Urban Ethics

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Singapore Idiom: Urban Ethics between the Constructions of Space and Architecture Practices of a Creative City (Associate Project: 2015 - 2018)

Based on the underlying question of this research group concerning the question of “How should we live in the city?”, this sub-project attaches a special importance and significance to space and built form. We investigate the ethical dimensions of the new architectures and built spaces of Singapore, spaces conceived and built under a government initiative that aims to transform Singapore into a Creative City. When we ask, which society, culture and city is being produced under Singapore’s creative city program, our focus is on several interrelated aspects: “creative spaces”, creative people and the question of social creativity.

As a creative industry, architecture produces not only space but also symbols for the (creative) city. We investigate architecture as a symbolic medium for the constitution and transition of society and we are particularly interested in the performativity of the new spaces being produced in Singapore. We ask: how is the new architecture seen, interpreted, used and sold?
Creativity is seen by the government as a multidimensional concept combining cultural-artistic creativity, technical creativity (innovation) and economic creativity (entrepreneurship). This framing opens up a range of potential synergies among various forms of creativity, new spaces and creative people. We analyze the spatial conceptions and performative practice of architects and other central actors within the relational field of ethical negotiation processes. Included is the question of and the question of the social creativity of the actors and the actor positions of spatial artifacts within Singapore, branded as a “Distinctive Global City of the Arts”.
This research project focuses on ethical debates and practices in and about conceived, perceived and lived spaces. It relies on discourse and spatial analysis methods and participant observation.