Goy Zhenru, Dessy Anggadewi & Sam Loetman

Goy Architects
Singapore, Indonesia & Thailand

The opportunity to design a farm stay in Indonesia was the spark that led Goy Zhenru to establish Goy Architects in Singapore in 2015. She was soon joined by two former colleagues – Bali-based Indonesian architect Dessy Anggadewi and Chiang Mai-based Thai architect Sam Loetman – and the trio now work together remotely with a deep dedication to vernacular architecture and craftsmanship in Southeast Asia.

The regional approach allows for the cross-pollination of ideas influenced by the team’s respective social contexts and built environments. The studio experiments with local artisanal building products and explores ways to adapt them to modern use. A pop-up material research office in Chiang Mai was established recently to support close collaboration with local artisans and to experiment with the vernacular. The hope is that the studio will grow in each of the three countries, with each office focusing on its respective regional crafts and materials while tapping project opportunities.

The regional approach has fostered a nimble approach to operations. The team operates on cloud-based BIM software (ArchiCAD) to allow for syncing of design models from any location. The use of mobile apps such as BIMX allows design collaboration as well as access to design models by clients and builders. The team finds that this not only allows for more holistic design discussions on site, but also for language barriers to be overcome.

Says Zhenru: “The Indo-Pacific region has a growing economy with an ever-increasing emphasis on design’s capacity to address social and environmental issues. With close collaborations within the region, it is an excellent opportunity for each nation to learn from one and another and share solutions from their built environment. By integrating local vernacular wisdom with new technologies, we can avoid repeating design mistakes, innovate new solutions and be smarter in our design processes.”

Photography of Goy Architects (L-R: Dessy Anggadewi, Goy Zhenru and Sam Loetman), Gerhana (Singapore, 2019), Heng House (Singapore, 2018), One Tat Seng (Singapore, 2019), Shizukokoro (Singapore, 2019) and Sukasantai Farmstay (Indonesia) by Fabian Ong.