Manila: Future Habitations concludes a three-year collaboration between AECOM and Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) to examine urban development in Southeast Asia’s key cities took. The closing event, consisting of a forum and an exhibition launch, took place at the San Ignacio Church and Mission House on 27 September 2018 (Thursday) with over 300 government officials, architects, urban planners and academia in attendance.

Succeeding the studio in Jakarta (2016) and Kuala Lumpur (2017), Manila: Future Habitations unveils the outcome of AECOM’s and Harvard GSD’s collaborative design studio covering the Port of Manila; the Baseco compound; the Pasig Riverfront; and the Intramuros.

Representatives from local media agencies attended a media briefing and exhibition tour in the morning, giving them a preview of the innovative visual display which includes 32 large panels and scale models featuring the students’ final work, video projections envisioning the future of Manila and a preview of a new book featuring the completed work.

Sylvester Wong, Vice President, Strategies + Development, Buildings + Places, Philippines, kicked off the forum along with Arnel Casanova, Country Representative, Philippines, who delivered the opening message.

Sean Chiao, President, Asia Pacific, and Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, Harvard GSD, elaborated on the objectives and progress of the AECOM-Harvard GSD collaboration. Key panelists discussed the future of Manila, with topics ranging from reimagined waterfronts to efficient modular homes.

“The Southeast Asia Studio project has been a very successful and meaningful collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It is a great opportunity to imagine the future through new eyes and from fresh perspectives. We hope that the insights and proposals gained from the bright minds in this design exercise will be beneficial to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. AECOM reaffirms its commitment to create sustainable, resilient cities and build a better world,” said Sean Chiao, President, Asia Pacific.

The Intramuros Administration, the Philippine government agency tasked with administering the historic district, also partnered with AECOM and Harvard GSD to sponsor and support the Manila studio research project.