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Architecture, building & construction
Expert views; Events

Dong-Ping Wong: Design for long life

FEB 24, 2015    

​​As founding partner of Family New York, a design firm based in New York City, Outokumpu Experience keynote speaker and Master of Architecture Dong-Ping Wong has a deep interest in what he calls productive architecture.

“We’ve started looking at projects less in terms of what they are, and more about what they can do,” he says. “Instead of looking at simply preserving resources, how can architecture make things better?”

For example, Wong has been working with the world’s first water-filtering, floating pool, which gives people safe access to a polluted river and cleans over 2 million liters of water every day.

“It gives an actual measurement of the impact of architecture,” Wong says. “A project like this demonstrates exactly what can be done to improve the environment.”

Selecting sustaina​ble materials

It is an approach that dovetails neatly with the focus of Outokumpu Experience, where Wong will speak on drivers, means and consequences of sustainability in architecture and building, and the role of material selection.

“We are very interested to be a part of this dialogue on the life cycle of materials,” Wong says. “What can materials do to change what we understand about sustainability, and how can that impact design’s role in a building’s life cycle?”

Sustainability of materials has become an increasingly urgent emphasis and one that is more and more a driver of design, rather than an aspect of post-design material selection.

“We invariably specify stainless steel on our projects. One of the reasons we’re so excited about stainless steel is that it’s such a recyclable material,” Wong says. “But it also has a strong aesthetic quality. It has a real depth to it, because of its long life.”

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