Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221263
Title: RE-SOCIALIZING ARCHITECTURE : THE RELEVANCE OF SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE IN FIRST WORLD SINGAPORE
Authors: CHEW JING HUI VANESSA
Keywords: Architecture
Design Technology and Sustainability
Chang Jiat Hwee
2011/2012 DTS
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2012
Citation: CHEW JING HUI VANESSA (2012-01-05). RE-SOCIALIZING ARCHITECTURE : THE RELEVANCE OF SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE IN FIRST WORLD SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: As the design world eases into the sustainable movement, it has gained much ingress by developing efficient green buildings that leaves a smaller carbon footprint while saving money. However, in the sustainability equation, another aspect architecture is starting to consider is the social implications it may cause or alleviate. There appears to be a recent proliferation of discourses and practices on social architecture in America. Yet, in Singapore, this idea is rather marginalized in the architectural education system, discourses and practices although we largely emulate the western world. This paper aims to find out why this is so, and what type of social architecture is relevant in Singapore and the conditions in America which encourage such a movement. It explores the history of the two countries to find out how politics and the economy play a part in molding society and the eventual influence it has on architecture through the tug-of-war between the authorities and the civil society. Rising social inequality, an unfortunate by-product of neoliberalism, an economic system devised to allow anyone to make as much money as possible at the expense of monopolizing the market, widens the rich and poor divide. Architecture has a social responsibility and potential to plug the gap and make for a more inclusive society. Thanks to a vocal and active civil society who took ownership of the problem, social architecture emerged in America to address the oppressive nature planners took to residential areas and purposefully affected most poignantly, segments belonging to the marginalized poorer working-class communities. In Singapore, social architecture is almost unheard of because of state dominance, a fat middle-class population and the absence of a vibrant civil society. However, as a neoliberal capitalist state, Singapore is increasingly facing social inequality problems. Additionally, the socio-political conditions are changing as exemplified by the loud dissent in the recent General Elections 2011 where emphasis was placed on local issues and the marginalized groups. Thus, this dissertation argues that Singapore should promote social architecture. To do so, the dissertation proposes certain reforms in socio-political conditions, professional practice and architectural education through education, networking support and various levels of commitment to give back to society, local or overseas.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221263
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