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Pavilion of Singapore at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition Shines the Spotlight on Citizens’ Creative Actions



President Tony Tan Keng Yam officially opened the Singapore Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (Biennale Architettura 2016) of La Biennale di Venezia, earlier this afternoon in Venice, Italy. Commissioned by the DesignSingapore Council of the Ministry of Communications and Information and curated by the Department of Architecture of the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Singapore Pavilion is presenting Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone from 28 May to 27 November 2016. Singapore is amongst the 63 national participations at the Biennale Architettura 2016. This marks the country’s fifth presentation at the International Architecture Exhibition since 2004.

Profile Picture – Jeffrey Ho, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council and Commissioner of the Pavilion of Singapore at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Responding to this year’s Architecture Biennale Director Alejandro Aravena’s main exhibition theme, Reporting from the Front (the overview of 15th International Architecture Exhibition’s theme is in Annex G), the Singapore Pavilion focuses on the small ‘battles’ fought at the home- front which are contributing to the emergence of an invigorated Singapore.
Profile Picture – Tai Lee Siang, Board member, DesignSingapore Council, President, Design Business Chamber Singapore and Co-commissioner of the Pavilion of Singapore at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Also present at the official opening event, Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said, “The Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale brings together our Singapore design talents to showcase Singapore homes and infrastructure. It reflects the pervasiveness of design in how Singapore has built our communities, shaped the living environment and made Singapore a lovable city.”
Profile Picture – Wong Yunn Chii, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore and Lead Curator of the Pavilion of Singapore at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone goes behind Singapore’s carefully planned infrastructure and its modern cityscape to put the spotlight on the people and their creative actions in forging new identities, connections to place and social bonds. The Singapore Pavilion presents a selection of works in three segments: People and their Homes, People working the Land and People engaging the City. Details can be found in Annex C.
Profile Picture – Tomohisa Miyauchi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore and Co-Curator of the Pavilion of Singapore at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Profile Picture – Teo Yee Chin, Principal of Red Bean Architects, Co-Curator and Designer for the Pavilion of Singapore at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

“Singapore’s presentation addresses two of our Design 2025 masterplan strategies - developing the Singapore Design brand and bringing design into the community. The Singapore Pavilion emphasises how the built environment is intertwined with people by outlining the frontiers that need to expand to improve the quality of life. By helping the community to take ownership and participate in the development of their surrounding landscape, we will be able to foster emotional connections and shared memories of the city with its people,” said Mr Jeffrey Ho, Executive Director of DesignSingapore Council and Commissioner of Singapore Pavilion.
Mr Tai Lee Siang, Board member of DesignSingapore Council and Co-Commissioner said, “Singaporeans benefitted from the urban orderliness in the earlier years and is now one of the most liveable cities in Asia. The challenge to create a sustainable living environment and improve engagement from the public is an interesting and unique battle for Singaporeans, which may have significant learning applications for the cities that are modelling themselves after Singapore.”
“Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone shares with the global audience, the challenges in Singapore’s next stage of development; especially how individuals, enterprises and ground-up actions are making a palpable difference. As small “battles” in its home-front, the selections provide a poignant account on how design improves the quality of the built environment and people’s lives,” said Associate Professor Wong Yunn Chii, Lead Curator of Singapore Pavilion and Head of Architecture, National University of Singapore.
The Singapore Pavilion is located in the Sale d’Armi building at the Arsenale region. The 240sqm space features a centerpiece – a display of 81 customised lanterns illuminating photographs. These offer a glimpse into the homes of ordinary Singaporeans living in public housing and how each family has imaginatively created a space to call their own. Complementing these lanterns are displays of artefacts and interview footages which will tell the stories of how citizens are stepping out and taking actions to adopt and own their environments, such as mud-bricks made by the community for the walls of their new building.
A design forum will also be held to discuss the "battles" that Asian cities have to contend with, namely, under the cover of high-density and speed of urbanisation, the prospects for its people to have Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone. The forum will be held on 28 May, 5pm (Italy time) at Level 1, Sale d’Armi building (adjacent to Singapore Pavilion). Architects and representatives from the Singapore, China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan pavilions will share their views at the forum.
 
 
 
 
Please refer to Annex A for details on the Singapore pavilion and Annex B for the curator’s statement, Annex C for the exhibition content, Annex D for the exhibition design concept and Annex E for profiles of the commissioners and the curatorial team, Annex F for the profiles of the exhibition participants and Annex G for details of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition. Media interviews with the commissioners and the curatorial team may also be arranged.
For more information on the Singapore Pavilion and design forum, please visit our website at www.roomforeveryone.sg.

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