Exploring Community Space in Ageing Neighbourhoods (Ang Mo Kio)

 

No two communities and their social dynamics are the same. To create a communal space that facilitates community bonding and socialisation requires an accurate understanding of the needs of the various stakeholders involved. Basic needs can be easily articulated by the users whereas aspirational needs are more difficult to articulate or uncover. This requires a process of building trust through user engagement, to uncover users’ latent needs. The process of user engagement and positive inquiry allows the research team to assist the users in identifying and articulating these needs, and leverage on positive aspects of the existing environment to create a conducive communal environment. This process also allows for a better design and the prototyping of the designs, to ensure that it accurately captures the needs of the users.

In addition to the feedback gathered from the members' residents’ committee, the design is also formulated based on four other criteria. The research and design team gathered observations of user behaviour around the proposed site. Observations were carried out throughout the day understanding the user profiles, activities and their timing. A study of the physical environment of and around the site allowed the team insights of the potential gathering spots and opportunities adjacent to the site that would augment the design.  Consultations were also made with geriatric consultant Dr Wong Sweet Fun who is the Chief Transformation Officer and Deputy Chairman, Medical Board of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. This was also done cross-referencing precedent studies of designing for elderly in the community.
 
The proposed design caters to activities for different user groups at different times of the day. Through our research and observations, two distinct activity zones were identified for the new seniors’ corner One for formal gatherings and planned activities and the other for informal gatherings that occur throughout the day. It was determined that the pantry is the heart of the seniors’ corner, where informal gathering is designed for. A splash of colour serves as a visual cue for the pantry and seating.

This project is led by Lecturer Mark Teo (Design and Specialised Businesses) and assisted by recent SIT graduates from our GSA Interior Design programme, Deanna Montalbo, Ho Jir Yee, Eaint Su Wai and Rozimar Binti Anwar in partnership with CLASIC.