WY-TO are multidisciplinary Architectural Designers based in Singapore and Paris, specialising in architecture, interior design, exhibition design and cultural curation.
For the fifth edition of Singapore Design Week (SDW), WY-TO studio created ba(NG)!, an eco-initaive and urban installation aimed at effectively facing one of the greatest environmental issues of our times, the excessive use of plastic.
Read their Climate Action Story here!
Tell us more about the ba(N)g initiative. How did it come about? What inspired/influenced you to create this art piece?
ba(N)g! symbolises the excessive use of plastic bags in Singapore, made entirely of plastic bags donated from offices, shops and institutions, which would otherwise have been discarded. Techniques of knitting, stuffing and weaving transform the donations into colourful pouffes, complementing the existing street furniture. This informal setting creates a pause to contemplate the suspended garlands that moves with the wind, showing how the uncontrolled use of plastic bags can eventually have harmful environmental consequences.
This participatory initiative aims to be one of the small steps on the journey towards a plastic free planet, encouraging a voluntary shift to embrace an eco-conscious lifestyle. Part of the Singapore Urban Design Route, the installation will be at Tanjong Pagar Plaza until June 15th.
Tell us a bit more about WY-TO’s work. Are there sustainable philosophies/practices that your organisation adopts?
At the core of WY-TO’s philosophy is our fundamental belief that design must serve a cause. Our disciplined approach is rooted in research and strategy and aims to develop timeless, durable environments with a strong focus on context and content as our driving methodology, beyond pure aesthetics.
As Sustainability advocates, we work to maximise human wellbeing from the responsible use of resources through sensitive green design to minimise negative environmental impact when designing objects, buildings and spaces.
Ultimately, our mission is to deliver inspired, thoughtful and long-lasting solutions that essentially respond to real, humanistic needs.
Starting from our office environment, WY-TO’s studio is a sustainable practice by promoting natural ventilation instead of air-conditioning, being paper-free and implementing recycling and plastic-free.
What’s your take about designing for climate change / sustainability? In what ways can design make a difference to such global issues?
Today, buildings are one of the largest consumers of energy worldwide with 40% of energy consumption due to heating and cooling (according to the International Energy Agency). In the face of global issues, design has the potential to make a difference to help people adapt to climate change.
Sustainable architecture makes use of environmentally friendly solutions to create a more liveable and resilient cities. The use of processes like natural ventilation, natural lighting, photovoltaic cells, water catchment areas, inclusion of green spaces, and the orientation of the buildings help to increase water and energy efficiency, in turn reducing carbon emissions.
As for the design installation, ba(N)g! demonstrates the need for community engagement in making real and lasting change. The overwhelming contributions that were received was certainly a stirring experience, from the collection of plastic bags, to the numerous volunteers who transformed the bags into street furniture.
At the same time, we trust that our engagement with the public has helped to create an awareness towards excessive plastic bag usage, with each individual doing what they can to raise our voices against plastic bags and waste in general. This whole process has also reinforced our own commitment towards sustainability.
What are your thoughts about 2018 being the Year of Climate Action for Singapore?
This national initiative could be a driving force to raise the awareness of climate change before it worsens.
With the climate issues that we are currently facing, consequences can be significant for a small island city like Singapore. Seeing that every year Singapore hits new temperature records, our population needs to recognise the effects of climate change and take deliberate action to fight to reduce our carbon footprint.
2018 is time to make Singapore a greener and better city for its future generations.