Intersections of Service Worlds in Kampong Glam
Led by: Karen Lai (Department of Geography, NUS), with Edda Ostertag (ETH Future Cities Lab) & Ying Zhou (ETH Future Cities Lab)
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cafe Starbucks (ground floor of Raffles Hospital, 585 North Bridge Road)
Meeting time: 3.45pm
Field trip duration: 4.00pm to 6.00pm
I will be bringing students from GE3201 The Service Economy to Kampong Glam for a field trip on 2 October 2013 (Wednesday). This year, we will be joined by 18 Architecture final year undergraduates and master students from Switzerland. These students are in Singapore with the Rochor+ Urban Design Research Studio, conducted by ETH Futures Cities Laboratory.
Like Little India and Chinatown, Kampong Glam was gazetted as a conservation area in 1989. However, its urban, economic and socio-cultural development has been taken on different characteristics. On this field trip, we will explore a neighbourhood that has retained strong elements of its Malay and Arab heritage and economic functions, but also a neighbourhood that has experienced profound gentrification in the past ten years. Parts of Kampong Glam are now well known for independent retailers specialising in fashion and furnishing, alternative consumption patterns, and a growing restaurant scene. These changes are related to the increasing importance of the service sector to Singapore, the desire to attract ‘creative talents’ to the city and to develop a culturally vibrant city. We will explore how these processes have shaped the neighbourhood and speak to some local business owners about their clientele, changing character of the area, and its future.