Singapore is not new to food security issues such as the over-reliance on imports, labour shortage in our agricultural industry and especially in recent times due to the COVID pandemic, the lockdown imposed caused the supply chain to be disrupted, affecting imports. How can Singapore produce 100% of our needs to be self-reliant?
Research has shown that there is a huge divide between the scales of food production in Singapore. With commercialized farming lacking in humanistic value in growing food and farming as a hobby becoming widely popular in recent years, there is a potential to bridge the gap between mass production for survival needs and the interest of growing food on the daily.
Realizing the importance of food resilience, the government has set a vision of 30 by 30, producing 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030. Alongside this, the Singapore Food Agency launched tenders for the rental of HDB MSCP rooftop sites for urban farming. This meso scale solution of decentralizing food production has great potential and will be the starting point of this thesis where boundaries will be pushed with the question of, can there be more to a farm?
More than just a farm
A farm can be conceived not only as a food infrastructure but also a form of social infrastructure. It is being able to produce and celebrate food as a community not overwhelmed by industrialization. By situating a farm in a public housing environment, a natural resource can be utilized: social capital. The people living there. Giving rise to the creation of jobs. The culture and relationship formed with food creates a new type of common, affecting and influencing our everyday lives.
“As food comes from nature, we have to work with it and not against it. –Carolyn Steel”
This thesis envisages a farm in a community thru surgical insertions of urban architectural forms & systems into existing housing environment. By demonstrating the possibility for Pasir Ris to be 100% self-sufficient, it serves as a prototype to be replicated across Singapore.
Attaining food security is the context of this thesis. It drew inspiration from Sitopia where the author Steel describes the display of our love through food lies in the meals that we grow, cook and eat. And that this is not just about good living but about being human. The thesis tells the story of community living shaped by urban farming in a public housing neighbourhood. It speculates the social relations ,culture, lifestyle and economy that will evolve from this high density farming commune. The comic strip style representation interweaves, magnifies and celebrates the daily lives of people against the backdrop of a farming and social infrastructure.- Assoc. Prof. Cheah Kok Ming