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Accompanying the off-site component of the exhibition Sheltered: Documents for Home at the National Libray Building’s Lee Kong Chian Reference Collection, this session brings together a panel of scholars and practitioners to discuss some of the peculiar implications of Singapore’s urban landscape where the only way, it seems, is up. The accelerating efforts of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to accommodate everyone and everything into its high-rise public housing schemes had been dubbed a vertical success. Yet such a verticality has also generated, along with it, a whole complex of unanticipated movements, such as a speculated correlation to the frequency of “highrise leap” (suicides) in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
This session is grounded by discussions of the respective projects by Debbie Loo (“Passages Home”) and The Saturday Projects (“The house behind”) developed for the exhibition as attempts to trace these (errant) movements.
For information on the exhibition at the National Library Building, please click here.
About the speakers
Prof. Jane M. Jacobs is Head of Urban Studies and Director of the Division of Social Sciences at the Yale-NUS College. She researches, publishes and teaches in the fields of urban studies, postcolonial studies and qualitative urban methods. Her most recent book is the co-authored Buildings must die: a perverse view ofarchitecture (MIT Press, 2014).
Debbie Loo is currently a doctoral candidate at Department of Architecture, NUS. An architect by training and a flâneur by instinct, she developed the projectPassages Home in response to her encounters with a vacating Pearls Centre building.
The Saturday Projects (Felicia Lin, Jolene Lee, Wong Zihao) pursue work beyond the normative output of architecture. They investigate the narrative potentials of the built environment, with particular interest in familiar landscapes with unstable, unfinished or unwritten expositions.
About the moderator
Dr Lilian Chee obtained her doctorate from University College London and is Assistant Professor at Department of Architecture, NUS. She has curated several architectural and art exhibitions including SUPERGARDEN for the Singapore Pavilion at the 11th Venice Architectural Biennale. She conceptualized the architectural essay film 03-FLATS (2014) which formed the initial impetus for Sheltered.
[Image credit: Passages Home, Debbie Loo; postcard inserted into Public Housing in Singapore: social aspects & the elderly]