A Public Square
Following the trajectory over the past two years of looking at space and heritage in urban Singapore, A Public Square is The Substation‘s year-long programme in 2019/20 that questioned the proprietary of a space that one might consider to be meant for public use.
Sparked by the pedestrianisation of Armenian Street—the street right in front of The Substation—as part of Bicentennial celebrations in Singapore, the programming hoped to open up a discussion on what might be the elements or qualities that Singaporeans—artists or otherwise—deem to make up a public space, as well as who or what governs its use and has a say in its access and usage.
Taking reference from the isometric drawings shared by both public space design plans and simulation games, such as The Sims, the art direction was developed around the concept of making your own public space. As the artists and participants of A Public Square worked to expand the meaning and create new definitions of what a public space could entail through their engagement with the programming, the floating gridded plots and isometric perspective alludes to the idea that everyone is welcome to re-constitute existing public spaces, or create their very own.
The three-dimensional typography used for the programme logotype, as well as the titles of individual events, makes reference to the larger-than-life 3D lettering signages used to mark and name parks, housing estates, town centres in Singapore. This marking of a space, then, makes specific reference the complicated questions that The Substation sought to ask about the control and access of a public space.