Bernadette Wee Rui Ying
Micro-Living : A narrative of future urban micro-neighbourhoods

Thesis Supervisor: Fung John Chye

Site: Greater Southern Waterfront, Singapore


From our changing lifestyles in a bid to be socially and environmentally conscious to macro impacts such as health, community, technological innovations, and climate change, these processes drive the change for the future of housing and neighbourhoods. Though the public housing model in Singapore has received varying levels of success in regards to homeownership and equity. It does not accommodate the evolving lifestyles, household structures, and community formation. This research study aims to investigate and explore the implication of alternative housing models and community formation through the introduction of micro-living in micro-units on the neighbourhood design.

The thesis would study the downsizing of housing in twofold: a micro-living perspective and from a micro-neighbourhood perspective. The former would examine micro-living from the emerging trends of reducing our consumer habits and lifestyle changes, which affects the spatiality of the dwelling unit from its interior. The latter would examine the impact of micro-units on its neighbourhood setting, to reduce the inactive spaces and create a self-supporting infrastructure on a social and environmental dimension.

Micro-Living 2099

The future of urban living is asset-lite, post-consumerist and  nomadic, such values overtakes the idea of nuclear family and family home as commonplace. The manner we design our living spaces and housing unit is streamlined and multi-functional aided by the technological advancement we will expect by the year 2099. 

The Micro-Unit
& its Configurations

The use of a modular micro-unit size is preferred as it allows for the exploration of composing different units to accommodate the changing family structure. An example of a micro-unit growth would be the occupation of side by side units as the family structure changes. This too, enables the study of different unit formation to create new opportunity for spaces not defined by living.  

The Micro-Community

Amenities can serve other functions beyond its role in supporting a community. Within the micro-community, the importance of these spaces enable the formation of formal and informal associations to mobilise assets and strengthen the social relationships. 

The [Micro]
Sponge Tower

The organisation within uses a cluster formation where corridors are an expression of the dwelling users’ interest and personality spilling towards the center of each cluster. The variety of floor plates creates a variety of tower formation extending towards multiple ownerships to introduce diversity of users from different walks of life.

Together, it creates organic spaces between the towers which serves for the general neighbourhood community interests for large scale events. Scaling up the level of services the general community requires creating centers of exchange and self-sustaining generation of energy and food.


Cantenation, as defined links a series of circles in chains to create a form of daisy-chaining. In social theory, the circle itself has socia-pedal effects on human causing them to be subconciously drawn into circular spaces. The circular geometry is used as a form of organising masterplanning device at the Greater Southern Waterfront.