Metabolist Regeneration Of A Dementia Nation

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Architecture has long been a common and prevalent means of commemorating presence to memory. Today, when new digital technologies render the nineteenth-century dichotomy between hand and the machine obsolete, where does craft lie in architecture? These significant changes in a nation’s life, whether social or political, alter the collective minds of its citizens. This is especially so when that nation is Singapore. With an ageing population and an everchanging built environment, existing forms of remembrance may be left with just photographs and videos. Metabolist Regeneration of a Dementia Nation searches how craft can be redefined beyond digital form-finding. The film uses narrative story-telling to address conservation, memory and performance; allowing hybrid practices between architecture and film-making to blur the boundaries of craft and experiences through the conservation of Golden Mile Complex. Singapore’s Golden Mile Complex would be celebrated in many other countries, as an important icon of 1970’s Metabolist urbanism, yet in its home city, it faces imminent demolition. More than eighty similar sites have already been destroyed, as part of a progressive nation-building programme. Metabolist Regeneration of a Dementia Nation explores and speculates on an alternative vision for this huge residential block, that not only saves the building but allows it to absorb physical artefacts from Singapore’s threatened urban infrastructure. This is a prototype for an alternative pattern for future development and craft-making in architecture; capable of allowing new and existing residents to forge new memories, whilst giving space for the past to breathe. The animated film documents the lives of a series of Golden Mile residents, urging viewers to resist the power structures that would see these urban memories so readily erased. Red Dot Award: Design Concept | Concept | Architecture

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