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Curtin University
Staff Profile

Dr Boon Ong

Dr Boon Ong Dr Boon Ong
Position Head of Department
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
School School of Built Environment
Department Dept of Architecture and Interior Architecture
Campus Bentley Campus
Location 201.619B
Phone +61 8 9266 3844
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Brief Summary

Dr Boon Lay Ong has an interest in diverse fields that leads to a better understanding of architecture as it is experienced and lived in. It started with his Masters degree, where he researched into the use of physical models in acoustics, inspired by the thought that the shape, size and materiality of the auditorium determined the experience of the sound within. The interest later broadened to include the other senses and elements - e.g. heat, light, touch, movement. While thinking about his PhD, he realised that while ecology is an important concern in sustainability, ecologists were little interested in the built environment as an ecosystem and architects did not study ecology as part of their syllabus. This soon led to the idea that plants (greenery) is a vital component for future sustainable design. Returning to Singapore, he developed a Masters of Landscape Architecture program for the National University of Singapore in 2009. He then joined the University of Melbourne in 2010 and Curtin University in 2014. His most recent research is in thermal aesthetics, believing that an understanding and appreciation of heat as an aesthetic will be an important component in the evolution of an architectural formal style in sustainability.

Memberships, Awards and Training


B.Arch (Auckland) 1978

M.Arch (Auckland) 1980

Ph.D (Cantab) 1997


Singapore Institute of Architects, Singapore

Green Star Associate, Green Building Council Australia


Colombo Plan Scholarship (1972-78) B. Arch, Auckland University, New Zealand

Colombo Plan Scholarship (1978-79) M. Arch, Auckland University, New Zealand

Overseas Graduate Scholarship (1993-97) Ph. D, Cambridge University, UK.

First Prize (1998) Shenzhen Ecocity Design Competition (with Assoc Prof Ah Fong Foo, Archurban Architects & Planners, and CESMA)

Winning Entry (1999) Singapore Management University: An Ideas Competition (with Assoc Prof Ah Fong Foo)

Best Paper in Practice Track (2012) 4th International Network for Tropical Architecture Conference, iNTA2012, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

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Urban Design Research Studio: ESD Studio

Environmental and Technological Strategies in Architecture

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Research Interests

The role of greenery in architecture and urban design and planning

The city (and its component parts - precincts, neighbourhoods and buildings) as an ecosystem

Thermal aesthetics and architectural design

Environmental modelling in architecture

Auditorium design and acoustical mapping

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Journal Articles (Research)


Book Chapters (Research)


Books (Research)

Book Chapters (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Books (Research)

Book Chapters (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Books (Research)

Book Chapters (Research)

Journal Articles (Research)


Book Chapters (Research)


Books (Research)


Book Chapters (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

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Beyond Environmental Comfort (2013) (Editor + 3 Chapters), Routledge, London.

Tropical sustainable architecture: Social & Environmental Dimensions (2006) (Co-Editor, with Philip Joo-Hwa Bay, + 2 Chapters), Architectural Press, London.

Sustainable Cities in the 21st Century (1999) Chapter 10: The Paradise Paradigm: An Ecological Account of the Development of Human Civilization, Editors: A. F. Foo, Belinda Yuen, Publishers: Singapore University Press (jointly with World Scientific)

Naturally Ventilated Buildings: Building for the Senses, the Economy and Society (1997) (2 Chapters)​ Editor: Derek Clements-Croome, Publishers: E & FN Spon, UK.

Standards for Thermal Comfort: Indoor air temperature standards for the 21st century (1995) Chapter 7: Designing for the Individual: A Radical Interpretation of ISO 7730. Editors: M. Humphreys , F. Nicol , S. Roaf , O. Sykes, Publishers: E & FN Spon, UK

Selected Papers

Ong, B. L., Ho, A., & Ho, D. K. H. (2012). Green Plot Ratio - Past, Present & Future. iNTA2012 - Tropics 2050. Singapore. Retrieved November 15, 2013, from

Ong, B. L., Kua, H. W., & Teo, C. J. (2012). Green Chimney Buildings: Architecture as Carbon Sequestration Structures. iNTA2012 - Tropics 2050. Singapore: Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. Retrieved from

Ong, B. L. (2012). Ecology and the aesthetics of heat. In J.-P. Thibaud & D. Siret (Eds.), Ambiances 2012. Montreal: International Ambiances Network.

Ong, B. L. (2012). Warming up to heat. Senses & Society, 7(1), 5–21.

Kua, H. W., Teo, C.-J., & Ong, B. L. (2010). Carbon Sequestration In A Green Chimney: Enhanced Carbon Dioxide Removal By Mung Beans Under High Concentrations.

Yang, P., & Ong, B. L. (2004). Applying ecosystem concepts to the planning of industrial areas: a case study of Singapore’s Jurong Island. Journal of Cleaner Production, 12(8-10), 1011–1023. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2004.02.028

Ong, B. L. (2002). Green Plot Ratio: An ecological measure for architecture and urban planning. Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning, 965, 1–15.

Ong, B. L. (1999). The Paradise Paradigm: An Ecological Account of the Development of Human Civilization. In A. F. Foo & B. Yuen (Eds.), Sustainable Cities in the 21st Century (pp. 163–180). Singapore: NUS Press (jointly with World Scientific).

Ong, B. L. (1997). From Homogeneity to Heterogenity. In D. Clements-Croome (Ed.), Naturally Ventilated Buildings: Buildings for the senses, the economy and society. (pp. 17–33). London: E & FN Spon.

Ong, B. L., & Hawkes, D. U. (1997). The Sense of Beauty - Role of Aesthetics in Environmental Science. In D. Clements-Croome (Ed.), Naturally Ventilated Buildings: Buildings for the senses, the economy and society. (pp. 1–16). London: E & FN Spon.

Ong, B. L. (1995). Designing for the Individual: A Radical Interpretation of ISO 7730. In F. Nicol, M. Humphreys, O. Sykes, & S. Roaf (Eds.), Standards for Thermal Comfort (pp. 70–77). London: E & FN Spon.

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