Landscape architects here now have an accreditation programme to call their own. This was launched at the 10th Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards ceremony held at the Pan Pacific Singapore yesterday.
Along with the presentation of 22 awards this year, 114 newly accredited landscape architects were also recognised during the ceremony.
Accreditation will strengthen Singapore design sector's competitiveness globally, raise standards of design practice and enhance designers' knowledge and skills, says the event's guest of honour, Mr Robert Tomlin, chairman of DesignSingapore Council Board.
"The accreditation will also increase consumers' confidence as they are assured of the good quality of services provided by the accredited professionals," he adds.
Under the programme, landscape architects are required to improve their practice through the Continuous Professional Development programme where there will be talks, seminars and courses provided by Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects and partners.
The next accreditation exercise will take place next year.
Criteria for accreditation include passing an exam, having a landscape architecture degree from a university recognised by the local institute or the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and at least two years' experience as a landscape architect or designer, including a minimum of one year's practice in Singapore.
Mr Damian Tang, president of the local institute and the international federation in Asia Pacific, says: "Landscape architects now go beyond planting design and making a space look beautiful and functional. In many countries, the practice has begun to dwell deeper into science, health and resilience. Hence, to expand the breadth of our practice, we need to strengthen the depth of our knowledge."
He adds that in Singapore, landscape architects are expected to play a bigger role in the design of socio-health spaces and other facilities as the country continues to evolve as a city in a garden, where landscapes and greenery are closely connected to people.
At the ceremony yesterday, 22 awards were given to 61 entries.
The overall outstanding achievement award was given to Coen Design International for its project BASF Learning Campus (Singapore) at Rochester Park. The project also bagged a gold in the Institution category.
Another 10 gold and 10 silver awards were given to various projects in Singapore and overseas in five categories, including commercial building, institutions, parks and public spaces, residential and master planning.
Mr Tang says of this year's winners: "There was greater resolution in the way the landscape architects worked closely with engineers and architects to come up with integrated solutions and, hence, better designs. In the past, the professions tended to work more independently of one another."
At yesterday's event, which also marked the 30th anniversary of Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects, the theme for the 55th IFLA World Congress in 2018 was announced - Biophilic City: Smart Nations, Future Resilience. The annual event will be held for the second time in Singapore.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Boost for landscape design Winners of the 10th Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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