“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past”, says Ministry of Design's founder, Colin Seah. With Canvas House, Figment and MOD bring the two worlds of future and past together in a striking white-washed manner, with a converted conservation house in Singapore, which recently opened in February 2020.
Ministry of Design explores history and our relationship with the past, present and future through the concept of layers in Canvas House at Blair Road. Blurring the boundaries between space and object, MOD conceptually blanketed Canvas House with a layer of white that provides a canvas for the future, whilst revealing historical preservation in concentrated spots. The house rhythmically reveals parts of its past, with Shadows of old timber as well as Layers of revealed brick and intricate details of re-purposed and upcycled furniture. At the same time, MOD invites visitors to imagine a future with Dream, a text-based neon piece that the studio created, with a quote by Thomas Jefferson that encapsulates MOD’s approach to Canvas House. The quote summarizes the attitude of the house; Colin explains, “it is a neutral white canvas for the future to be dreamt upon, rather than a wholesale homage to the past.”
"If one opts for the project to be just about preservation, it's as good as time standing still… which could be paralysing and inhibiting. But at the same time, neither do we want to disregard history completely by creating something too foreign or novel. Our response was to layer over the existing history with a proverbial blank canvas whilst leaving choreographed glimpses into the past, blanketing both space and the furniture in it - allowing us to blur the inherent boundaries between past and present, object and space." - Colin Seah, MOD
Colin explains, “When it comes to adaptive reuse projects, the question is always the same, how do we tread the line between the past and the present? If one opts for the project to be just about preservation, it's as good as time standing still… which could be paralysing and inhibiting. But at the same time, neither do we want to disregard history completely by creating something too foreign or novel. Our response was to layer over the existing history with a proverbial blank canvas whilst leaving choreographed glimpses into the past, blanketing both space and the furniture in it - allowing us to blur the inherent boundaries between past and present, object and space."
All images courtesy of Ministry of Design, photography by Edward Hendricks
Canvas House, Layout Plan
Canvas House is now available for booking and offer 3 to 12 month leases. Remember to leave your dirty shoes at the door!
About Ministry of Design (MOD)
Led by Colin Seah, Founder-Director Ministry of Design is an integrated architectural, interior design, and branding firm. Created by Colin Seah to question convention and redefine the spaces, forms and experiences that surround us, MOD’s explorations are created amidst a democratic studio-like atmosphere and progress seamlessly between form, site, object and space. MOD prefers to start far upstream and design holistic experiences rather designing solutions. This translates into a wide variety of possible downstream design applications and media: be it architecture, product design, interior architecture, branding, graphics, landscape or even the weaving of diverse disciplines into a single project. Committed to their vision of designing holistic experiences, MOD helmed Canvas House as both interior designers and artists, creating three pieces for the house: Shadows, Layers, and Dream.
Led by Fang Low, Founder-CEO In a hyper-urban age where people are on the move, Figment seeks to create functional living spaces that have a sense of place. We turn a house into a home by working with local creatives to design fully-furnished co-living suites that are inspired by the culture and heritage of the dwelling, neighbourhood, and city. Case Study Homes is our expression of this approach. Our first set in this series of homes see the traditional shophouse being reimagined by a local designer for modern co-living. Each has created distinctive interiors and furnishings that respond to the unique heritage of these historic buildings. The homes are also decorated with specially commissioned works by local artists and artisans.
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