Domestic Capital: an experimental studio
M.Arch 1 Studio | AY2021-22 Semester 2
by Ye Thu
In investigating the subject of seeing and being seen, the architectural drawings initially made were meant to discover some form of architectural intervention. Yet, the gaps they produced led to the project itself. The eventual short film is sited in a series of domestic interiors, focusing on the reproductive labour of making home by Burmese immigrant residents. Through the film, I wish to capture what has eluded my exercises in architectural representation—views of the interior seen from the outside, and perceived by residents from the interior.
The home-space of the HDB flat as lived and experienced by a minority immigrant exists as much through this imagined gaze as it does through actual reality. The scenes in the film are to be read as my own perception of how others living across, above and below me would see me and the space if I were to be praying, cooking or simply just being in the living room. These scenes are not objective, calculated, nor precise recreations of potential views inward. They are subjective and personal. In this way, they challenge the ways architects visualise and instrumentalise their modes of seeing.
The way the project is filmed departs from the conventions of how architecture is viewed and imbued with meaning—through the all-seeing plans, elevations, sections and perspective drawings. In actuality, much of architectural representation is blind to what is subtle but persisting. This includes the key terms of my subject—lived experiences and imaginations, in and of, domestic space. The making of the film and the capturing of these imagined views challenge both the integrity and usefulness of architecture’s often assumed and unremarked ways of seeing, which is also a kind of blindness. This project brings us a step closer to how one might learn to see anew and to produce architecture relevant to the minority subjects I have encountered.
Asian Film Archives’ Singapore Shorts ‘22
Other Selected Works
[ Takeaway, Toilet Breaks and One Very Persistent Cat ]
[ Laundry, Presence and Production ]
[ Mapping Land ]
[ The Baker's Brigade ]