What would a day in Singapore look like come 2065?
10 designers and 10 illustrators from this city present their visions of her future today.
Responding to 10 speculative questions of how we will communicate, connect, dress, eat, learn, live, play, relax, travel and work, these creatives were paired up to discuss and create stories together on one assigned aspect of life in Singapore on its centennial.
Through vignettes written by myself, concepts imagined by the designers, and narratives drawn by the illustrators, we invite you on a journey to discover the possibilities and pitfalls of life in this little red dot tomorrow.
Communicate: Danny Tan & Caleb Tan Connect: Randy Chan & Lee Xin Li Dress: Alfie Leong & Teresa Lim Eat: Kinetic Singapore & Chris Chai Learn: Joshua Comaroff & Esther Goh Live: Tan Cheng Siong & Sonny Liew Play: Hans Tan & Andre Wee Relax: Nathan Yong & Ng Xinnie Travel: STUCK Design & Dan Wong Work: forest&whale & Koh Hong Teng
Come by the F1 Pit Building from 7 to 12 March to check out the exhibition. We’re also having a chat with some of the teams on 11 March, sign up here.
Coastlines, canals, and carparks are just some of the unusual locations in Singapore for tomorrow’s pre-schools if Lekker Architects have their way.
In anticipation of the government’s plans to build more pre-schools, philantrophic organisation Lien Foundation approached the architecture firm last year to rethink the design of educational spaces for young children.
The result is “A Different Class: Preschool Spaces Redefined”, a collection of 10 pre-school designs that break out of the current enclosed units commonly found in the void decks of public housing estates here. Not only did Lekker try to invent new concepts for what pre-schools in Singapore could be, they also sought out unconventional locations for them so as to overcome the existing limitation of where they are typically housed.
“Schools are currently built in a narrow range of settings and many of these, such as void deck units, constrain the potential of design and hamper the creation of compelling buildings for our children. Inspiring spaces are all around us. These include highway buffers, large drains and our beaches and waterways,” said Lien Foundation chief executive Lee Poh Wah to the Straits Times.
More than just fantasy proposals, Lekker ensured the feasibility of their proposals by scouting possible locations for each, and they have been included in the report. Their different designs were also guided by 10 principles that include learning through experience and playing, fostering a sense of community and ownership, and creating spaces that are distinctive and sensitive to their location.
Lekker’s concepts are free for anyone to use and you can check them out on A Different Class where the full report designed by Epigram is available for download. You can also vote for your favourite designs, suggest locations, and from now till 30 September, propose better concepts and stand to win an iPhone 6+.
Horror in Architecture, a new book by Singapore-based architects Joshua Comaroff and Ong Ker-Shing, is not a book about horrible architecture. While it may be filled with examples of architecture most would not consider beautiful, its does not aim to measure their aesthetic value but rather to critique, categorise, and ultimately explain their existence.
The authors propose to look at “horror” in architecture as instances of failure that one can learn from, and in their 225-page book they have assembled a lens built upon fields including history, literature and even pop culture to examine this phenomenon. The result are nine typologies ranging from “Doubles & Clones”, and “Partially and Mostly Dead” which provide a framework to understand such diverse work ranging from the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Pullman Building in Chicago, and even a pair of semi-detached houses along Singapore’s Jalan Haji Alias.
Despite the sometimes complex and conceptual language, this book manages to use the terms of horror to present an entertaining and often enlightening reading about architecture. However, the real punch of this paperback publication comes when it examines how some of these architecture have come about. As Comaroff and Ong conclude: the horrors we are presented with today are by and large driven by what they identify as “the geography of unevenness” or economic inequality.
The book can also be read as a kind of manifesto of what the authors represent in their architecture practice, Lekker Design. They have elsewhere talked about their fascination with informal architecture as well as buildings which most architects would find “disgusting”, and this book is a full-blown exploration of this interest.
Despite examining an “unpleasant” aspect of architecture, and warning practitioners of the bleak conditions the practice exists in today, Comaroff and Ong ultimately find hope in “horror” and how it embraces the problems of modern architecture, rather than attempt to hide it. This ultimately creates interesting buildings and suggests that there is a future for architects after all.