The Share by iskw0209

It seems like spaces and constraints are the talk of the town this week, and they say that creativity emerges from constraint. If that’s so, then cultures that are fixated with maintaining order and stability should well breed the most creative people on the planet. But beyond politics and searching for the details of the Romney-Ryan tax plan, we paused to ask ourselves - when did the opposite ring true? When did constraint start to curb creativity?

Fact: Children in Singapore are myopic mainly because they don’t spend enough time outdoors, and that there aren’t enough large open fields to stretch their ciliary muscles.

Unlike their (anywhere-but-an-island) counterparts, kids in space-starved Singapore don’t have the luxury of tool sheds and backyards to learn to build things and habits in. Of course we’d like for the young to always embrace new frontiers. Maybe even adopt a little bit of Mark Zuckerberg's mantra of 'move fast and break things' (although given the stock dips we're sure that Team Facebook intends to focus on the former).

What we’re saying is - why let the lack of space hinder the spirit of exploration? We say work with the geography, don’t let it dictate.

1. Recognise and make use of what you have

    Tokyo Social Standard - The Share is one such example. Housed in a refurbished company dormitory, the mixed-use building takes advantage of tight spaces to create a shared living scheme that offers tenants a modest bedroom amongst other facilities like a common lounge area and a restaurant-sized kitchen. What draws tenants into the concept is the chance to be part of a creative community.

2. Initiate shared spaces.

    In spite of the inevitable brouhaha we foresee over the usage of the void decks (for weddings, funerals, ministerial meetings.. the list is exhaustive), we see the void deck space as blue ocean potential that a community concerned with building the future would appreciate. How about ateliers or craftshops under the block? Or modular playgrounds built for the creative child (and adult)? Revel in a common backyard, let the young ones go loose in a creative space. Let them be nimble with their hands. Get lost in a building. Build a fort out of leaves. The opportunities to discover, collaborate and communicate would be multiplied.

3. Get involved in building our urban environment.

    Technology is one avenue to do this - sites like and advocate using new media to ramp up community involvement and create a better living and working environment. The internet is a revolutionary way to crowdsource statistics, and these numbers can be used to engineer real changes. And we’re not just talking about simple petitions, we’re talking big changes: Bringing those statistics to the government and getting them involved in what the people want. Now here’s a chance to actually start a project about what to do with that empty plot of land behind your block.


The Hakone Pavilion by Tezuka Architects, a creative playground
that fuses playing fun with an awareness of the natural environment

The ways and means are there. Our challenge this weekend is to not let our environment prescribe how we could live, but instead define our own surroundings, and start using our hands again.