More than Just a Home: A Case for Flexible Public Housing
For the 81% of Singaporeans living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, their lives & lifestyles are shaped by the homes and spaces provided by the government. These spaces are then replicated across new towns all over the country, thus establishing a hitherto system of how their lives should be carried out. The residential housing forms the organisational system by which its inhabitants would conform to. The established system worked when it needed to. That is, until the outbreak of COVID-19.
The pandemic caused evident strain on the public residential housing system. Homes had to double-up and become both a place for rest and work. Without the appropriate spaces for residents to work from home, productivity can be affected, causing an adverse chain reaction to other activities within the home. The autonomy of the home can no longer retain its status quo.
This thesis aims to uncover how the pre-existing design philosophies of the residential housing in Singapore is inadequate in providing a holistic home and work environment for the future of a hybrid work system. By proposing a new framework and typology that promotes a more thorough design, the autonomy of the home would be able to meet the needs of individual inhabitants, creating a more inclusive and cohesive public housing typology.
This thesis came about from challenges faced by Abdullah in working/studying from home during the pandemic. Since 81% of Singapore’s population lives in public housing, the flat design shapes or impedes the changing lifestyle over time. His thesis proposes flexibility through different scales i.e. a new system of buying a space instead of a flat, a catalogue of components for enclosure, a range of mobile/transformable furniture that gives flexibility of flat layout for the short to long term, a buffer space between households for future expansion and contraction of flat size and a clustering of units to form a sense of community. All these, I believe is a possibility for the near future.
- Assoc. Prof. Tan Beng Kiang (Dr.)
Abdullah Bin Hashim
Abdullah Bin Hashim