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Designing Consequence: Trash Landscapes and New Territories in Clementi Forest

Low Jo Ann

- Assoc. Prof. Tsuto Sakamoto


Screaming is unproductive/

For instant trees come/

Quick from any nursery./

Trees are only temporary/

In a flourishing Garden City./

(Excerpt, “Trees are only Temporary”, by Leong Liew Geok, “Love is Not Enough”, 1991)


Designing Consequence is a project that seeks to question the greening of Singapore, through a speculative batteground where Human and Non-human habitats collide and consume the other. Sited within Clementi Forest, these emergent contestations of territory build upon a familiar pattern of quiet unrest: who shapes the growing of a landscape – Authority, Citizen, or Species?

Projecting from a mechanical compliance toward government planning agendas, this singular parcel of Forest and BTO Town morphs and terraforms, producing surreal and unexpected compositions until an equilibrium is eventually reached. From the processing of a single recyclable, to an aggregation of material composite, the image of Clementi Wetland becomes seasonally reliant on the consumption habits of the HDB Town. In turn, by proximity and habitat encroachment, the Town becomes fraught with periodical cycles of flooding and forest wildlife intrusions.

Where one cannot exist without the other, the Wetland Forest and the Town become intertwined into a singular ecosystem of machine and landscape, enforcing a symbiotic relationship that would not have otherwise existed outside of Singapore’s greening agenda.

Ultimately, there are no good or bad moralities in the curation of Singapore’s environment. Instead: how did we get here, and why?


I am curious about the non-human world and ecosystems around us. My architectural work explores the ways we influence and co-exist in multispecies connection.

My Masters Thesis investigates the production and curation of nature in Singapore, through a re-negotiation of landscape over time and consequence.

In my spare time, I am interested in Publication, Illustration, and Art in Textile Media.

Supervisor's comments:

Designing Consequence questions the human-centric consumption of nature. Based on the national authorities’ long-term plans, the project proposes a BTO town and a forest with marshlands side by side in Clementi Forest in Singapore, and speculates how these human and non-human habitats collide and consume others in the future. Recycled in a plant provided in the town, the metal and plastic wastes turn to be “forms” for the marshland construction, while under torrential rain, the water flow into the town from the landscape shaped by a series of marshlands. Instead of fixing a usage and shape of these two habitats and idealizing the future for humankind only, the project attempts to display a series of temporal conditions that plants and animals take advantage for their proliferations, and inorganic materials express their nature, in a consequential manner.

- Assoc. Prof. Tsuto Sakamoto
Low Jo Ann

Have fun. Make mistakes. Keep learning.