Even as the country moves towards a safe reopening, the arts and entertainment sector has been badly affected, highlighting many issues.
This thesis posits that in order for Live Entertainment to thrive during a crisis, it needs both a hardware that can transform and adapt as well as software that can transform the mindset and practices of the people to continually get its support.
“An Infrastructure for Hardware & Software.”
The starting point of the thesis sets out to question the current typology of commercial entertainment venues and the roles they play in different situations. It is an analysis and critique on their inability to adapt not only to different times. Their ability as a place to only consume entertainment is out of date and they need the ability to produce as well. A rethink of these venues not only allows these places to survive during crisis but also keep up with changing digital consumption habits.
It also questions the role that these commercial venues play in peoples’ lives as they increasingly become disengaged with local audiences. There is a need to make a detour to enable engagement with locals and integrate them with the local community to promote and advocate for the local arts and entertainment scene. Such is a key factor in gaining support during times of crisis.
Ultimately, the thesis aims to provide the arts and entertainment industry with some form of resiliency against crisis by rethinking the conventional entertainment venue. One that primarily deals with consumption, into one that also takes on the challenge of production of high value virtual entertainment. It redefines the definition of entertainment, creating opportunities for various types of everyday entertainment at different scales at different levels.
More than that, it also aims to weave arts and entertainment into the everyday lives of people to promote and advocate for this industry by balancing the hyperspecific with the ambiguous so that people feel a sense of ownership with these spaces. With that, not only will live entertainment be able to survive in times of crisis, it too will be able to thrive.
Nietzsche has said that which does not kill us, makes us stronger. Stagecraft as a thesis explored an antifragile typology for live entertainment in a post-pandemic era. The challenge is an “all-weather building” with total versatility and adaptability. The architectural outcome contextualized the critical evaluations of Cedric Price’s Fun Palace, Rogers-Piano’s Pompidou Centre, Atelier Bow-wow’s BMW Guggenheim Lab, OMA’s WyLy Theatre etc. The thesis poses the idea of architecture as a scaffold of equipment/stowage with its specific and yet flexible functions to activate selective spaces to generate a permutation of possibilities.- Assoc. Prof. Cheah Kok Ming