SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING06 Jun 2023
NUS Press launches new publication titled ‘Everyday Modernism: Architecture and Society in Singapore’
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Singapore – NUS Press, the academic press of the National University of Singapore (NUS), has launched a new publication titled ‘Everyday Modernism: Architecture and Society in Singapore’ by Jiat-Hwee Chang, Justin Zhuang and photographer Darren Soh. Some of the questions addressed in the book are: How has modern architecture in Singapore restructured everyday lives? And in an ever-changing city, how have buildings come, gone, and been adapted to suit current needs?

In Everyday Modernism, the authors examine the beginnings of modernisation in the city-state, from the rise of heroic skyscrapers, to the spread of utilitarian typologies like multi-storey car parks. The title encapsulates not simply the physical environment, but also the social, political, economic and cultural processes of nation building, approaching this by reworking and reframing existing urban theories. Tracing the histories of iconic structures such as People’s Park Complex and the National Theatre, the book equally sheds much-needed light on public housing, libraries, community centres, and other buildings that make up the fabric of the city yet are seldom lauded. Instead of referring to these through conventional architectural types, they are divided into six key verbs—live, play, work, connect, travel and pray –to fully illustrate the complex interplay between form and use.

The book’s 33 essays are richly illustrated with some 200 archival images and drawings as well as more than 90 contemporary photos by architectural photographer Darren Soh presenting typical sites from alternate perspectives. Everyday Modernism will be of interest to all those curious about how abstract spaces become lived spaces.

If you would like to get a copy of ‘Everyday Modernism: Architecture and Society in Singapore’ (ISBN: 978-981-325-187), you can purchase online at nuspress.nus.edu.sg or email orders.nuspress@nus.edu.sg.

The book is also available at leading bookstores in Singapore and Southeast Asia.