AIA Hong Kong


Event On : June 13, 2024

Practicing Sustainability - A Glocal Perspective in Vietnam

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Date(s) - June 13, 2024 - June 15, 2024
9:00 am - 7:00 pm

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Dear Members

We are excited to invite you to join Practicing Sustainability | A Glocal Perspective in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This event will take place from June 13 – 15, with building tours, office tours, and a panel discussion on June 14th, afternoon.

You can join us on-line for the panel discussion, or in-person in Ho Chi Minh City!

This event is aimed at practitioners from the fields of architecture, interior design and related design disciplines and will serve as a platform for dialogue and discussion on the practical aspects of sustainability, from the use of materials and net zero carbon mitigation strategies to the adoption of global sustainability approaches in the local context of Southeast Asia and Vietnam.

Experts from global and local architecture firms, academia, developers and operators will share their expertise and experience on this topic, and ensure that attendees gain valuable insights into the practice of sustainability. We will also offer tours of buildings and offices and all participants will have the opportunity to interact with industry professionals to foster collaborations and partnerships for future projects.

Event Rundown

Event Sign-up

Participation in this event is free of charge, including admission to all programs, local tours and the Friday evening dinner. In-person attendees will, however, need to cover their own expenses for flights, accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City and other meals (approx. HKD$4,500).

Once you register for the event, our team will send you flight and accommodation suggestions with different price options, courtesy of our travel agency, for you to make your own arrangements. You must also ensure that you have the required visa to enter Vietnam.

To join us in person in Vietnam, please sign up by June 11 (Tuesday) at the latest. Spots are limited and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so we may not be able to guarantee availability for all interested participants.

To join us online please sign-up by June 12 (Wednesday).
Sign-up HERE to join In-person.

Sign-up HERE to join Online.

The Speakers 
Erik G. L’Heureux, PhD FAIA LEED AP BD+C
Dean’s Chair Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore (NUS)

Erik G. L’Heureux is an award-winning American architect and academic currently based in Singapore. Erik specializes in designing for the dense equatorial city, using simple monolithic forms and delicate veils to calibrate architecture to the air of the equator in delightful and surprising ways. Erik led the design of the adaptive reuse of both the architecture building and the Yusof Ishah Student Commons at NUS, transforming them into NetZero energy and super low-carbon buildings.

Over the past decade, Erik has served NUS as the BA Architecture Program Director (2015-2020), Vice Dean, Special Projects (2018-2021) and the Master of Architecture Program Director (2020-2022). As a Dean’s Chair Associate Professor, he teaches the next generation of architects to be committed to de-carbonization and planet-positive design to meet the challenges of a warming climate.

Nguyen Hoang Manh
Co-founder and Principal Architect, MIA Design Studio

N.H. Manh was one of the founders of MIA Design Studio and has worked as an architect for 18 years. He has led the MIA Design Studio since 2003 and overseen the architectural design of most projects, while also supervising and managing others.

He and his design team have innovated many hospitality and residential projects that are friendly to the environment and connect people with nature, winning many National and International Awards in the process.

J Lee Rofkind, FAIA LEED AP
Regional Leader of Hospitality, HOK

Based in Hong Kong, J Lee is the HOK Asia Pacific Regional Leader of Hospitality design. She brings to the table 30 years of experience in hotel design and operations, architecture, interior design, art, lighting and landscape design. Her global portfolio includes work with such brands as Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental, St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt International.

J Lee was a founding member and past president of the AIA Hong Kong Chapter. She has also served as a panel advisor on the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Infrastructure and Development Board.

Manuel Der Hagopian
Co-Founder & Partner, G8A Architects

Manuel Der Hagopian graduated from the Geneva Institute of Architecture (IAUG) and the Belleville School of Architecture, Paris (ENSAPB). He is one of the original partners of group8 architectes, which was established in Geneva in 2000, and is a co-founder and partner at G8A in charge of operations at their Singapore office. He also co-manages their offices in Geneva, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City where his main responsibilities include design direction, conceptual design and project management. Through G8A’s think tank, aptly named 8+, he is currently pursuing his strong interest in the consequences of a rapidly growing population’s impact on the residential housing situation in South East Asia.

Since 2015, Manuel has been a guest professor at SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design), where he aims to strengthen the transfer of architectural and design knowledge between Singapore and Switzerland.

Kien Hoang 
Director, Arup

Kien Hoang is a Structural Engineer with experience in both building and bridge engineering. He graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 with a Master’s Degree in Engineering and worked in London for eight years. He subsequently moved to Hong Kong, where he lived for seven years before relocating to the Arup Vietnam (AV) office in 2016.

As Buildings Team Leader of Arup Vietnam, Kien is responsible for the delivery of the firm’s Structural and Building Services Engineering throughout Vietnam. He led the structural design of the Landmark 81 Tower and is currently working on several other high-profile projects, including the new Long Thanh Airport Terminal Building, as well as the 88-storey Thu Thiem Observation Tower, both in HCMC.

Kien is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Triet Le
Principal Architect, Aaaaaa
Ph.D Practice Research Candidate, RMIT University

Triet is engaged in a mode of practice that explores alternative architecture through speculative research and innovative built works. He is interested in developing local creativity and designing buildings that are specifically regional, derived from native landscape, habits and culture.

Nam Huy Nguyen
Director of Design & Technical Services – Vietnam and Cambodia, Accor

Nam is an accomplished architect with a passion for hospitality design and project development. With extensive experience overseeing multi-brand hotel and resort projects in both Vietnam and Cambodia, his work has recently played a pivotal role in the design and technical services departments of renowned hospitality groups like MOVENPICK and, most recently, the ACCOR Group.

Nam received his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Hanoi Architectural University, followed by a Master’s from Leeds Beckett University in the UK. He has held different roles in the Real Estate field for the past 15 years, from Architect/Designer to Design Manager to Project Manager, from Consultant to Client, and finally, to Hotel Operator. These experiences have enabled him to analyze projects from many different points of view and to achieve the best solution for all stake holders.

Greg Ohan
CEO / Co-Pioneer, The Sentry

Greg is recognized as an industry expert in the Vietnam Real Estate Sector. He was previously a director of several Fortune 500 Companies including CBRE Hong Kong and Vietnam, the founding Deputy CEO of BW Industrial (Vietnam’s Largest For Rent Industrial Developer) and, recently, co-founder of Vietnam’s leading Grade A Social Real Estate platform The Sentry.

As an ecosystem developer focused on Startups / Outsourcing and Technology based Industries, The Sentry is a disruptor in the Vietnam Flexible Working & Living sector. The company is a leading private sector promoter of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, having recently formed a partnership with Vietnam’s largest foreign University – RMIT Vietnam – which included the launching of SPARK Hub, the country’s first off campus Industry Start Up Incubator.

Karl Truong
Managing Director, Huong Viet Holdings

Karl Truong is the Managing Director of Huong Viet Holdings (HVH), a Vietnam based fund with a mandate for sustainable development within the Real Estate, Renewable Energy, Utilities and Logistics sectors. Karl finds and develops new business opportunities for HVH while ensuring that the company integrates good environmental, social, and governance principles. HVH relies on Karl to build relationships with its partners and customers as well as to evaluate existing partnerships and projects with an eye towards building on “what works” and changing what doesn’t.

Karl is also a partner at SKT Law, PC, an international law firm with offices in the US and South East Asia, where he oversees the firm’s International Practice Group and focuses on Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, Regulatory Compliance, and Intellectual Property.


Tropical Space was founded by Tran Thi Ngu Ngon and Nguyen Hai Long in 2011. Tran Thi obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture (UAH) in 2004. Nguyen Hai Long received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2001 and his Master’s Degree, from the same university, in 2009.

The Tropical Space studio based in Ho Chi Minh City has expertise in master planning, architectural design, landscape design and interior design. The firm has a deep understanding of both the cultural and extreme climatic issues in Vietnam, which are addressed in the design of their work. They prioritize solving the challenges of living in a tropical climate and are acutely aware of the need to achieve the right balance between humans, buildings and the natural environment in all of their projects.

The Moderator

Vice President, AIA Hong Kong Chapter
Co-founder and Director, Architecture Commons

Architect, entrepreneur, and urban thinker passionate about architecture and urban environments that have a lasting impact on society, Eric Ho is the Co-founder and Director of Architecture Commons, a design agency for urban innovation, and the 2024 Vice President of the AIA Hong Kong Chapter.

Eric studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard GSD, where he was the recipient of the Faculty Design Award. In addition to his passion for architecture, Eric started MILES: a real estate platform for neighborhood and community good which activates underused storefront spaces, and Good Goods: a next generation shared economy platform for retail in New York.

To broaden his architectural practice he has been leading the strategy team at Architecture Commons and started their Neighbourhood Innovation Lab to tackle how we might design more human-centric cities. Through this initiative, he has assisted NGOs, funders, developers and the government sector on bottom-up design at different scales, winning the Good Design Award in 2022. He is currently advising the Hong Kong Housing Bureau and the Hong Kong Housing Authority on well-being design guidelines for our public housing developments.

This event is proudly sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), a Corporate Affiliate Member of AIA Hong Kong.


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