Bazaars are more than a marketplace; they are a charged space linking commerce to community and culture, acting as anchor and social barometer in negotiating identity in Singapore. The loss of the Ramadan bazaars in 2020 was deeply felt by the Muslim community. Home bakers struggled to compensate for the loss of this festive marketplace. Working furiously from the restrictive confines of their flats, their homes are transformed from a site of consumption to that of production. However, the domestic space was not designed to accommodate the work of a bakery. In the absence of this festive marketplace, it was difficult to feel the exuberance of Ramadan festivities.
The Bakers’ Brigade is a speculative narrative project which reimagines the work of home-based baking in a floating city. Unmoored from the land, the project is predicated upon the present-day deprivation of festive space for the use of cultural expression. The fantastical elements in the project shape a world and a way of life where festive celebration is reframed as productive work that reaffirms and preserves the community’s rich cultural heritage. Heat, smoke, scents—elements that are typically siphoned away in architecture, are instead harnessed to rise the Bakers’ Quarters into the sky in a celebratory migration.
A new domestic setting is speculated; one that is dedicated to the production of festive food as service to the community, communicating with the city below through the creation of digital content and media within the airships. The Bakers’ Quarters becomes a mobile festival, landing atop buildings or in empty fields. The multimodal project is presented through drawings of life in the airship, complemented by a film documenting the work of the home bakers, as well as a fictional publication that frames the design process within a fictional text.