16 Feb Spark Thought Leadership
In the spirit of advancing the marketplace in which we work and rather than passing the buck to others to solve some of the problems we face as a society SPARK is continuously developing new ideas and positing actionable, commercially relevant, research-backed points of view that are intended to stimulate a conversation.
SPARK engages in “blue sky” thinking on behalf of ourselves and our clients. We are as a business opposed to simply churning out designs and content that communicates or mimics current design trends or staid typological thinking, we demonstrate our ability to design contextually pertinent opinions that add commercial and social value to the projects we undertake.
Thought leadership is embedded into the DNA of SPARK, starting with our innovative award winning project at Clarke Quay Singapore completed in 2006. Thought leadership at SPARK provides a depth of insight into internal and external conversations that expand our skill sets and facilitate meaningful connections with what we believe is the primary objective of the role of the architect as a medium and mirror of social and civic values.
In today’s uncertain, ever-changing now or never environment, we need to listen more, understand better, and re-energise our relationship with the discerning, demanding and increasingly skeptical world that has the instant gratification of the internet at their fingertips.
We believe that we are able differentiate SPARK from our competitors with compelling points of view that are intriguing, innovative, inspiring, and wholly relevant to social zeitgeist.
Buckminster Fuller’s exhortation of “ephemeralisation”, the ability to do more with less resource is central to the principles of social and environmental sustainability and key to the way in which we at SPARK contemplate and approach our work.
The projects below, The Solar Orchid, Home Farm demonstrate SPARK’s commitment to creating impactful design solutions that challenge market perceptions to arrive at a distinctive more socially eloquent design solution. The quest for that solution, and SPARK’s approach to discovering it excites us. We hope you will share that excitement.
SPARK recently released its concept for a solar-powered floating restaurant titled “Solar Orchid”. It was designed in response to the Singapore context, but has the potential for installation in protected waterways anywhere in the world. Given the historic connections between Singapore and China, which persist in everyday customs including cuisine, China would be an important stop for the “Solar Orchid”.
The “Solar Orchid” was designed to comply with developments in sustainable technology and architecture. It integrates elements of traditional hawker centre design with a futuristic style, and makes use of the latest sustainable technology. It embraces and supports local cultural traditions and provides a place for dining and socialising in a fun and unique way. The design concept could offer major significance for the construction and development of large and medium-sized hydrophilic cities.
The “Solar Orchid” concept offers a variety of cluster formations. It is equipped with new environmentally friendly materials, and its integration with the waterscape presents new siting opportunities in the city. It has the possibility of reconnecting city dwellers with waterscapes that may have been forgotten or overlooked, and revitalising parts of the city with recreational activities that recall traditional lifestyles. Its mobility can enhance the flexibility and excitement of urban life. Furthermore, the “Solar Orchid” concept sits comfortably beside existing solar energy developments and concepts in China.
SPARK unveils Home Farm – a concept for the next generation of retirement housing for Singapore. The bold conceptual project proposes the combination of apartments and facilities for seniors with vertical urban farming. SPARK’s aim is to generate discussion about the many potentials that can emerge from the mixing of two typically separate realms. The concept taps into the political and social zeitgeist of Singapore with a bold vision for sustainable city development and a powerful social message.
The Home Farm concept allows seniors live in a garden environment created by a vegetable farm, where they may also find employment. The concept introduces vertical aquaponic farming and rooftop soil planting to the realm of high-density and flexible housing that has been designed to cater to the needs and preferences of seniors. Residents may combat the financial stress that is often faced post-retirement by working part-time at the farm under the direction of a professional vertical farming implementation team. Facilities catered to the needs of an older population are provided in the lower levels of the development (and are also open to the public), while the housing is stacked above in a curvilinear terraced formation reminiscent of land contours.
“We designed this concept for Singapore,” says SPARK Director Stephen Pimbley, “but there is the potential for it to be applied in any location that would support the growth of leafy green vegetables on building facades and rooftops.” He continues, “We are keen to see this project materialise at some point in the future. The concept is a realisable solution to real and pressing problems faced by many of the world’s growing cities.”