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#StoriesWithSILA

Capturing the joy, diversity, and passion behind the leading members of SILA. Get up close and personal with the 2021 Committee and learn everything there is to know about them from their favourite local dish to the one thing that they can never say no to!


Anna Yap

SILA Council Member


  • What is your spirit plant? Alocasia spp. Love their leaf shape!! <3

  • Describe SILA in 3 words: Persistent. Down-to-earth. Passionate.

  • What is your most used Singlish Word? Aiyo! Almost got me into trouble when the parrot in the office started saying 'Aiyo!' as well!

  • What is your favourite spot in Singapore to unwind and gain inspiration? Stadium Promenade Area during sunset with a can of beer as I get to just stare into the Singapore skyline from afar with changing sky colours and families hanging out.

  • What is the one thing you love about Singapore? In Singapore, nature is always just a stone's throw away from anywhere. It's really a sight to behold that sometimes while I am running along the waterbody, the otter family just swims past!


Audrey Xu Jing Yi

Honorary Treasurer

What is your favourite quote? "Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it," by Danial Kahneman
  • What is the one thing you love about Singapore? Great convenience and accessibility to services and places in a clean, green and safe environment.

  • What would be your dream project? Designing a cemetery park

  • What is your favourite spot in Singapore to unwind/gain inspiration from? Punggol Waterway Park, where I go jogging to unwind

  • What inspired you to become a Landscape Architect? Making a living by working with greenery, doing something good for the environment and designing spaces accessible to all seem like a good deal


Derek Loei

SILA Council Member

What is the one thing you can never say no to? I can't ever say no to Ronnie Tan, our Immediate Past President

  • What is your favourite quote? Cheap doesn't mean good. Quality design brings values in the longer term.

  • What is your spirit plant? Happiness Tree. (Garcinia subelliptica). The form and the dark green leaves make me happy.

  • What is one thing that you love about Singapore? The one and only SILA

  • Describe SILA in 3 words: Young, Passionate, Energetic


Elsa Sim Rui Jia

Honorary Secretary

  • What's the one thing that people do not know about you? Sometimes I think I have too many hobbies and interests! From diving to roller skating, illustrating to painting, dancing to playing the drums and guitar, to crocheting and tending my plants. These are some things that keep me feeling alive and recharged.

  • What is your favourite quote? “Your life is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts.” The human mind and will is a very powerful thing! What we think about shapes our decisions, attitudes and outlooks and I strongly believe that it is very important to be attuned to our thoughts so we can be more aware and have more clarity in situations and in life.

  • Fav spot in Singapore to unwind I really love the outdoors! But I prefer the beach and sea to forests though. Hence, I would say that my favourite spot would be somewhere along the Gardens by the Bay - East Coast Park route, where I would probably be roller skating with my friends, enjoy each other’s company on the beach, while sharing some cheese and bread as we like it.

  • What is your dream project within the industry? I would love to work on a national marine park of sorts. Could be a combination of restoration effort while bringing people closer to nature and marine life. Bonus if site visits require us to dive to survey the site! I enjoy being part of the underwater world and would love to be able to design for a project that reveals the beauty I see to others as well. Intertidal habitats would be interesting too!


Emily Lim

SILA Council Member

What is one thing you won't be able to say no to? Fried Chicken
  • What is the one thing that people do not know about you? I practiced as a Horticulturist then LA in the private sector before becoming a teacher

  • Who is the most influential person in your life? The person who influences my life the most is my husband.

  • What is your spirit plant? Ficus benjamina (in my opinion, a resilient and adaptable plant).

  • What inspired you to be a Landscape Architect? One of my mentors who is a Landscape Architect inspired me when I was a Horticulturist. He gave me opportunities to be exposed to aspects of LA documentation in the design process, perspectives, writing plant specs for BQ, project management, etc. At that point, I began to see plants with a different lens, whereby arranging plants in a landscape is a design expression. It charted my path towards my inquiry to explore the landscape architecture discipline formally in a degree program and eventually practice as a LA.


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