Get creative with scarce spaces

The Singapore Pavilion at last year's Venice Biennale architecture exhibition, No More Free Space?, is now restaged at the National Design Centre

The No More Free Space? exhibition (above) examines how people can creatively use limited space in dense urban Singapore.
The No More Free Space? exhibition (above) examines how people can creatively use limited space in dense urban Singapore.PHOTO: SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN

Is there really no more free space in land-scarce Singapore?

This is the question an upcoming exhibition at the National Design Centre seeks to answer.

No More Free Space? highlights 12 projects through videos and images where architects, urban planners and place-makers have found creative ways to use the limited space in dense urban Singapore.

These include the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, where a storm water canal was transformed into a free-flowing river; and Henderson Waves, including the Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk, where five parks and gardens are connected by bridges and pathways to form a 10km linear park in the sky.

Dr Erwin Viray, lead curator of the exhibition and head of the architecture and sustainable design pillar at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), says the lack of space in Singapore may seem like a negative, but creative space planning can turn it into a positive.

"Each project shows the smart ways the architects, planners, designers and so on, have taken to make the best of the resources and conditions that are on hand... to create 'free space', which are public spaces everyone can enjoy, identify with and love," he adds.


  • WHERE: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road

    WHEN: May 18 to June 30, 9am to 9pm


    INFO: For more information, go to

No More Free Space? is a response to the 16th Venice Biennale Architecture International Exhibition's overarching theme of "Freespace".

The Singapore Pavilion was showcased for six months in the Italian city last year.

The free exhibition will be restaged at the National Design Centre from May 18 to June 30.

The Singapore Pavilion was commissioned by the DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and curated by SUTD in collaboration with the National University of Singapore's department of architecture.

Dr Viray says: "We hope the exhibition will inspire people and show that there are creative and imaginative means to find solutions to the problems and limitations we face today.

"It would be fantastic if it inspired people to do more with less and to see that 'No More Free Space?' can actually be infinite 'free space'."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Get creative with scarce spaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe