This thesis illustrates how differences in migrant identities in Singapore define cosmopolitanism in local spatial context. As opposed to a homogenised categorisation of abstract labour, the diverse migrant identities are acknowledged and granted solidarity for individual expression. Singapore’s landscape of cosmopolitanism is in fact shaped by their transnational histories, nationalistic sentiments, and access to social and cultural capital in everyday localised contexts.
A cosmopolitan society embraces differences of the Other from everyday practices to spectacular foreign cultural events. It is a complex mixture of cultural and ordinary activities that are enacted under different spatial circumstances of interaction, subjective positioning and physical proximity.This, in turn, translates to a space and stake in the city that allows for continual negotiation among the different migrant communities as well as with the larger society.
Located at the border between Singapore’s downtown core and conserved site of Jalan Besar, the proposed centre for migrant communities functions as a public space for the different communities to form enclaves and develop cultural continuity. It houses shared residential, recreational, commercial and administrative functions while creating opportunities for the different communities to claim a space of their own. Through reclaiming space belonging to the Other, this centre presents itself as a heterotopia amidst the city.