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Dakota Dreaming
by Andrew David TEO
This thesis examines how a playground structure within a domestic landscape might inspire a space of community and continuity in a site faced with mass upheaval. The dove playground in Dakota Crescent is engaged as the site of study. As a final surviving occupant that carries with it the presence of a sixty-year-old public housing estate, the dove is a commodity that is linked to a desired way of living.

By studying this desire as manifest on the site’s formal and informal history, I aim to critique a scripted approach to understanding the conflicts and compromises that shape domesticity daily. The design proposal searches for an architecture that shifts in response to decisions that threaten the continuity of a community’s ties to this domestic landscape. The process of the estate’s transformation is staged to reflect an ongoing negotiation on this continuity. The momentum surrounding this negotiation is spatialised in a series of designs: interim programmes exploring the complexity of relocating households, and reflecting the exuberant pretences of localised initiative.

By anchoring the playground amidst a changing tabula rasa, the design establishes a conversation about community in the Singaporean heartland, and the expiration of architectural objects in our landscape. It weaves an imagination of a site that is no longer as it was, merging the qualities of a community centre, a conservation site, a space of resistance, and an extension of the home.
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