civic activities include being a member of the Advisory Panel of the Government Parliamentary Committee on National Development and a member of the advisory panel of the Singapore Institute of Policy Studies. He has been appointed in 1997 Adjunct Professor of Architecture at RMIT of Australia. He was appointed in 1998 Adjunct Associate Professor MA(UD) program National University of Singapore.

His academic involvements included being a Visitor Scholar under the Aga Khan Program at MIT in 1986 and in 1989.  He was also Research Fellow with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and published a monograph, ‘Mega-cities in the tropics’. The monograph began a series of papers on sustainable mega-cities in the tropics. This activity led to appointment to prepare a development guide plan for a fringe urban site in Singapore where he proposed ’the Tropical City Concept’

The book, “Line, Edge and Shade” by Robert Powell on his writing and work and that of Akitek Tenggara was released in June 1997.