Interior Design School of Design Singapore

Yi Lin Low

De-marginalised Dwelling
A Taste of Community
Recycling Community
The Micro Community

De-marginalised Dwelling

The topic of this project is about the marginalised community in Singapore. Marginalised means being neglected by society and feel powerless. There are different types of a marginalised community and the project will be focusing on the underprivileged people in relation to Singapore’s poverty. The site will be at Jalan Kukoh, comprising rental flats and also one of the poorest neighbourhood in Singapore.

Singapore is a first-world country and has been highly recognised and valued for its wealth. However, there is a side that often remains hidden, which is poverty. Poverty such as income inequality has been a worrying problem in Singapore for many years. Although Singapore may be a wealthy country, however, there are still so many underprivileged people in society. Even with the government policies to help the poor, their wellbeing is often neglected. So how do we help this marginalised community with their wellbeing?

Project Scale

The project is split into three parts: ‘A Taste of Community’, ‘Recycling Community’, ‘The Micro Community’. The project started with a larger scale of a communal kitchen, followed by the public space installation of a medium scale. Lastly, going into a smaller scale by looking into the individual units.

Project Map

This is an overview of the project split into 3 parts that are all happening at the same site, Jalan Kukoh. The project started by discovering this small neighbourhood that was called a slum by many. Many issues that were hidden for a long time were raised through all the site observations and conversations with the community. The frustration of realising how neglected and how bad the community are living had led the project to design something that will improve the lives of the community. The project started from a larger scale of designing a communal kitchen for the community that loves to cook and their close bond with one another. Followed by a medium scale public space installation hoping to bring joy and a different resting experience for the neighbourhood. The project then wrapped up with designing the individual units which are of a smaller scale. Seeing the poor living condition of their homes was what led to the final decision of coming up with a mixed neighbours plan and designing the individual units. To conclude, the project ‘De-marginalised Community’ was an exploration of ways to enhance the neighbourhood’s quality of life.

A Taste of Community

De-marginalised Dwelling: Part 1

The aim of the project is to support and strengthen the wellbeing and dignity of the marginalised community by improving their dwelling conditions. Introducing community activities and spaces in to the neighbourhood that will promote and foster community engagement and spirit respectively. The communal spaces implemented will allow new experiences for the residents and non-residents visiting the neighbourhood.

The intention of part 1 was to introduce a communal kitchen as a communal activity for the community. The kitchen also has an integrated system where they get to earn funds from people outside to support the community. Part 1 was the starting point of the project, hence, starting with an activity that the community like, which is cooking. The issues found out from the site observations and conservations with the residents were food inequality and lack of bonding activities. With that in mind, designing the communal kitchen that allows interaction among the community while cooking and eating. The plan was to have them cook for one another and share. This does not just help to solve the food issue but also foster community spirit and engagement.

Communal Kitchen


Community dining

Kitchen area 1-1

Kitchen area 1-2

Solo dining

Isometric layout

Activities layout

Recycling Community

De-marginalised Dwelling: Part 2

The aim of the project is to provide a different socialising and public space experiences for the residents and to make their resting space more interesting by introducing a multi-purpose installation that varies at each different locations. It also allows the community to play or use it with different purpose in the public space. The intention was based on the previous site observations that were done in part 1. One of the issues was the lacked of public activties for the residents and they have no where to go for daily leisure, resulting them to loiter around and find their own resting spots.

The intention of part 2 was to introduce a fun and fresh socializing space to the community. The project started by realising that the community lack communal activity that should be common in a normal neighbourhood. The number of residents especially the elderly seen loitering around the ground level was high. Most of the elderly are retired, hence, they are at a time where they needed communal activities that can entertain them. Therefore, with the new multi-purpose installation, it will be also a public communal activity for them. Instead of giving them a fixed installation to hang out at, it will be more entertaining to build your own space with your friends.

Community space

Private space

Modular sketches

Ways of stacking

Type of spaces

The Micro Community

De-marginalised Dwelling: Part 3

The aim of the project is to redesign the units by introducing co-housing and micro-living concept to encourage frequent interactions within the community and utilise the given space. The intention was also based on the previous site observations that were done in part 1. One of the issues was the overcrowding in living homes/units which was seemed normal in the neighbourhood. The problem of overcrowding is divided into 2 parts: Big family living in small apartment and lack of storage spaces. (Will be further explained in the site analysis section)
Therefore, the purpose of part 3 is to enhance the life of the community in Jalan Kukoh by improving their dwelling condition with the new design that will be introduced.

The intention of part 3 was to introduce a better home layout that can accommodate the residents who had different situations. The start-off point of part 3 was the overcrowding issue that was discovered during the site analysis in part 1. With further research on their situations, to realised that some of the main problems were the lack of storage, plain layout and cramped living quarters. Thus, continuing the planning with these problems in mind. The fact that the community are only mixing around when they are at the ground level was also a problem that was found out later. Hence, the plan of mixing neighbours was to encourage them to interact even when they are at home.


Live alone elderly layout

Live Alone Elderly (Living/Bedroom Design 1)

Live Alone Elderly (Living/Bedroom Design 2)

Live Alone Elderly (Dining/Entry)

Live Alone Elderly (Kitchen/Dining)

Shared unit layout

Shared unit (Living/Dining)

Shared unit (Bedroom)

Shared unit (Kitchen)

Shared unit (Laundrt)

Shared unit (Bathroom)

Families unit layout

Families unit (Kitchen/Dining)

Families unit (Study/Wardrobe)

Families unit (Bedroom)

Families unit (Kitchen/Living)