President's Design Awards 2016, Designer of the Year: Dr Hossein Rezai

13 Dec 2016  •  6 min read

(Clockwise from left) Dr Hossein Rezai; Assyafaah Mosque (Singapore); Mall of Medini (Malaysia) and Troika (Malaysia).

Dr Hossein Rezai was awarded a PhD in 1985 for his work on reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structure and proceeded to pursue his research interest in a post-doctorate research programme. He founded Web Structure in August 1996 to practise his passion for applied engineering design and has since been involved in the design and realisation of many impressive structures in over 26 countries. 

Dr Rezai is one of the initiators of the concept of fusion engineering, which reconciles the seemingly contradictory agendas of good design with cost efficiency. Some of this works include Assyafah Mosque (Singapore); the new Mediacorp Building (Singapore); Ardmore Residence (Singapore); Troika (Malaysia); and the Mall of Medini (Malaysia).

On the relationship between engineering and design

“Engineering is an integral part of any design process. Without engineering, there will be no design.”

On being out of the “comfort zone”

“Innovation requires an intention to do new things or to do old things in new ways. That creates a sense of discomfort, what I call ‘design anxiety’. If you have that anxiety, then you are in a creative sphere. If you’re walking around with no anxiety, then you’re not in the sphere.”

(Clockwise from top left) Mediacorp (Singapore); Assyafaah Mosque (Singapore) and Cambridge Forest (China)

On the social gap he would like to address through design and how.

“The social gap I would like to address through design would be ‘inequality’. I would like to achieve this by empowering the disadvantaged. I believe it is possible to achieve a sense of equality in our society through integration of technology with our designs.”

Up next, 14 Dec: Interview with Rene Tan, also a Designer of the year recipient. 

View the works of all 13 recipients of President’s Design Award 2016. National Design Centre, 10 Dec 2016–6 Jan 2017.

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