Social Sciences Research Council-funded 'Home-Based Work: A Singapore Study' (2021-2024)
Making Do is an inter-disciplinary project seeking to understand how home-based work is built into homes and neighbourhoods, and what it builds for them. Supported by the Social Science Research Thematic Grant, the team comprises of established researchers across the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture, Department of Communications and New Media, and Yale-NUS. Launching in September of 2021, we hope to offer foundational scholarship to meet a gap in scholarly insight into the past and present experience of home-based work in Singapore.
How does one furnish, use, and service the home for labour? Do desks and laptops, sewing machines and ovens, or aircon and routers suffice? What makes the home operable for work? Does home-based work transform neighbourhoods and create new forms of sociality and community.
Along with the rest of the world, Singapore’s COVID-19 circuit breaker response included a clear and quick adoption of work-from-home. Suddenly, societies world-wide were confronted with unforeseen challenges and unexpected silver linings. In Singapore, HBW presents specific challenges particular to the high-density, high-rise environment that accounts for the majority of housing. Our city planning makes clear demarcations between spaces designed and zoned for work and those designed and zoned for living, where houses and housing estates have always been designed for unpaid home life, and not paid work.