Singapore Archifest Exhale Pavilion The theme “Exhale” is a timely one for Singapore. For us, “exhale” does not simply refer to a slow space for decompressing within a high density environment such as Singapore. Instead the act of exhaling grants the public agency through the act of reflection. Having passed SG50, we need to take stock of our current lifestyles in multiple ways, and to reflect on Singapore’s past, present and future, thereby forming a stronger sense of identification with the city-state. The three primary materials of the pavilion – pallets, fabric ceiling, and vertical greening – engage different stakeholders and become powerful metaphors for aspects of Singapore’s own narrative. The pallets refer to Singapore’s history as an entrepot hub, which was key to the nation’s success for the past 50 years, while the large fabric expanses speak to the everyday, as the individual is an essential part of the social fabric, and also recalls the consumer culture in Singapore. Cooling the interior of the pavilion, the lush greenery reminds one of Singapore’s identity as a City in a Garden. The afterlife of the pavilion has been considered with care. Each component can be actively reused. The pallets, themselves recycled products, will be returned to the supplier, while it is imagined that the consumer bags will be taken home by participants to replace disposable shopping bags as part of Singapore’s movement to reduce plastic waste. As Singapore continues to increase its population density, measures must be taken to ensure environmental responsibility. Similarly, the plants are held in individual containers and can be taken to the homes, continuing the theme of greening and “exhale” far beyond the lifespan of the pavilion itself. Over and above the use of the pavilion as an event space for Archifect, the Exhale Pavilion presents a moment for us to think about Singapore’s own identity as we move forward to the next phase of nationhood. More importantly, through careful consideration of the lifecycle of materials (pallets, bags, green), the effects of the pavilion can be much more potent and exceed the fleeting nature of the festival.
Singapore Archifest: Exhale Pavilion