The Straits of Johor, which forms the border between Singapore and Malaysia, has never ceased to be a site of power contestation, rendering the waterscape into terra nullius. In view of the fast changing international geopolitical environment, this thesis explores the possibilities of transforming the border of separation into a shared territory that can facilitate cooperation between Singapore and Johor achieving common economic growth, greater social cohesion, and higher competence of the region. Tackling food security, a pressing issue for both Singapore and Johor, this design research proposes to turn the Strait of Johor into a shared urban infrastructure for food production.
The food production systems are designed and choreographed to maximize its positive externalities to further help to address a series of bilateral issues arising from the separation, ie physical connections, environmental degradation, land reclamation, and water dispute. Moreover, this study also aims to raise a critique on the current global food industry, which is mostly controlled by the hegemonic force of neoliberal capitalism. Instead of rejecting capitalism, the phased comprehensive masterplan and design of adaptable architecture demonstrate how governments can possibly leverage capitalist corporates, turning their profit-making intentions into catalysts for achieving broader social objectives â€“ creating a cross-border commons.