The NUS M.Arch Show 2021 showcases the thesis projects of the graduating Master of Architecture students from the National University of Singapore; a collection of bold questions and propositions displaying the expertise obtained in architectural education. A year-long undertaking, the thesis is an arduous yet joyful journey, where conversations, critiques and references gently nudge students towards certain contemporary and relevant trajectories, organically converging into communities of practice where the works collectively resonate with one another. Convergence occurs along five discursive threads, which form the five clusters of the show: Critical Architecture, History & Heritage, Sociopolitics & Geopolitics, Technologies and Urbanism & Environments. Each cluster is uniquely positioned to probe the limits of the discipline and to respond to the demands of wider society.
Critical Architecture interrogates the discipline itself. The thesis work in this cluster seeks to identify and challenge architectural convention, forming propositions of design that provoke, satirize, or gently disturb the expectations of architecture and what the field encompasses.
History & Heritage gathers sites and stories that were lost in the pursuit of rapid development and urban progress. The theses of this cluster anchor onto overshadowed historical and cultural artefacts; through this they consider a spectrum of strategies and positions that navigate the tricky entanglement between the oft-conflicting demands of the past and present.
Sociopolitics & Geopolitics deliberates on architecture’s capacity to contribute to the public good, at the crossroads of policy, ideology and society. Fieldwork and research bring to light fissures in the built environment that emerge from manifold agendas. The theses take aim at these socio-spatial injustices. Alternative hierarchies, boundaries, notions of work, welfare, and education are imagined – potential futures in which this status quo might be destabilised through optimism and design.
Technologies argue that architecture, entwined with making, doing and craft, cannot be divorced from the techie which influences it. Thus, technology, no longer mere device for representation, has become a tool for thinking, optimising and materialising ideas into form. The theses featured in this cluster capitalize on these advancements, offering a window into architecture’s future.
Urbanism & Environments takes the position that architecture is inherently ecological, mediating an extensive network of relationships beyond our immediate, perceptible senses. The cluster recognises the need for new economies to emerge; its propositions suggest new ways of living amidst large scale forces such as increasing urbanisation, the pandemic and global warming.
Moving through the five exhibitions of our show, the five threads intersect and overlap, creating a hazy cloud of interrelationships and connections, that we find as interesting as the individual work themselves. As thesis projects turn into continuous research embarked by the authors, it is also paramount that these ideas flow and are made public, to be reinterpreted and to exist in the future work of others. Our show will gather people and audiences through several events for this purpose, and we hope that the conversations that avail will appeal and excite the community.
Follow us on instagram @nus.marchgradshow for more details, and stay tuned for the launch of our online exhibition at https://nusmarchgradshow.com
Instagram : @nus.marchgradshow
Location: Online / https://nusmarchgradshow.com
Date & Time: 3rd July 2021, 4pm
Until : 25th July 2021
To find out more, please visit
National University of Singapore
Department of Architecture from the
School of Design and Environment @ NUS
Name: Lee Lip Jiang