Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223018
Title: THE (DYS)FUNCTIONAL OF NEIGHBOURHOODS IN SINGAPORE
Authors: CHUA GONG YAO
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Erik Gerard L'Heureux
2011/2012 DT
Issue Date: 30-Jan-2012
Citation: CHUA GONG YAO (2012-01-30). THE (DYS)FUNCTIONAL OF NEIGHBOURHOODS IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Like the majority of Singaporeans, my family and I reside in a low-cost public housing unit, built by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) of Singapore. A hallmark of modern living, these apartments, being machines, gave rise to a similarly rigid lifestyle. The grass patch outside our home appeared even more attractive, in the escapist sense. The field came to feature prominently in my childhood memories. It was the only place that felt so real. That empty grass patch became the platform on which my father imparted his knowledge of Kung Fu to me. Despite my father's physical disability, simple verbal commands were sufficient for him to guide me along. Hence, I was able to easily execute the specific Kung Fu movements in that spacious grass patch. Unfortunately, Singapore’s perpetual cycle of development means a constantly changing landscape. The General Elections have become synonymous with upgrading programmes and other initiatives over time; set out with the intent to improve our way of life. The grass patch was eventually removed and replaced with a network of sheltered walkways and a fitness corner for public use. The physical signifier of the neighbourhood was erased, but the community remains. Memories manifested in the communal relic are erased when the relic no longer exists. These “improvements” to the landscape have brought inconvenience to activities originally on-site, among which are my Kung Fu rituals. The fitness corner remains underutilized. Its mere existence prompted me to search for a new patch of grass which I found across the road. I find the state’s perception of a community to be misled. State interference may perhaps be seen as the imposition of an “officially” defined community. Fitness as a programme is symbolic in portraying a healthy nation-state and the state’s benevolence in caring for citizens, under their control. This dissertation examines locally-emergent notions and manifestations of the neighbourhood. This paper traces the historical development of a single organisation that resulted in a strong neighbourhood-based community back in Singapore in the 1950s. The Nam Yang Pugilistic Association is to be studied as a lens through which we observe and analyse the phenomenon.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223018
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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