“The spaces around us, the pavements and the parks, the air-conditioned underground pedestrian linkages that are in fact extensions of malls, are all about power—vested interests of corporate and state control.”

— Adeline Chia,
A Public Square

A Public Square is a year-long programme that looks at how our physical spaces reflect or extend our ideas and attitudes about the public sphere. Public space is always contested. In Singapore, public space and infrastructure is dominated, on one hand, by the logic of capitalism and real estate; on the other, nation-building and the new-fangled language of placemaking.

Our foray into the public begins with the newly pedestrianised First Botanic Gardens @ Armenian Street in front of The Substation. We can call this a public space⁠—but what does it mean? Is it a park? A pedestrian corridor? An event space for pop-ups or festivals? Perhaps a public square?

Through a year-long journey with artists, designers, and writers, we explore claims, tensions and contradictions through our interaction and challenges to the public space in front of The Substation.

Find out How to Make A Public Square here.

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