27 January 2010

Visiting Singapore

For the coming couple of weeks I'll be working from Singapore and while I'm here besides trying to see some of the interesting sights/buildings I'll will also try to understand and write about the ideas behind this extremely successful city state.

After just a couple of days here I can see why this city has managed to capture the Asian imagination - from the projects of creating new cities in China.. to flights of imagination (or should I say the lack of it) of Indian politicians .. and even the power hungry Sheikhs of the gulf - everyone wants to recreate their own pieces of Singapore in their respective places!

Although the extremely well planned lifestyle of the city - for instance its amazing greenery and great public transport systems - is a welcome respite from the chaos that is Mumbai - its clinical 'beauty' is a bit too overwhelming.

Nothing 'happens' here - its all planned; the city is sort of an out of scale class room where the students (ie everyone) is constantly told what they can and cannot do;

and to add to all of this it is soo safe here that it is frightening! The city is a marvel of w

hat a total state can achieve and hence will always be a prototype for all those in power around Asia (and probably even beyond). But besides all of this I hope to figure out what it is we can learn from here as a far as city making is concerned!

I will try to visit some of the important projects that helped define the architectural landscape of Singapore while it was still a 'middle of no where' 'nothing' city and also see of the new icons of its current reinvent self - the hub of South East Asia.

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