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Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) appoints Yann Follain from WY-TO as Festival Director

SINGAPORE – Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) has appointed Yann Follain, the Managing Director-Head of Design of WY-TO, as the Festival Director of Archifest this year.

Yann founded WY-TO in Singapore in 2010. The firm expanded its operations with its Paris office in 2012 with Pauline Gaudry. After 10 years of working in Singapore, Yann has built up a rich multicultural and multidisciplinary experience in developing projects of various scales for clients in the residential, commercial, exhibition and museum sectors. Over the years, WY-TO has seen a gradual shift from having mainly local projects to having more international reach in Southeast Asian countries in the region.

The philosophy that drives his practice is the fundamental belief that Design Must Serve a Cause. The disciplined approach to design is rooted in research and strategy, as he aims to develop timeless, durable environments with a strong focus on context and content as the driving methodology, beyond pure aesthetics. As a sustainability advocate, he works to remain relevant in an age of economic, political and social uncertainties while improving social and environmental conditions, and preserving financial health.


Together with his team, Yann received the Future-Maker Award at the Beijing Global Innovation Conference and an Honourable Mention at the international Red Dot Design Competition in 2016.

He was also recognised as one of Europe’s 40 Under 40 emerging young designers by the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design in 2016 and is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) from 2017. Apart from managing his practice, he is a frequent speaker on museum curation and sustainable design in the region, and has taught at GSoA (Singapore). He also served as a member of the Advisory & Commissioning Panel for the Public Art Trust within the National Arts Council in Singapore, and has been a member of SIA since 2013.

Yann has proposed the theme “Design for Life” for this edition of Archifest. It serves to address various elements such as livability, sustainability, well-being, life satisfaction but also to push creativity and innovation. The use of the word ‘design’ instead of ‘architecture’ promotes collaborations and captures the evolving role of architects. The main theme is elaborated in three sub-themes: Design for People, Design for Time and Design for Environment.

Design for Life” is a theme which broadly encompasses the architect’s vision to respond to the true needs of humanity. This is very much at the core of the belief upheld by Yann and his team at WY-TO – on the necessity for design to give back to the community and enrich human life as a whole, through social and environmental engagement.

Archifest 2018 runs from 28 September to 10 October 2018.

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