The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Cubes 97: Re-Nature

Cubes issue 97 is out now! It celebrates design that aligns with natural systems and offers valuable lessons in how we could create better environments by thinking far beyond ourselves.

Cubes 97: Re-Nature

Cubes 97: Re-Nature. On the cover is Fade To Green, a private residential project by HYLA Architects. Photo by Derek Swalwell, courtesy of HYLA Architects

Our theme this issue, ‘Re-Nature’, is in some ways an oxymoron.

It refers to the idea of restoring semblances of nature – via green and blue – to urban areas. Of course, if done sensitively, this can have obvious positive impacts on the wellbeing of not just people, but the wider ecosystem as well.

Meishe River Greenway and Fengxiang Park by Turenscape. Photo by Dr Kongjian Yu, courtesy of Turenscape

But the very idea of restoring ‘nature’ – something we traditionally think of as being separate from human influence – by the human hand is where things get interesting.

We developed this issue with a mind to the impact (already being felt) of climate change in Asia, and the potential for plants, water and the associated biological systems to help mediate its effects.

Lakeside Garden at Jurong Lake Gardens, by CPG Consultants and Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl. Photo courtesy of Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl Singapore

Certainly, a greater emphasis on ecosystem thinking in city environments can have beneficial outcomes, and we have unearthed some wonderful examples of projects that show just that.

Some of the threads of investigations in this issue include:



How deeply could reconciliation ecology improve Singapore’s urban environment?


Are natural systems the ideal form of reparation for a ravaged environment?


What are the limits of enclosure for private space?


What is the role of the landscape architects in the climate-change era?



But what do we really think of as ‘nature’? Perhaps it is too late in the scheme of human influence to even use that term with its original meaning.

What we celebrate in this issue is design efforts that find benefit in the alignment with natural systems – that offer valuable lessons in how we could create better environments (higher performing, more enjoyable, healthier and more inclusive) by thinking far beyond ourselves.

Yun Hye Hwang. Portrait by Khoo Guo Jie

I hope you enjoy the admirable rewilding efforts of Yun Hye Hwang, the nature-based infrastructure of Turenscape and the ongoing evolution of Linghao Architects’ dematerialisation of the residential enclosure.

House by Linghao Architects. Photo by Fabian Ong, courtesy of Linghao Architects

There’ll be plenty more critical ideas bouncing around on Saturday 12 October, when we bring Singapore’s architecture and design community together again for our Saturday Indesign event.

I hope you’ll join us for a full and lively day of product showcases, special installations, workshops, networking, and of course our Design Conversations series.


Head to for all the info!


And don’t forget that entries to our regional INDE.Awards 2020 open soon. Next year we’ll be celebrating the best of the decade. Make a beeline for and make 2020 your year.


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed