Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222673
Title: READING RUSKIN : VITAL SUBSTANCE IN URBAN SINGAPORE
Authors: LIU ZHENGHAO
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Florian Benjamin Schaetz
Authenticity
Craftsmanship
Design
Icon
Identity
Innovation
Luxury
Marina Bay
Ruskin
Sentosa
Substance
Utilitarianism
Vitality
Issue Date: 15-Jan-2010
Citation: LIU ZHENGHAO (2010-01-15T08:46:22Z). READING RUSKIN : VITAL SUBSTANCE IN URBAN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This dissertation postulates that in order to understand its identity dilemma and produce a cityscape of deep vitality, Singapore must address the roots of its substance more so than taking incremental or distracting steps to add more ‘buzz’. ‘Substance’ here refers to the essence directing Singapore’s architectural development and semantic philosophy-the way buildings are made as a true reflection of the city’s attitude towards architecture and urbanism. Taking issue with the current drive for iconic development, the essay argues that the lack of understanding of its own aesthetic philosophy coupled with the aptitude for rapid construction could hurt Singapore’s long term brand credibility by institutionalising style over substance. Furthermore, the dissertation uncovers the nature of important factors that have precipitated the current aesthetic dilemma, particularly neo-Confucianist attitudes and the effects of central planning. The essay also notes the growth of consumption culture in Singapore paving the way for the architectures of entertainment and rhetoric for ‘vitality’. It postulates that there are two types of ‘vitality’ driving the design of buildings-namely a shallow, insatiable form based on consumption, and a deeper essential vitality that offers satisfaction over gratification. The 20th Century art-critical writings of Englishman John Ruskin are employed as a moral voice in understanding Singapore semantic dilemma. The lack of profound substance and authenticity in urban Singapore is judged against Ruskin’s own qualifications for the essential vitality of things, namely the virtue in their making and appreciation, and the objects’ own semantic atmosphere and allusion to the metaphysical. By discussing these factors within the context of Singapore, an understanding of its vital identity is composed.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222673
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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