“A House is Not A Home”
The Housing Development Board (HDB) was formed in the 1960s to clear squatters and slums and solve housing issues in Singapore. This is achieved by building and resettling Singaporeans high-rise, low cost state-built housing that has since then become iconic in Singapore and is one of the many things that make Singapore unique.
With over 82 percent of Singapore living in public housing provided by the government, HDBs have resolved housing shortages and land scarcity problems that plagued the nation in its formation years.
This design aims to capture the elements of HDB and also highlight some of the issues I feel it may face. The difficulty was trying to use basic shapes and its relationship to form abstract designs that would make sense of translate my thoughts. The idea of this design was to deconstruct the shapes of a simple house icon (that consists of a triangle roof and a square build) and combine that with Singapore’s HDB.
The red circle represents the tiny red dot of Singapore that we all live in. The elongated rectangles represents the densely packed HDB housing in Singapore. The use of different colours ( and line weight) to overlap all of the rectangles together was to illustrate the Ethnic Integration Policy that was introduced in the sales of HDB to promote racial integration in the HDB. The yellow triangle carries the meaning of both a roof and also an upwards facing arrow, symbolising Singapore’s continual progress as a nation.
The design attempts to question Singapore’s pursuit of progress and while HDB solves the housing issues of Singapore, many Singaporeans still struggle to find their sense of belonging and identity. Is this ‘home’ truly?
What stood out to me about the Dada art movement, was the underlying satirical and nonsensical nature of the artworks produced. Inspired by this, I wanted to explore this in the context of Singapore.
To start my ideation process, I wrote down on small slips of paper of what are some specific singlish phrases/food that are unique to Singapore. I then passed the slips of paper to members of my family to pick out and the results were as follows.
- Bak Chor Mee
- Bak Ku Teh
- Talk Cock
With these five words, I then tried to connect the dots and search for meaning to express a certain message, making sure to include these 5 words in my final response.
The end result is:
I wanted to explore the idea of FOOD culture in Singapore and inspired by Dadaism idea of rejecting logic and embracing irrationality, I decided to make a huge ‘what if’ statement within the culture of Singapore. This was created by bringing in ideas of ‘fake news’, to challenge the role of media in Singapore which is mainly used for national building. This included changing history by altering the popular news article page spread in which Singapore was reported to have split from Singapore, marking her journey towards independence. This is juxtaposed against Food as a national identity. And should Singapore be out of it, would this actually destroy our identity, or mark our step towards independence from it?
A rebus puzzle of my name.
(A hint, the person isn’t running!)
Icons Taken from NounProject:
turn by Alex Auda Samora from the Noun Project
jogging by Jems Mayor from the Noun Project