Countermodern Urbanism in Singapore: 1965-2015

Authors: Nathan Bullock*, Duke University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Historical Geography
Keywords: Singapore; Architecture; Feminist Theory; Postcolonial Theory
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This poster presents the original research of my dissertation, "Architecture & the Performance of Citizenship in a Global City: Singapore, 1965-2015." I focus on the countermodernism of a group of architects, geographers, planners, and other academics who have worked since Independence in 1965 to provide alternative proposals to how Singapore should develop its urban built environment. This countermodern urbanism began with the Singapore Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) Group in the 1960s and 1970s and extended through the careers the cofounders, William Lim and Tay Kheng Soon. Their architectural, planning, policy, and theoretical works provide a critique of the status quo of each of those fields in Singapore and are a performance of their contestation of modernism and modernity. Examples of key projects that are examined include the conservation proposal for Boat Quay called Bu Ye Tian (1980), the Kampong Bugis Development Guide Plan (1990), and the unofficial master plan of Singapore Management University (2000).
The search for these alternatives that constitute the countermodern urbanism of post-colonial Singapore are informed methodologically by the work of French feminist theorist Luce Irigaray and postcolonial theory, most especially the work of Edward Said.

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