The Evolution of Public Space Design and Provision and its Usage

The Evolution of Public Space Design and Provision and its Usage

Traditionally, public housing development has been undertaken by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) of Singapore, to provide affordable and quality housing for the citizens of Singapore. In the recent years, in a bid to improve the quality and design of public housing, HDB has, through competitions, awarded firms from...
Spatially Defiant Practices in Singapore's Public Spaces

Spatially Defiant Practices in Singapore’s Public Spaces

In the planning of public space in Singapore, the hegemony of the planned space dominates the discussion. However, at the level of spatial practice, or the “lived” social dimension, the prescribed uses or desired social outcomes of the physical planned infrastructure are not always directly manifested or translated. This is...
Stakeholders of Community Participatory Design: Designers as Community Facilitators

Stakeholders of Community Participatory Design: Designers as Community Facilitators

Continuing from my previous article ‘Extending community participatory design in Singapore’s built environment: the potential of designers’, which postulates why designers should be mobilised in the push for greater community participatory design (CPD) efforts, we now take a closer look into the stakeholders within CPD projects. Through the analysis of...
Hong Kong’s In-Between Spaces: Alleyway

Hong Kong’s In-Between Spaces: Alleyway

Hong Kong is a city known for its lack of space – both public and private. Some may argue that the government has provided sufficient public space in the form of recreational parks within the public housing estate and other sizable parks which includes Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Park, Victoria...
Tactical urbanism in Singapore

Tactical urbanism in Singapore

Rising trend of tactical urbanism Tactical urbanism is a term coined by Mike Lydon [1] describing the deliberate short term action of local ideas, typically executed in form of lighter, quicker and cheaper interventions. These short-term ideas are often temporary and relatively inexpensive alterations to a public space, enabling direct...
The evaluation of public space in Singapore’s housing estates

The evaluation of public space in Singapore’s housing estates

In Singapore, the role of public space within the public housing estates developed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has perceivably shifted in its approach.  This shift entails the role of public space from pragmatic considerations of ventilation and recreation, toward political and ideological representations of identity and community,...
The Evolution of High-Rise Living in Singapore: A Hypothesis of what has changed.

The Evolution of High-Rise Living in Singapore: A Hypothesis of what has changed.

Singapore is a young nation but she has seen one of the most numbers of high-rise residential developments over the past few decades since she gained independence, alongside other developing countries in the Southeast Asia, and in China. Building typologies today are so different than when it was, more than...
The public life of Sham Shui Po

The public life of Sham Shui Po

Sham Shu Po is one of the 18 districts in Hong Kong, and the poorest one. It is considered one of the areas with the highest population density, and also the highest poverty rate at 18.2% [1]. Despite its popularity with tourists, this district is concentrated in low-income families, new immigrants,...
Creative Placemaking: Re-imagining urban spaces in Singapore

Creative Placemaking: Re-imagining urban spaces in Singapore

Shift from top down place management to bottom up placemaking As a rapidly developing city, Singapore has adopted a highly centralised approach to the planning of land-use since the 1960s. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore sifts out a quinquennial Master Plan to revise the use of Singapore’s limited land...
Extending community participatory design in Singapore’s built environment: the potential of designers

Extending community participatory design in Singapore’s built environment: the potential of designers

In a dialogue with Singapore Perspectives 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed that “It is our responsibility as a government to try and help Singapore society come to a consensus on issues. We must all have a stake in growth and progress, and feel that society is going in...
Latest entries
Learning from Hong Kong Part II: A Case study of Citywalk, Tsuen Wan Town Centre

Learning from Hong Kong Part II: A Case study of Citywalk, Tsuen Wan Town Centre

The comprehensive development of Citywalk the podium structure strategically located at the Tsuen Wan Town Centre was a redevelopment area proposed by Urban Renewal Authority, where the preceding land was old buildings for public housing owned by the Housing Society. The former buildings were demolished in the year 1990 with building age of over 30...
Learning from Hong Kong Part I: Towards Mixed-use (Podium) Development

Learning from Hong Kong Part I: Towards Mixed-use (Podium) Development

Introduction to Mixed-use development in Hong Kong Hong Kong represents a singular case of its own. Hong Kong is unique because it represents an extreme case of overcrowding, escalating population growth, scarcity of land resource, intensification of land-use activities, burdened by an absence of raw materials and natural resources. High-rise and high density living is...
Evaluating Temporary Use

Evaluating Temporary Use

Permanence in Architecture: A way of the Planners We are inclined to view architecture as long-lasting, stable, and (some would say) permanent structures; be they iconic assemblies that impress, or tremendously efficient and practical vessels. Building construction is usually synonymous with the ever-lasting. This sentiment however, is inapplicable in Singapore. Being a young nation, Singapore’s...
Temporary Appropriations – Activating Abandoned Spaces

Temporary Appropriations – Activating Abandoned Spaces

Temporary Appropriations refer to informal occupations of space. It describes the intermediate, where a site’s original intension of use has been aborted or paused and its future uncertain.[1] Thisimpermanent nature stems from the risk of contention and eradication from the organized, strategically planned city prominent today. It is traditionally viewed as ‘uncontrolled’ and the spontaneous,...
Ageing in place and ageing gracefully

Ageing in place and ageing gracefully

Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council Meeting attendees include: Dr Teo Ho Pin and Mr Lawrence (Town Council) Prof Tay Keng Soon, Jannrius, Qingran, Natasha and Riberd (NUS) In an open discussion with Dr Teo Ho Pin at the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council, the Mayor of North West District Chairman of Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council and MP...
A ‘brand new’ HDB typology – Modern Kampung @ Admiralty

A ‘brand new’ HDB typology – Modern Kampung @ Admiralty

Cross sectional perspective of Kampung Admiralty (Source: HDB) Typology Back in the 1980s, Bras Basah Complex (1980) featured HDB flats above a commercial complex o integrate with the commercial podium as a means to house more people and hawkers from the Urban Renewal Scheme. (HDB Annual Report, 1970 & 1978). After 40 years, the HDB...
Integration and Reduction of Boundaries for the Dynamic Community

Integration and Reduction of Boundaries for the Dynamic Community

‘Cloud Boxes’ by SANAA is the winning entry for the Taichung City Cultural Center design competition, which envisioned the city as a metropolis where arts and culture forms the focal point of its identity. Led by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, the proposal was a collaborative effort with local firm Ricky Liu & Associates Architects + Planners. Underneath this...
Lessons to learn from Bandung Creative City Forum

Lessons to learn from Bandung Creative City Forum

Bandung is the 3rd largest city by population in Indonesia, located in the western part of Java island. The city is considered to be one of the major cultural hub in Indonesia, with their garment manufacturing, arts and design industry as the city’s pride. Bandung Cityscape Mr. Ridwan Kamil, an architect and a lecturer in Bandung Technology...
Warehouse Community Project

Warehouse Community Project

Old Railroad Maradana, Colombo 10 , Sri Lanka Co -Founders :  Kirby de Lanerolle & Fiona de Lanerolle Manager :  Mel Wijegooneratne   Maradana located in the centre of Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka) is home to more than 800 slums which house more than 100,000 people. These are some of the most poorest...
De-centralisation of the Arts, Taiwan

De-centralisation of the Arts, Taiwan

Refined Chinese “high” culture as staged in Taiwan. Background Two types of culture in Taiwan exists: one, the Chinese high culture brought over by the retreated Kuo Min Tang (KMT), two, the actual local culture of Taiwan. Real Taiwanese culture has been suppressed in the rule of KMT initially but the 1990s Taiwanization movement has...
Psychogeography of Church of St Mary of the Angels

Psychogeography of Church of St Mary of the Angels

Introduction to the Project The Church of St Mary of the Angels is a Roman Catholic church completed in 2004, located in the Western suburban region of Singapore. The compound houses a few different functions: the Church, the St Anthony Friary, the Poor Clare Monastery and an underground columbarium; these functions have their own compounds...