In life, perception and insight are the keys to one’s mental development. In the world of design, where designers are sensitive to the poetry in life, outlook and perception set the brilliant apart from the mediocre.

In Moving Concepts, a new outlook towards architecture is imparted to the students by local Architect Tan Kok Meng. Instead of inculcating the formal elements of architecture such as form and intentions, this studio breaks free from abstract ideas and dwell on concrete concepts derived from a sensitive eye and thoughtful mind. Consisting of three projects that overlap and lead into the next, the exhibition features the process in its entirety.

Beginning with “12 Super Spores”, the Singapore City is explored and mapped in a personal manner. Each individual spent twelve hours in the city, experiencing the urban spaces and people through roaming and weaving, creating a sense of awareness within themselves as they translate these experiences into interactive representations onto 2m x 0.5m sized boards. Engaging the viewers through movements, exploration, touch and smell, as if they were part of the city, the viewer is able to relate to the creator’s experience of the city. No longer is the city a collection of grids seen in an abstract manner, but a concrete collection of tales, situations that recreate a fragment of Singapore.

These bodyboards were then handed over to another team for interpretation and retrospection. Entitled “12 City-Home Settings”, the bodyboards were studied and analyzed before being converted into tables. Rather than seeing architecture as objects or monuments, the experience of settings are emphasized. Based on the second person experience of the city, these tables set the site for architectural exploration, to incorporate the home with the city.

These tables were then handed over to the third team who converted them into “12 Magic Cupboards”. These cupboards hold hidden secrets in hidden places. A trove of concepts and ideas awaits the individual to explore and experience. Design concepts and programs were created in relation to an actual site in “Mumeitoh” [also known as Potong Pasir] where the perception towards social, cultural, psychological issues in the site were addressed. The cupboards were then reprogrammed and converted to the new experiences.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a book documenting these projects was launched. Covering the three phases, the book displays a comprehensive collection of images and thought processes as the participants gain a new outlook and insight.

The world is brand new. This studio taught people to think and to see beyond the banal. Training their eyes and minds to a new level. The exhibition saw a community recreating the city, homes and ideas in a single space like never seen before.

Moving Concepts
Date : June13th – 20th 2003
Place : :b gallery. Singapore
Address : 287 River Valley Road. Singapore 238 328

Text and Photos: Fann ZJ from npsea Enterprise

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