Anticipatory Archipelagos

Anticipatory Archipelagos

"I am shaunice, an architectural designer from the sunny island of Singapore.☀️️"

The video of her project:

Singapore is a small city-state in South-East Asia. With its surface area of 719.1 km², it is a challenge to find space for people to live, work, and generate natural resources. Today, with its population of 5,607,300, Singapore has a density of 7,797/km², a colossal figure for such a small state. To put it into perspective, the state is about 935 times smaller than France and yet its population is only 12 times smaller. 
Obviously, the first solution is to go upwards with gigantic skyscrappers, but this strategy has many flaws. Hence the other solution that is exploited by every coastal state : land reclamation. 

There are several techniques of land reclamation, some more environmental-friendly than others. In Singapore, they have been using sand mostly since the beginning, back in 1822, just after Sir Stamford Raffles arrived to colonize the city-state. 
In order to enhance the city and transform it from a small fishing village to an economic hub, he decided first that they should expand land onto the sea to create a port. 
The sunny island went from 581.5km² to what it is today and is not done since it's expected to grow of about 100km² more by 2030. 

Shaunice's project is a solution to expand Singapore while respecting the Sea, It envisions a restored archipelago where lands and waters are clean and have a different kind of productivity and use value - one that is more rehabilitative and remedial.

We interviewed Shaunice Ten on her and her project : 


Above all, tell us about yourself in a few words: Where do you live, study or work at the moment?

Hi Im Shaunice, from the sunny island of Singapore. I just graduated from the National University of Singapore less than a year ago.

1. One sentence to tell us about your project

The project is a critique about the valuation of land-sea relations. It envisions a restored archipelago where lands and waters are clean and have a different kind of use value that shifts away from land for cities and seas for trade - one that is more rehabilitative and remedial.

2) What does your project mean to you?

I always feel that good architecture has to have a responsibility - socially, environmentally or culturally. It is always easy to get caught up in the capitalist system or the commercialization of architecture. In a way, this project is a voice on what architecture could or should be. It also serves as a reminder to my future self to always constantly question, rethink and envision the possibilities of our profession.  

3) What challenges did you face during the creation process of your project?

I faced two major challenges. First was to translate the research into design and the second was to ensure that the project was visionary but also believable – I took a long time researching and talking to people before someone told me about a technology that I could look into to further substantiate the project.

4) How does it feel to try to be one of the most visionary architects in the world?

Sometimes its great when I met like-minded individuals to share my thoughts/works with. From there, the discussions yield fruits and new perspectives and it fuels the passion to want to do and envision more. But of course there are those who are more dismissive when it comes to visionary projects because there are more pressing issues of today which are not solved yet – I don’t disagree with them but it can get quite discouraging at times.

5) Do you think the Foundation played a crucial role in your project’s advancement, visibility?

Yes! I am absolutely grateful for the numerous opportunities and publication/ exhibition platforms. Thank you!

6) Why participate in such a competition? Would you do it again?

I would attribute why I participated to this quote: “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”― Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
If I have the time to participate again, yes definitely.

7) What’s the next step?

I’ll have to serve my bond to the private sector in Singapore till 2018. Thereafter I’m keen to work overseas to gain more experience and to get a better understanding of other cultures. Alternatively I’m also interested in academia so I will see how it goes.

8)  A word of advice for this year’s participants?

Keep up the passion! I cannot wait to see all of your works.