SITizen Buzz

SIT-lead Project Uses Technology to Help Preserve An Integral Part of Singapore’s Heritage

Faculty and students from Specialised Design Businesses cluster carry out interviews with Lorong Buangkok Kampung residents to preserve the essence of the last kampung 

2 Oct 2020
SITizens and faculty visiting the kampung site and homes of KLB residents to document oral history accounts and personal narratives of the residents.

A team of faculty from SIT’s Design and Specialised Businesses cluster came up with ‘Nostalgic Futures Design Kampung Lorong Buangkok’ competition to document the oral history of Kampung Lorong Buangkok (KLB), the last kampung on mainland Singapore. Due to urban redevelopment of the area, there are plans for the kampung, which has been untouched since 1956, to be replaced by a three-lane bi-directional highway, a primary and secondary school, and a public park. The competition was launched on 2 June 2020 and six entries were received.

Asst Prof Intan Azura Mokhtar led the charge as Principal Investigator, and worked together with students from the Glasgow School of Art (GSofA) Interior Design and Communication Design programmes, on a challenge to produce viable, feasible and desirable proposals for KLB through speculative design. Industry and community partners JIA Studios Pte Ltd, FXMedia Internet Pte Ltd and Hwi Yoh Community Centre were roped in and the initiative was further boosted by an ignition grant of $150,000 from SIT.

The project team proposed to preserve the kampung in three ways -- by documenting the oral history accounts and personal narratives of the residents, retaining the layout of the kampung in the form of a 3D physical model as well as capturing the memories and daily life in the kampung through an immersive virtual reality platform. The immersive virtual reality platform is currently being developed with a VR company, targeted to be ready in the first quarter of 2021. "We hope that our project outputs and outcomes can be shared with the general public in Singapore one day, as we plan for community exhibitions," said Asst Prof Intan.

Year 3 Interior Design students Mr Adisak Chiew and Mr Brian Long put forth an interesting proposal, where the highway under the URA Master Plan could be integrated with education centres and a public park, to retain the kampung fabric. One of their recommendations was to integrate the kampung into Singapore's park-connector network, transforming KLB into a park, and with it the opportunity for greater traffic and awareness. Another idea was to eventually introduce activities like nature walks and communal farming at KLB.

A resident of KLB shares anecdotes of life in mainland Singapore's only remaining kampung with Asst Prof Intan Azura Mokhtar.

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