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The case of Singapore sheds light on the role played by hinterlands in contemporary cities. In the island-state metropolis, vital resources including food and water are increasingly found only at large distances beyond the national border. A politics of incorporating productive territories in neighbouring Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere has been indispensable to Singapore’s success. Sand and labour are among the essential resources for the production of architecture. Major consumers of imported sand in Singapore are the land reclamation and building construction industries. Foreign workers are engaged on temporary permits to construct both land and buildings. Workers’ dormitories, sand quarries and sand depots are among the many architectural and urban spaces characteristic of hinterland territories that still remain under the radar of the architectural profession. In this contribution, the Architecture of Territory at ETH Zurich problematizes the role of design, which overlooks exploitative practices in the production of both architecture and territory. In turn, it provides insights that enable architects and designers to critically engage with urgent urban transformations in the hinterlands. “Much of the work of architecture takes place before and after the actual act of construction, as architects probe the conditions governing the territories in which they are intervening. In a process similar to that of investigative journalism, they collect pieces of evidence, analyse them and synthesise them into a narrative. The exhibition Under the Radar presents an international overview of significant research projects dealing with this investigative form of architecture.” (SAM Basel) Show more
PublisherSwiss Architecture Museum
SubjectUrbanisation; Urbanisierung; Urbanization; City; Stadt; Hinterland; Territory; Territorial Project; Water; Productive territories; Indonesia; Malaysia; Singapore; Construction industry; BAUINDUSTRIE (BAUWIRTSCHAFT); Urban transformation
Organisational unit03932 - Topalovic, Milica / Topalovic, Milica
02655 - Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft D-ARCH
NotesContribution to Exhibition Under the Radar from 15.11.2019 – 15.03.2020.
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