1. Home
  2. Event
  3. Explore sustainable heritage at WAF ’23

Explore sustainable heritage at WAF ’23

Explore sustainable heritage at WAF ’23

An exhibition curated and designed by MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore, 29 November – 1 December, 2023

‘Where does our ability to survive come from? Plants and animals have the same instinct. Nature has created a system, an ecosystem, with marvellous shapes and colours and incredible biodiversity. We have, in part, lost all of this, generating an irreversible change in our planet. The question is whether we can continue to live this way, or whether we should just take what’s good and throw the rest away, so that we can enter a new era.’ – Mario Cucinella.

“The Future is a Journey to the Past” explores the past and present of sustainable thinking. The exhibition is curated and designed by Mario Cucinella Architects who focus their narrative around a timeline tracing the evolution of environmental awareness and activism from prehistory to today.  This overview provides the ideal context for the kind of ecological practices that are now necessary to help bridge the divide between the natural world and human activity – including, of course, the way we build. In this way, architectural history, in all its global richness, becomes a relevant source of inspiration to educate us about our sustainable heritage in vernacular building, in particular, while providing us with tools to become future guardians of the global environment.

For example, new solutions through planning and innovation often require expensive and complex stratagems, however, a journey into the past reveals how, in eras when sustainable thinking was a necessity, humans created ingenious practical solutions that we still have much to learn from. While nature has offered us the sustainable environments of the termite nest and beehive, of forests and the very structure of trees and plants, human ingenuity once shaped the stepwells of India, the ice houses of the Iranian desert and the city of Hyderabad in Pakistan that catches the wind to naturally ventilate its buildings.

These and other examples are featured in the exhibition at WAF and many of them are also discussed in Mario Cucinella’s book that gave its name to the exhibition and is available at the WAF bookstore.

The exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of Gessi, Italy’s leading design manufacturer of luxury bath and kitchen systems with a showroom in Singapore – Casa Gessi Singapore – located in an architecturally interesting 19th century Victorian building.

Mario Cucinella will be speaking at WAF on Thursday November 30th on the Main Stage 1:10 PM – 1:50 PM followed by a book signing on the Oro Stand for The Future is a Journey to the Past – 10 Stories about Architecture (Quodlibet, 2022).

The exhibition – “The Future is a Journey to the Past”– was previously shown at the Architectural Association in London in the autumn of 2022.


Cookie Consent ACE Update

We use cookies to personalize your experience. By continuing to visit this website you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.