Dr. Tan Puay Sook: A Luminary in Architecture and Education


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Dr. Tan Puay Sook, an expert in the field of architecture, holds the distinguished position of Dean’s Chair Professor in the Department of Architecture at the College of Design and Engineering (CDE) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). His influential leadership extends to several key roles, including Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture (CASA) and Co-Director of the NUS-Keio CUTE Center, a collaborative research hub connecting NUS and Keio University in Japan. Dr. Tan’s life and work epitomize excellence and innovation in architectural education, research, and practice.

Global Recognition in Architectural Design

Dr. Tan’s expertise in architectural design, urban design, and interactive media design has earned him international acclaim. He has steered numerous research projects on diverse and critical topics, such as smart cities, urban informatics, mixed reality, and human-computer interaction. His contributions are not just theoretical; they are practical and actionable. His extensive portfolio showcases over 200 published papers in prestigious journals and conferences, firmly establishing him as a leading researcher in the field. This recognition has been further solidified through various awards, including the NUS Outstanding Researcher Award, the NUS Young Researcher Award, and the CDE Teaching Excellence Award, underscoring his dedication to the pursuit of excellence.

Innovative Architectural Education

Dr. Tan’s vision and influence extend beyond research. He has played a pivotal role in the evolution of architectural education and practice, not just in Singapore but globally. His foresight and commitment to excellence have led to the establishment of academic programs and initiatives at CDE that have left an indelible mark on architectural education. Initiatives such as the Master of Architecture, the Bachelor of Arts (Architecture Studies), the Design Incubation Programme, and the Future Cities Laboratory bear the hallmarks of his innovative thinking. These programs not only reflect his dedication to fostering the next generation of architects but also his commitment to shaping the future of the architectural profession.

Community Engagement and Professional Contributions

Dr. Tan’s dedication to architectural practice extends to his active involvement in professional and community activities. His commitment to advancing the profession is evident through his service as a board member of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, a council member of the Singapore Institute of Architects, and his role as a jury member in various international design competitions. These roles highlight his deep engagement with the architectural and urban development landscape of Singapore and demonstrate his broader impact on the community.

Inspiring the Next Generation

In the Asia-Pacific region, Dr. Tan Puay Sook stands as one of the preeminent education leaders, inspiring and shaping the future of architectural and design education. His passion for the field, creative thinking, and unwavering commitment to its advancement serve as a guiding light for students, researchers, educators, and practitioners. His legacy is one of inspiration, motivating individuals to strive for excellence and make a meaningful impact on society through their work.

Dr. Tan’s exceptional leadership and profound contributions have not only elevated the standards of architectural education and research but continue to influence and transform the landscape of architectural and urban design in Singapore and beyond. His legacy is a testament to the enduring impact that visionary leaders can have on the fields they touch, inspiring and shaping the future for generations to come. In a world where architecture plays a pivotal role in addressing complex urban challenges, Dr. Tan’s work remains a source of inspiration for those who seek to make a meaningful and lasting impact.


“Architecture speaks to the soul of a city, whispering tales of history, innovation, and the dreams of generations.”

ALSO READ: The 10 Futuristic Education Leaders, October 2023

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