WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE explores the future of public-private configurations based on past traditions. How can privacy be thought of as a spatial condition that produces conflict?

Pre-colonial Singapore predominantly featured Malay kampung villages, a typology characterized by traditional post-tie wood construction. The agrarian Singaporeans built incrementally, responding to the environmental context. A tropical climate called for air flow, and the idiosyncracies of life required adaptability.

The project acknowledges the needs of public housing in Singapore but embraces occupants’ agency. Avoiding the state’s prescriptions, the proposal for mass housing revives the adaptable systems of the Malay kampung houses to foster a sense of authorship. Rather than demolish and build anew (as the government did with kampungs), this proposal employs casual, permeable relations among intimate families and neighbors, where the humid-tropical climate supports a humanist lifestyle.

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