Singapore City Gallery is the only gallery in Singapore that tells the story of the nation’s planning efforts, showing its remarkable physical transformation – past, present and future.
Interpretive Design, Urban Planning Gallery, Augmented Reality Scope, Interactive Gesture Wall, Multi-player Game, Panoramic Video, E-Guestbook, Photo-kiosk
“How does one explain the intricacies of urban planning, in a highly developed and complex city like Singapore?”
The Singapore City Gallery at URA Centre is an experiential center that aims to do just that. It is frequented by foreign study groups, dignitaries, and the general public.
The City Gallery has won the Singapore Design Award in the Events/Exhibitions category, and the Multidisciplinary Design category in 2012.
Visitors to the gallery are welcomed by scenes of Singapore today. But this welcome gallery also poses a question: How does a small, resource-scarce city-state, like Singapore, become such a livable and vibrant place?
“Singapore, Vibrant City” is a 270 degrees projection show that spans more than 12m. Filmed with 5 EOS5Ds on a bespoke rig, the documentary pulses through 24/7 of Singapore with an affectionate and truthful lens.
The video introduces its audience to Singapore’s vibrant lifestyle and explores the meaning of “home”.
The 4 interactive exhibits presents the challenges and dilemma faced by planners of Singapore: small land size, changing and sometimes conflicting aspirations, the need to develop and conserve, needs of a city-state, and economical support. This is juxtaposed against the 270 degrees backdrop of “Singapore, Vibrant City”.
Created using “Processing” programming language, the “Touchstones” interface is fluid, and organic.
Having rewound the clock, visitors find out what this small country did, in such a short time, to get to where it is today.
Imperially lined along the mezzanine corridor of Gallery Two is the “Mural” that highlights major planning milestones of development. AV presentation is seamlessly embedded into the mural.
Each object in the mural is carefully chosen to represent a talking point. It is understood that “Mural” is the most used, and favoured exhibit for group visits, because it lends itself as a useful yet interesting platform for guides to tell the story of Singapore.
As Gallery Two oversees the huge Central Area Map (CAM) model, the CAM Surveyor provides an experiential link for visitors on the mezzanine level to the large model below. Being on the “history” gallery, “CAM Surveyor” is an Augmented scope that tells interesting stories about the central area, through discovery of hotspots on the CAM.
Concept Plan / Master Plan
Ending the “history” section is today’s plan. At the end of Gallery 2 is the Concept Plan / Master Plan area, where the process of planning is explained. The current Master Plan can be accessed live via a web kiosk.
The planning process is presented, not by means of methodology flow, but through the faces of people that contributed to the plan.
Monologues of different kinds of residents intersperse with planners, create an interesting, multifaceted forum on planning.
The best way to understand the difficulty in space planning is to do it yourself.
“SingCity” is an 8-player role-play game. Players are asked to fulfill national goals and are given different sets of things to build. From infrastructure, to amenities, to residential and commercial buildings, players are scored based on how well they meet the objectives. They soon run out of land, as is with any city planner, but with good planning, they might still achieve a very high score.
At the end of the round, players get a copy of their city in the mail.
In addition to good planning, there are other innovative ways to overcome land constrains.
2 interactive posters and 2 interactive tables provide the platform for exploring such innovations, like going skywards, or going underground; intensified development; and other creative use of space.
The concept of Home is further explored here. What makes Singapore a sustainable and livable city that feels like home? The current plans in placed are further explained.
An interactive multi-layered projection allows visitors to “mix-and-match” different planning areas. For example, one can overlay transportation with housing with green spaces, or compare housing with industrial and commercial hubs.
Interactive touch screens explain how planning enhances the quality of life in Singapore, making it a comfortable home, and an efficient and business friendly workplace.
Residing within the conservation zone, “A Brush with History” is an IR based multi-touch wall that allows users to wipe and reveal portions of an old photo of a conservation area. A recent photo is taken in the exact same way as the old photo, so visitors can playfully compare and mix the 2 eras.
From making Singapore feel like Home to making Singapore special, Urban Design comes under the spotlight in this gallery.
A large scale interactive allows visitors to re-make China Square in 3D, and appreciate the “massing” context of the space, where there is high-rise at the background and conservation in front. Visitors can also visualize how Orchard Road might look like, if certain elements of Urban Design are missing.
A large interactive screen allows visitors to fly-through the Marina-Bay area and appreciate different Urban Design elements at work.
Enclosed in a glass house is a panoramic video introducing 3 interesting and distinctive districts: Singapore River, Orchard Road, and Bras Basah. Through interviews and interesting camera works, the distinctly lifestyles of the 3 areas are portrayed.
A projection mapped show on the Central Area Model (CAM) comes on at intervals. For 3 minutes, the large-scale projection show becomes the highlight of the gallery. A total of 4 projectors are needed to cover the entire projection area.
A virtual blue-screen studio sits in a corner of the glass house. Visitors are transported to interesting landmarks around Singapore, and with it, they can send e-postcards home.
3D Design: Sugar
Content: Winkle Picker, MMP
Project Manager: Creative Edge