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Part I: Research on Architecture failures as basis of project (as shown and building interstital air pressure)


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invisible fields and ambient atmospheres - the architectural uncanny The Hidden Architectural Element LOH YING YING ASSOC. PROF., ONG KER-SHING My thesis is about the architectural uncanny quality of architecture that is hidden in plain sight. Through unintentional systems of connectivity within architecture’s interstitial spaces, the building releases that which parts of the building. This quality of architecture is the unintended result and side effect of normative operations carried out to construct a building. Hence, my project proposes to embrace this as a design driver, to speculate on and articulate the architectural uncanny that exists in and temperature-controlled buildings, most exterior walls, roof, interior that contain numerous interstitial air gaps and voids. These structural assemblies are further punctured with chases and stuffed with services, wires, ductwork, and pipes. Layers of material are used to hermetically seal up these technical innards within unseen cavities. Thus, there is an unintended interconnectivity of cavities that contain other presences and

spatial presences beyond the wall. Manifested as stains or leakages of air, smells, sounds, the enclosure connects us to other movements and presences in the building. The enclosure becomes uncanny because it simultaneously separates but also connects. Situated within the Alexandra hospital compound, my project is a building with a geriatric centre and kindergarten, within which I speculate, augment, and make palpable these hidden and uncanny connections.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT A preoccupation with ways in which buildings fail led Ying Ying to an uncovering of architectural constructions as a complex of interiorities and connectivities. These allow for unwanted intruders like water and sound, but at the same time provide opportunities for other kinds of intimacies and connections. What if building matter linked its inhabitants rather than separate? What if it allowed the signs of life—smells, sounds, air—within its fascinating concerns by walking the line between the familiar and the uncanny, between designed effect and defect.

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Scented Air: Connection through air pressure differential

Sounds from a Distant Place: Presences beyond the enclosure

Concept Collage

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Distortions: Air pressure induced by AC system made palpable


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Site: Alexandra Hospital

Systems of Connectivity Embedded within the Building

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The Cancer Homunculus A Model for Alienated Bodies; Between Body and Bedroom; Last Knit TAN YI-ERN SAMUEL ASSOC. PROF., ONG KER-SHING secondary role towards its generative capacity. Whether by anthropometry or the dreaded ‘concept’, architecture seems only able to wield the body as a founding metaphor. This metaphor can only ever deal with a platonic

more complicated than that of a body of cancer, itself architectural in its predilection for scale, space, and metaphor. This thesis takes the position production, these bodies must be, rather than ghosts, homunculi—fully formed and complicated, a model for alienated bodies. In this model, I understand cancer to be a condition that expresses itself at multiple scales from cell to capital. Control is wrestled away from the patient, diverted towards foreign agents both internal and external to the organistic body. And this takes place in all manner of building, hospitals, care centres, homes. Take a simple bedroom, part programme for respite and part programme for treatment—what was once a safe space is turned hostile by cancer. Remedying this in the pursuit of an architecture that can bring real and literal comfort, I ruminate in this thesis upon a new, ambiguous typology of walls that appear to resemble an enclosure, a hammock, a garment, and none of the above all at once. As the patient exerts force over these walls, they warp in a way that is distinct to the patient who sees the grain of the fabric distort against the weight of her body. She is not separate from the space within which she resides, but one with it as a kind of prosthesis for care and living. This kind of architecture, like the body it serves in this thesis, cannot be alienated any longer in a world where we are all subject to greater forms of alienation.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Proposing The Cancer Homunculus as an alternative model of a person that has been distorted (alienated) through cancer, Sam probes right at the heart of how we make “architecture” for “people.” The investigation covers an objective body versus the imperfect subjective one, representation versus reality, architecture versus the domestic space, hard immovable materials versus pliant changeable ones, architectural construction versus knitting, et cetera. The resultant project, of a bedroom installation intended to “give comfort” to a cancer patient, belies a daring re-frame of the contexts and constructs within which architects design.

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External Forces: Financial Institutions

Deformed Projection

The Patient Expanding Force

Deformed Projection

External Forces: Medical Institutions

Expanding Force

Drawing :: Projected Memories_Cancer Treatmetn_Plan_1:50 and 1:100

Drawing :: Main Site_Shrinking Room_Plan_1:10

Drawing :: Proto-homunculus_Scale of Institution_Macro Forces_External Deformers of Space_Oblique Plan_1:50

Drawing :: Main Site_Shrinking Room_Short Section_1:10

(top left) Drawing :: Projected Memories_Cancer Treatmetn_Plan_1:50 and 1:100 (top right) Drawing :: Proto-homunculus_Scale of Institution_Macro Forces_External Deformers of Space_Oblique Plan_1:50 (bottom left) Drawing :: Main Site_Shrinking Room_Plan_1:10 (bottom right) Drawing :: Main Site_Shrinking Room_Short Section_1:10


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Film Stills from Documentation :: The Last Knit_Shrinking Room_Patient and Caretaker_Sample_Film #21016


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A depiction of the ubiquitous demolition and displacement in Singapore’s HDB scene under SERs, where there is a destructive erasure of longstanding communities and all of its tangible and intangible heritage.


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de-enblogue A Catalogue Against En-Bloc NADIA SHARMIN BTE MAHADI ASSOC. PROF., JOHANNES WIDODO (DR.) The basis of this thesis stems from the concern of witnessing increasing number of Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) neighbourhoods, particularly older and thus potentially more historically

become too normalised and over-celebrated under the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). However, this constant act of displacement as well as demolition of enbloc sites are largely detrimental to the economy, the environment and most importantly the community. It shakes the very foundation of home ownership and treats our citizens like objects that could be easily transferred to another home with little regard for the bonds they have created overtime, the memories and the place identity that has been cultivated. The thesis thus aims to question whether HDB’s method of demolition and building anew is the best way forward. In the case of in Singapore due to SERs, total demolition of site and building anew is not necessary in order to achieve the projected density by URA. Through the use of adaptive reuse in terms of top, side and frontal additions, the projected density can still be achieved. In this light, De-EnBlogue, serves to provide a catalogue of different adaptive reuse strategies that can be applied to the site, and potentially to other at-risk sites in Singapore, as an alternative architectural solution to house the increasing density in Singapore as well as preserving the livelihood of existing communities. This thesis has proved how conservation has never played a more pertinent role in today’s public housing scene and that conservation is a powerful tool that can strengthen communities as well as meet the needs of the future.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Conservation is a process of managing change and permanence directly related to ecological sustainability and social-cultural continuity, against the demolitions, breaking down neighbourhoods, and displacement of communities that often happened during the urban redevelopment under the Housing Board’s Selective En-bloc Redevelopment (SERS) this year. Through her thesis, Nadia has put up a strong position in preserving the community integrity, place memory, environmental sustainability – and at the same time proposing viable strategies of achieving higher density, adaptively reusing the existing blocks, and addressing the social changes.

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Physical manifestations of Singapore’s Hawker Culture cannot be centered solely around the Hawker Centre, for they are merely a window to the interrelated complexity of our vibrant Foodscape


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to food with love Architecture of an Intangible Culture SIM WEN WEI ASSOC. PROF., CHANG JIAT HWEE (DR.) What does it mean for the architecture when what is deemed as important heritage is not the building, but the activities contained within? Despite the emphasis on the intangibility of Singapore’s Hawker Culture, we seem unable to separate it from its perceived physical vessel: Hawker Centres. Culture is not static. Food consumption, preparation and purchasing Neither is our culinary landscape, our foodscape, made from just kitchens and dining tables. Changes in food distribution and production methods would also greatly affect the way we buy and consume. However, the concept of hawker centres, both as a typology and as a program, has remained frozen in time, isolated from changes in the foodscape. Design ideas put forth in the 1970s are still largely replicated in recent years, albeit with a fresh coat of paint. Our hawker culture cannot and should not be constrained within such an ecosystem of a variety of food sites and activities, linked by their roles in the foodscape, that truly expresses the vibrancy of such an urban culture. Acupunctural insertions at these various sites in the neighbourhood are used to reinforce existing relationships and create new ones between formerly disconnected spaces. A common architectural language serves not to standardise, but to highlight the relationships between each other. This is a physical message representing our intangible culture. It is a message, to food, with love.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT solely on consumption at the expense of production, one that is enchanted by the glamour while ignoring the backbreaking labor behind it, and

to food through architecture and urbanism? What is the place of space in this committed rescue act? Is there even a place for space? These are the questions that haunted this thesis throughout the two semesters of M.Arch II.

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Key Exhibition Exhibition Space Space Key structure supporting supporting coal coal gangue gangue for for long long span, span, Steel structure overlooking towards towards courtyard courtyard houses’ houses’ roofs roofs overlooking


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Fortress besieged Revitalization Scheme of Coal Mining City, Datong City, Shanxi Province, China CHEN HEYANG ASSOC. PROF., BOBBY WONG CHONG THAI Shanxi Province, as one of the top provinces which is abundant in coal, the province is now falling into the “resource curse”. The economic development of Datong City has always highly and almost solely relied on coal mining and its related industries. Due to the environmental concern, China is gradually switching to cleaner energy instead of coal. The high unemployment rate, and the lack of alternative industries all lead to the economic recession. The mayor of the city carried out the regime to revive the historical culture value of the city, and thus promise to prosper in the service and consumptive industries like tourism. One of the biggest strokes was to rebuild the ancient city wall by entombing the relic with modern bricks as

consumptive culture in an abstract way. The phantasmagoria of coal as critical tools. Masterplan and architecture design of the main exhibition hall are carried out to promote a switch from consunption culture to cultural consumption. Coal gangue, the byproduct of coal mining performs cultural events.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT This project builds on an ex-mayor plans for the city of Datong, shaanxi Province, China. Datong is a city built on coal mining. However, given the Chinese Government plans to reduce coal as fuel source, the mayor realises unless Datong shifts its economic base, Datong can be emptied out in due time. While his thinking was correct, the mayor’s plan is to rejuvenate the

gangue or coal waste. Much of the architectural form is the result of her attempt to imitate how coal gangue is managed and rendered safe and secure.

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The City Wall

City Wall Coal Mining District

Evolution of the City Wall

Main Exhibition Hall

Satellite Exhibition Space Biennale Event Arrangement

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Typical Mining Procedure and Plan

Typical Coal Gangue Piling Construction Method to Prevent Self Conbustion Demolished Courtyard Houses on Site Traces to Be Preserved

Reinforced Foot Construction

Compartmentation at Central Pile Satellite Exhibition Space

Tiered Coal Gangue Pile Stable Natural Pile (30o)

Water Drainage System

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Abstract Islands In Pursuit of Eden CHAN JOSHUEL ADJ. ASSOC. PROF., TIAH NAN CHYUAN This thesis interrogates the phenomenon of Promise and Forgiveness prescribed in The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt, as a means to mitigate dissonance between humans. The Pursuit of Eden is a search for the middle ground, a space of reconciliation between the state, society, the family, and the individual. Architecture becomes the mediator between these entities in order for a nation to coexist harmoniously. Through a concurrent remembering and amnesia of stories and experiences, narratives get retold and reinterpreted, memories overlap, tell an honest Singapore narrative. Set on the site of the existing Parliament House, this proposal reimagines the Master Plan of the area with its extremely charged adjacencies. With a clear vision of returning the civic space to the public, this is a commitment of the state towards its people. Through a study of stadiums, theatres, and parliament typologies, a new design and form is proposed as an appropriate local response to Singapore’s nuances between the public and the state. These abstract islands are conceived as a series of distinct and unique spaces within the garden to fosture a culture of discussion and multiple viewpoints. The architecture overlooking the parliament from above affords and celebrates a new plane of accountability and public discourse.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT The thesis explored the similarities between the biological construct and hierarchy that exist in nature with the hierarchy of society in Singapore where the rights of individual, family and State may coexist in an uneven

Eden hypothesised an environment where they and their families come together with the State on a path of shared promises and forgiveness. The intervention that reimagined the new Singapore Parliament to sit within bold and refreshing.

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The proposed migrant worker dormitories will share the same footprint when the country is less reliant on migrant labour.


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transient dormitories in singapore waters An Antifragile Way of Building Future Migrant Worker Dormitories. LOO QUAN LE ASSOC. PROF., CHEAH KOK MING The appalling living conditions of migrant workers in Singapore came under the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government’s response was to build new purpose-built dormitories – 11 dormitories that could house up to 100 000 workers - in order to reduce the density in living standards of workers are necessary, the thesis posits that building more dormitories is not enough to build the country’s resilience against future global crises. Beyond improving dormitory standards, the country should also take this opportunity to rethink its unhealthy reliance on migrant labour.

farms in the surrounding waters as part of a longer-term goal to increase its local food production capacity, the dormitories are built on top of these land nor in the sea. The new typology allows for future conversions into migrant labour and when there is a lesser demand for migrant worker accommodations in the future. It is a metaphor to suggest that the dormitories are transient just as the migrant workers. The scheme also explores possible symbiotic relationships between dormitory operations dormitories have over conventional dormitories that are built on land.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Singapore’s dependence on migrant workforce and high imports of food is inevitably also a land use issue. The transient nature of workers housing and the growing demand for seafood provide temporal considerations to this architectural exploration. The co-location of worker dormitory and a coastal environment, mutualism as well as time-sharing arrangement of space to rethink better dwelling for the workers. The keystone of the thesis

redeployed for other sea-based economic opportunities.

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Overall Site

Barbershop

Bus Boarding Berths

Drawbridge Detail


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Sectional Perspective

Worker’s Canteen

Future Conversions ?

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The project is conceived as a holiday instrument. A new core of Sanya that stretches altruism from Tokyo to Sanya’s urbanscape while renewing its temporary inhabitants, the salarymen through a balance.


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A holiday in a tokyo not so far away A “Work Style Reform Holiday” for the Japanese Modern Samurais TERENCE CHEK WEI JIE ADJ. ASST. PROF., PETER SIM the most vacation deprived country. The culture of overworking causes stress leading to depression, burnout, brain and heart diseases and the most extreme, karoshi, death by overwork. Current governmental solutions based on global corporate contemporary conventions of time off and vacations does not work due to the ingrain

thinks he too must work hard or else he will feel guilty and to deviate is disloyal”. As a counter proposition to the failed work style reform bill, this thesis speculates that a different type of ‘vacation’ is needed in order to provide the workers with a guilt and shame free break. A holiday that works with the ingrained edo concepts instead of against them. The thesis speculates that the government will replace the failed bill with a “work style reform guilt or shame. It takes inspiration from the successes of several companies and the widespread acknowledgement of the failure of the work style edo concepts might be an alternative solution.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT as dishonourable practices. This proposal explores an alternative from of escape that is deemed ‘acceptable’ - A new ‘work-style reform holiday’ developed from traditional principles, where ritual & controls, provides an armature for recuperation and expression. The poetry of the project lies in the vivid way in which architecture is conceived as a series of apparatus, into a contemporary, quasi fantastical, culturally responsive, ‘Machine for Holidaying’. The proposal is beautifully represented, combining elements manga, and executed with wit, intelligence, humour and poetry.

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Excerpts from a new kit of parts generated using structural optimisation algorithms.


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DECONSTRUCTION / RECONSTRUCTION Structurally Optimised Architecture Through the Lens Of Digital Fabrication LEE LIP JIANG ASSOC. PROF., RUDI STOUFFS (DR.) Deconstruction / Reconstruction is a thesis that attempts to relook at architecture through the lens of structural optimization and digital fabrication. Reacting to the zeitgeist of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where the digital becomes material, and Carpo’s “Second Digital Turn”, where design is used to inject intelligence - the thesis deconstructs architectural elements, applying breakthrough structural optimization methods to the process of their design. Through a study of Topology Optimisation, Evolutionary Structural Optimisation (ESO), Graphic Statics, and Stress Line Analysis with reference to recent work by Block, Akbarzadeh, Xie, among others – the thesis studies how current design processes could be augmented with these structural toolkits and fabricated using digital fabrication methods such as 3D printing with the aim of reducing the materials utilized in construction. Ultimately, the thesis generates a new kit of parts from which architecture can be constructed and attempts to envision possible uses of these processes in four applications: A self-replicating ramp-up factory designed with topology optimization, a large span gallery designed using 3D graphic statics, a high speed rail terminus designed with stress line analysis, and a parasitic house which adapts to surrounding structures, designed using self-referencing evolutionary structural optimization methods.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Structural optimization provides for the optimization of structural support, thereby reducing material use, increasing sustainability. Using 3D printing technologies, structurally optimized building components construction. However, important questions remain: “What is the impact of structural optimization on building design and esthetics?” and “Is it possible for an architect to adopt structural optimization into their design processes?”. This thesis addresses both questions, exploring structural optimization for a variety of different building typologies, from a ramp up factory, to a shophouse, to a railway station, and emphasizing the embedding of optimization algorithms into the design process, building upon an extensive assessment of structural analysis, algorithmic development and 3D printing.

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Left: Four visions of applications of structural optimisation process Gallery Section, Parasitic House Interior, High Speed Rail Terminus


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REMEMBER TO BLEED IF YOU HAVE FULL SPREAD IMAGES #21078 #21001


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POST.SPACES Designing New Spaces for Virtual Reality MATTHEW LEE JIN YOUNG ASSOC. PROF., PATRICK JANSSEN (DR.) Although virtual environments have been around for a long time, they have largely been regarded as entertainment or as accessories to physical activity and interaction. However, the post-digital revolution and ongoing pandemic sees us increasingly using virtual platforms as substitutes for real-life interaction, while advancements in technology and cost have made virtual reality (VR) headsets more accessible to the average consumer. Within these virtual spaces, traditional architectural notions such as scale, space, movement, and interaction take on vastly different forms - yet the design of most VR environments are merely imitative and mimic the designs and trappings of physical space. Through the study of existing VR environments and the distillation of key design approaches to the construction of VR space, I set out to envision a new paradigm of virtual space in VR that might expand our conception investigates the design implications and strategies for VR space, while the second explores the design of a fully functional app in VR showcasing the possibilities of this new spatial paradigm. With the use of VR to anchor our online experiences in virtual space, VR.Reddit aims to not only provide a unique virtual browsing experience, but also to create a shared space for media consumption and interaction that goes against the current media landscape of individualised echo chambers. Users are able to view and consume information in the virtual space as well as see and interact with other users within this shared forum. Beyond simple 3D visualisations to aid design and showcase built works, the virtual reality platform provides unprecedented opportunities for architects to create new spatial paradigms that users increasingly inhabit.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Consumer Virtual Reality (VR) headsets have been accessible since the early 1990s. Yet, apart from certain narrow uses-cases, VR has had a limited impact on the general population. This thesis started out with an investigation into how the spatial movement and interaction in VR needs to deviate from the laws of the physical world. The experiments culminated created that spatialized Reddit, called Post Spaces. This world connects dynamically to the Reddit website, streams the data, and transforms it into a spatial structure that people can immerse themselves into. If you have a headset, then welcome to the 21st: https://tinyurl.com/post-spaces .

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Render and overall layout of VR.Reddit space

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(Top) Visiting the Guardian Crab Tree Grove (Bottom) Procession of the Blessing of the Crabs


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120 DAYS The Carnivalesque City of Crabs EMMA LAU SI YING ASSOC. PROF., LILIAN CHEE (DR.) Christmas Island’s prominence as colonial and mineral extraction territories, and more recently, as Australia’s appointed detention island, has severely side-lined its natal identities. Yet, the island is known above all for its annual Christmas Island red crab migration. By weaving the iconic spectacle of the red crab around native practices and myths, the thesis creates a temporal architecture of festival that celebrates the island’s cultural, civic and historical identities. It engages a coast straddling two sites – the sea goddess’ temple and perspectives about the island’s ecological future. The architecture a sea wall columbarium with soil-stabilising pandanus tree groves. Space is re-examined through the body of the crab. Architecture is designed around its rhythms, movements and physiology. Further, crabs play practical, symbolic and mythical roles in the festivals of veneration. Through the spaces, rituals and spectacle of these mytho-natural festivals, the abstract matter of climate change is tangibly manifested, with Christmas Island reimagined at the frontiers of culture-climate activism. The evocative architecture examines the mediated relationships between human, animal, environment and place, raising questions on the politics of sustainable human inhabitation. In addition to increasing tourism and national ecological responsibility, the architectural proposition creates new political conversation around the island that may re-position its

Keywords: Animality, Myth-making, Ecology, Place Identity, Climate Resilience

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Emma’s interest in Christmas Island, a place she had not visited, results in 120 days, a thesis which explores the limits of architecture with remote sites and subjects. The distinctive spectacle of the island’s red crab is leveraged in a temporal and shape-shifting architecture – festival- and time-based – centred around the crabs’ mating and migratory schedules. The challenges of reading a site from afar, coupled with the balancing of

critiquing architecture’s relationship with its non-human others.

Many thanks to A/P Dr Lilian Chee, student mentors Wong Zi Hao and Ian Mun for their patient guidance; guest reviewers Erieta Attali, Stephen Cairns, Erik L’Heureux, Jiminez Lai, Constance Lau, CJ Lim, Victoria Marshall, Ong Ker-Shing, Peter Sim, and Tiah Nan-Chyuan for their invaluable insights.

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MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE Climax of procession: Ceremonial sea goddess temple

Section through sea goddess ceremonial temple

Palanquin Rest Stop

Section through sea goddess temple

Procession Palanquin

Spectacle of Crab Formations

Unfortunate Crab-Human Encounters

Crab Calendar: 120 Days of Crab Activity

Crab Migration Rituals

Start of procession: Sea goddess temple


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Swell season: Eroding soil and accumulating sand Qing Ming Festival: Cleaning of Sea wall urns

Beginning of the pandanus tree grove with earth god temple

Year 30: The Shifting Beach and Mature Groves

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Start of procession: Sea goddess temple

Coastal columbarium with sea wall urns

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microbes more than the others to improve their condition.


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Microville Your Microbe-friendly Home LIM XIN JIE, SHIRLEY AR. CHAW CHIH WEN Microbes have traditionally been thought of as harmful and are a separate existence from the human body, until in the 19th century, This shift in notion of the human body being a part of the larger microbial ecosystem only came to prominence in the 21st century. Most microbes contribute to the microbe diversity within the human body, which is found to be the most important determinant of our health. However, Architecture as a health machine has consistently

Such a rudimentary approach of looking at microbes and man is clearly not sustainable. Indiscriminate sterilization has contributed to a rise in immune diseases amongst the urban population. The thesis therefore seeks to subvert the traditional legacy of architecture as health machines- that are designed based on excluding microbes, by calling for Architecture to acknowledge man as part of the greater microbial ecosystem;

In light of how homes constitute a huge proportion of our lives, the project also aims to design for a comprehensive microbe-friendly environment for the urban population, through a reinterpretation of the domestic

Each persona will require a different set of microbes to improve his/her condition.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT This thesis investigates the current multi species coexistence tendencies at a microbial scale where the human body is depicted as part of a larger microbial ecosystem. Taking the dwelling as a site of investigation and intervention, the proposal argues that microbes are a form of valuable resource to be included in the design of architecture; much like light and air. Beyond providing an architectural solution to better one’s microbial health, this thesis also endeavours to recalibrate modern architecture’s role as a health machine that insulates our bodies against harmful microbes, even though they only account for 1% of the whole microbial ecosystem.

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of directed indeterminacy for recyclers to form their own workshop spaces and material assemblages


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the material field Recycling Infrastructure for Indeterminate and Emergent Material Practices YAP TZE LING, VALARIE ASSOC. PROF., TSUTO SAKAMOTO This thesis originated from an investigation of assemblages in informal cardboard collecting - and culminated in the study of how such material assemblages gradually reconstituted themselves across different and larger scales. Expressed architecturally as a recycling centre, the thesis and informal recycling work through object-oriented perspectives.

body across different scales yields new understandings and approaches to architecture as a mediator between body and object. It suggests a

becomes a question of how the material conditions the body, and how the body responds to preserve itself. And, beyond architecture, we could reimagine informal recycling in this

the work and the space can be produced, culminating in a productive and emergent landscape of opportunity for informal recyclers.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT The Material Field envisions an alternative relationship between human being and objects. Founded by a close investigation of informal cardboard collectors’ improvisations in Singapore, the project proposed a complex of a recycle facility and studios for “makers” who intercept and take great opportunity for makers to enjoy improvisational creativity, while on the other hand, x-ray technology and a conveyer system controlled by digital media with deep-learning capability start to consume such creativity, and subsume the makers to an object under control. Within this irony is expressed in a subtle and comical manner: the question is who

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The Reverse Zoo - Reimagining Our Role in the Natural World


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THE REVERSE ZOO Alternative Living: Reimagining Our Role in the Natural World JANE ZHAO XIN CHEN ADJ. ASSOC. PROF. KHOO PENG BENG Humans, being just one of an estimated 8.7 million species, consume an alarmingly mammoth share of our planet’s resources, acting as though we are the sole species inhabiting Earth, with most of us prioritising our wants over the needs of other species. The pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 further highlights that when humans take a step back, nature starts to and benevolence for other inhabitants of our planet, causing massive imbalances in the ecosystems. Humans are but visitors of Earth, yet we are so vested in a culture of self-indulgence, excessiveness and entitlement. This thesis serves as a critique of our anthropocentric approach towards the natural systems. Against the backdrop of Singapore, a shift towards ecocentrism during city planning enables human, architectural and natural systems to be merged seamlessly through the manipulation of physical landscape. Biodiversity coexistence, rewilding and a balanced ecosystem being the ultimate objective, the intervention transforms Singapore into karst lanscapes, where humans inhabit karst towers and new water systems are formed by the contours of the karsts. Karst towers, hosting varying human activities and wildlife, are split into different levels in accordance to the sections of the Lowland Dipterocarp Forest, minimising disruption to surrounding biodiversity. The Reverse Zoo envisions an Earth where Humans treat themselves as guests of the planet, where living spaces are built to view the outside world, where buildings are minimally invasive and in tune with natural systems, blurring the lines where man-made structures cease and nature begins.

SUPERVISOR’S COMMENT Jane’s project of a reverse zoo asks the question: “What if Singapore was planned with increasing our bio-diversity as a primary design parameter?”. Her project views site as architecture and architecture as site. Using the forms of natural karst formation as an inspiration, Jane imagines a possibility where human beings and nature exists in a closely coupled interdependence. She explores the possibility of the entire island of as protective moats around high density architectural “mountains”. Jane’s re-imagination of Singapore invites us to consider the possibilities of cities that are tightly woven in an interdependent co-existence with nature.

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Profile for NUS M.Arch SHow

NUS M.Arch Show 2021 - Sample Spreads  

Sample spreads for NUS M.Arch Show 2021 Book Publication. Order here: (link) Visit the NUS M.Arch Show 2021: www.nusmarchgradshow.com/2021

NUS M.Arch Show 2021 - Sample Spreads  

Sample spreads for NUS M.Arch Show 2021 Book Publication. Order here: (link) Visit the NUS M.Arch Show 2021: www.nusmarchgradshow.com/2021

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