Hokkien Mee Diplomacy Studio

by RMIT University (Australia)


Hokkien Mee Diplomacy Studio led by Alban Mannisi within the RMIT landscape Architecture Discipline explores the food security issue and urban farming resilience in Singapore proposing various alliances of local environmental ethics and innovative landscape design. The Studio is developed in Melbourne in partnership with Edible Garden City, following the International Seminar Design Diplomacy involving Malaysian and Singaporean food scape experts.


Singapore presents itself as an ideal of cultural, political, and economic diversity. The quality of life, housing, and food is remarkable, and yet its food production is 90% foreign and the impact of the growth of its plants is a growing ecological, spatial, and ethical disaster for the region of Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Paradox of an exceptional economy attracting investors and visitors from all over the world; the Landscape Architecture aesthetics tends to reflect a trend towards the ornamentation and the spread of exogenous practices, customs, and vegetation. This complex situation regarding the island’s food insecurity due to the lack of resources traceability and environmental prospective guided by a powerful globalised socio-economics platform has produced since a few years an environmental paradigm shift within new generation of experts, citizens, and government.


It is this paradigm shift in ecological and ontological dynamics that Hokkien Mee Diplomacy Studio undertakes to study and decipher the societal, political, and economic implication of this phenomenon, to elaborate design strategies and question new environmental prospective alongside the current initiatives involved on the island.



Singapore Mulberry Fish Pond Combined Agriculture Reinvention


Hokkien Mee Diplomacy Studio pays close attention on food crisis in Singapore. This site is unique as its main residents are maids from Myanmar who suffered from abuse. The site lies in Centre for Domestic Employees which is 288 meters from the Singapore Strait.


The design was inspired by the Mulberry Fish Pond, by bringing into play the functions of material circulation and the energy flow transformation. The design also draws on the symbiosis and mutualism between organisms in the ecosystem. The input and output of a range of organisms such as fish, frog, algae, chicken, bees and plant, create balanced energy within each trophic level. Meanwhile, it also promotes the recycling utilization of animal and plant resources to maintain the ecological balance.


In the context of food and water crisis in Singapore, I designed this place using water to rejuvenate the landscape. Various non-human creatures were introduced to the site to stimulate the farming process. Combined agriculture reinvention also gives the site a new opportunity to maintain its connection with water from Singapore Strait, rain and land water system.


Finally, a small portion of water will be collected and the rest falls into Singapore drainage to complete the water recycle. I also designed different areas for maids to learn farming work and grasp new skills, which helps them better integrate into their local community and start the recovery journey from the past trauma. Combine Agriculture Reinvention reshapes the site to a more creative environment, it also builds a strong tie between the residents and their homelands.


Project by ChenYu Zhang

Captions

01 - Reinventing of Mulberry Fish Pond: The design was inspired by Mulberry Fish Pond,by bringing into play the functions of material circulation and the energy flow transformation. 02 - Design Strategy: Through different agricultural division of Center For Domestic Employees ,the design draws on the symbiosis and mutualism between organisms in the ecosystem. 03 - Water Modes: The utilization of seawater in the future could make Singapore's Mulberry Fish Pond a reality.Combined agriculture reinvention gives the site a new opportunity to maintain its connection with water from Singapore Strait, rain and land water system. 04 - Edible Design And Ecology Of Center For Domestic Employees: The input and output of a range of organisms such as fish, frog, algae, chicken, bees and plant, create balanced energy within each trophic level. Meanwhile, it also promotes the recycling utilization of animal and plant resources to maintain the ecological balance. 05 - Mulberry Fish Pond In Center For Domestic Employees: Mulberry Fish Pond reinvent Center For Domestic Employees .Maids can engage in abundant combined agricultural activities and enjoy water landscape.

Aquascape


Located on a center of domestic workers in Singapore, a care farming project was set as an aquaculture and maids' paradise. Due to feature for Singapore weather and high development of maids' industry, this aquaculture which is not far away from the sea set two different kinds of aquacultures and place for maids' relaxing, overlooking fruiters, a broader sea, and a fishing pond. The Aquascape was designed as a food-producing place and food-using place. Intended for maids' BBQs, food court, and public community, the project was designed for improving Singapore food safety and maids' mental health.


Project by JiaYing Li

Captions

01 - BUILDING AN AQUACULTURE SPACE: It focuses on problems including food production and security, domestic workers’ need and water connection in Singapore 02 - THE AQUACULTURE IN CENTER OF DOMESTIC EMPLOYEES: This system makes a good use of water. It improves the food production efficiency 03 - AQUACULTURE STRATEGY: Aquascape provide a more active harvesting cycle with greater biodiversity.  It is an integration to Southeast Asian weather and food preference 04 -INTEGRATION OF AQUACULTURE AND MAIDS’ PARTY: Singapore combine a long coastline, suitable climate for aquaculture and presence of maids from the Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia. To create a sustainable osmosis, Aquaculture develop a farming corridor reinforcing local agriculture and health care 05 - INTEGRATION OF FOOD AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN CULTURE: Intended for food court, and public community, the project was designed for improving Singapore food safety


Kueh-Chhī-tìn Revision: Geodesic Kampong


The growing food security issue in Singapore through a series of revisions in the approach to urban farms and local awareness to help boost self sufficiency and education.


Changing the mindset of citizens to buy local produce through providing samples and showing how the food is grown or produced in a local Urban Farm.


To remind younger Singaporeans of their past as an agricultural nature which was lost in their rapidly developing urban-scape. Creating a platform for communities to learn and grow by creating a communal garden within the Urban Farm. Giving citizens the opportunity to recover Singapore's biosphere and Agriculture. Allowing citizens room grow their own foods and empower them.


Potentially create job interest by giving citizens hands on experience in the garden to get them interested in the agriculture sector and join the food manufacturing and processing sector which has seen dwindling numbers.


Increase the idea of Urban Farms being able to produce enough food to support buildings and communities. To then set a Precedent which other malls and high density establishments can learn and develop from.


Project by Leon Ma

Captions

01 - The aim of the project is to address the growing food security issue in Singapore through a series of changes to help boost self sufficiency and education 02 - Building a Green Village of Various BioSpheres 03 - Schreber Garten Village: Adapting the Schreber-Garten Model for an Urban Farm 04 - "Home" and Kampong Farmland Sphere: Surround visitors with the farming-scape to explain the farming process 05 - Education Planning / Town Square / Theatre


The Collective Farm

The Collective Farm aims at developing a mode of circular economy and increasing agricultural farms in between urban spaces where residents can benefit from their own agricultural produce and enhances local community dynamics, health issues and leads to self- sufficiency. For a change in environmental system, there is a need for broad engagement of community. It is important to have learning process, then adapting it and cultivating at farm level. This project proposes a new market where community have their own market and packaging at farm level to reduce food journey. So, the intention of the Collective Farm is to deploy the community spaces in between the farmlands to bring multi-cultural communities together and bring domestic workers and Pasir Panjang community closer to farming and nature where they will interact together for different tasks and activities. At micro level, domestic workers would be major part of it and major contributors for developing such resilience module and at macro level other surrounding communities will take such modules further. Therefore, an agricultural resilience module would be developed at micro level that also benefits at macro level.


Project by Urmi Jethva

Captions

01 - Community spaces in between the farmlands to bring multi-cultural communities together and bring domestic workers and Pasir Panjang community closer to farming and nature where they will interact and engage for different tasks and activities 02 - The Collective Farm aims at developing a circular economy and increasing agricultural farms in between urban spaces by connecting site to the surrounding residential area and commercial area that increases local self-sufficiency of food 03 - At micro level, domestic workers will play important role to grow their own food locally along with Pasir Panjang communities by making agriculture as a part of their daily activities 04 - New market where they have their own packaging area and food markets to reduce food journey doing less damage to natural resources 05 - Water storage area to capture and store the stormwater and surface run-off water from the surrounding urban areas and using that water for agricultural fields. Water storage area also acts as recreation spaces for the domestic workers and surrounding communities.


Food Scape Synthax


Singapore food production is much less than its consumption, and it has relied on food import heavily. As society developed, more and more buildings build-up, more and more people immigrate to Singapore, there has only 1% of land to produce local food.


The site of this project is located CBD in Singapore. There are lots of citizens and tourist, that means the food will supply as much as enough for them. But it is hard for them to buy food in the shopping mall because it is not cheap and fresh. So I create four corridors for four different groups, they can buy the food whenever and wherever they want. Plus, I create an app; it connects market and food; people can use phone to check when the fresh food is available. These corridors connect people, buildings, and food together, using space to plant food and transport food so that this place can be filled with food.


Project by ZhaoHui Liu

Captions

01 -COMMUNITY ENGAGING: I create four kinds of corridors for different groups of people, respectively the food street corridor, wet markets corridor, public space corridor and the workplace corridor. So people can use the app to check where the food is , so that people are benefits from the Funan mall 02 - WET MARKET CORRIDOR: Through the wet markets corridor, harvest fish will be sent to the wet markets from the Funan mall fish ponds.by the food truck, it will go through the bridge, tunnel and pavement. So that the consumers can using the phone to check where the fish send to, so they can immediately go to the restaurant 03 - FOOD STREET CORRIDOR: The food street corridor, the fresh food will across the commercial street, sensitive communities, so people can buy the local food through the street, and the street sign can show people how to go to the next food street corridor 04 - FOOD DATA LINEAR URBANISM: The public space corridor, there are some public space, like parks and cathedral, museums around Funan mall, many tourist will go through this corridor, so the food can be sent to them by the moving selling carts, they can use the app to choose the food they want 05 - WORKPLACE CORRIDOR: The workplace corridor mainly be used for the contemporary workers, like bankers will go along through the corridor, those food can by sent from Funan mall and then preserve in the fresh food machine, so they can get fresh food immediately. And the air bridge corridor is a signal to go to the Funan mall.


Food Hunting


Foreign domestic workers are a group of women who are far away from home, coming to seek economic pursuit through their labor in an unfamiliar country. While their common title is Maid, the name of this profession is not only a constraint on their behavior but also a shackle that prevents them from enjoying life in this hard-working city.


The first area of focus is strengthening local production as 90% of Singapore's nutrition comes from food imports making it one of the key points in solving the Singapore food crisis. Singapore has established a complete park system on their territory, which provides the opportunity to evolve public green spaces into edible green space. The local food production can be increased through the conversion of community parks to community edible parks. Through food sharing between communities, close ties between communities, friends and family and the hard-working maids can be strengthened.

The second area of focus is empowering maids by providing mental and physical support to help them rebuild self-confidence and self-esteem. After exploring the survival and life problems of maids in Singapore, this project starts with making use of the role of community parks, the Center of Domestic Employee (CDE), to create a place based on the value of maids. It aims to establish a new connection between maids and employers and a new mode of communication. Besides, the project leads the maid to participate in social activities in Singapore by introducing a link to this group from the CDE to urban spaces where they can learn history, construction and development of Singapore, and enhance their sense of belonging and self-identity.


Project by ZiQi Zhou

Captions

01 - HUNTING FOOD IN THE CITY: In response to the 30 by 30 program proposed by the Singapore government, this project proposes to use the community garden to increase the self-production of urban food. At the same time, starting from the project location, the center of domestic employees (CDE), establish a continuous food hunting system in the city 02 - CENTER OF DOMESTIC EMPLOYEE GARDEN: This project starts from rebuilding a community between foreign domestic workers and employers in the CDE garden to break cultural berries between the two groups and then building a Singapore's community information network centering on the existing three centers of domestic employees 03 - COMMUNITY PARK & MARKET: By changing community gardens to community edible gardens, the project increases food harvest in this community. Food production could be sold in the community market and distributed between communities 04 - EXCHANGE MARKET: Through food waste management, this project builds a circular economy in this community to reuse the purchased vegetables and fruits: residents share their excess food through the exchange market; compost food waste in their own gardens, provide fertilizers to the community gardens and regrow plant in their home 05 - OWNERS OF FOOD PRODUCTION IN PUBLIC SPACE: This project creates an opportunity to lead foreign domestic workers to participate in social activities in Singapore, to hike in historical corridors, and to make them understand the city, construction, and development so that it can enhance their sense of belonging and self-identity.




Find out more about Hokkien Mee Diplomacy Studio here

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