Pre-colonial Structures in Colonial-era Singapore’s Architecture and Urbanism
Speaker：Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore Assistant Professor
Pre-colonial Singapura was the site of several urban settlements testified by archaeology and documentary sources. However, this presentation also reviews the continuities of pre-colonial structures of urban cognition and building into the colonial era. Singapore is part of the Malay-speaking cultural region whose structures were once shared across ethnic groups: new house forms called the Rumah Limas and Compound House, which combined indigenous construction and typology with European features, and Malay names for urban neighbourhoods. Recovering these older, forgotten forms of rooted cosmopolitan culture allows for a reconsideration of narrow forms of cosmopolitanism that look elsewhere for its artificial frames and that have obscured Singapore’s old, vernacular inter-ethnic links.