At the last day of the IFTA program, I spent an hour in One-North, where the creative clusters located. My personal research topic is the creative industries in Singapore. So I think I should go to the creative cluster in Singapore before I left.
One North is the 200-hectare area around Buona Vista, which includes scientific research center Biopolis and media hub Fushionopolis. It manages to become a place where residents can ‘work, live. Learn and play’ seamlessly. The $15 billion One North’s ‘self-contained township’ concept and proximity to a research-and-development hub, the Science Park and education campuses are a draw for researches, academics and professionals.
When I arrived at the One North MRT station around 9:30 am. There are three arts pieces on the MRT station’s wall giving the images that you have arrived at artistic place.Around 9:30 am, all people who left the MRT are the group of young. I did not see any elder people get off at this station suggested that this place is full of creative personnel and full of energy and creativity.
On the streets of One North I did not feel too hot because there are lots of plantations along the street side reducing the heat island effect to the pedestrians, and the sidewalks are wide enough to allow trees be planted. Also each of the high rises has a large area of greens plants. Singapore has put a lot of effort to increase their greenery coverage, unlike many other western cities, like New York there is not much greenery spaces can seen within the downtown cities. Even there are constructions going on in different spaces, they would first concerned the environment. Around the construction, there is grasslands and trees around the barriers.
Walking around this neighborhood, I recalled my previous research on urban greenery in Hong Kong. In my research I found that Hong Kong studied Singapore’s urban greenery strategies and implementation and tried to replicate this model. Singapore has used various ways to increase it urban greenery coverage. Skyrise greenery is one of the means. Skyrise Greenery Award was first held in Singapore by the National Parks Board (NParks) and supported by several other organizations to recognize the effort of different sectors in implementing skyrise greenery. It also aims to encourage creativity and original use of space through rebuilding greens in skyrise buildings and promotes more skyrise greenery in urban development through creating awareness. The Skyrise Greenery Award recognizes greening efforts in highrise developments in Singapore. This incentive event has influenced Hong Kong, a city that shares similar characteristics.
I found one of the buildings, Solaris, which was awarded the skyrise greenery award. It has provided the model of the building in the lobby. This design not only has beauty value but also sending the message of we needs to live harmony with the Mother Nature. One interesting about this building is that a lot of technological or media companies located on the office upstairs, however, on the ground floor it is a day care center, where emphasizing the creativity of children. This service allows workers upstairs be comfortable working with their work. On the window of this day care center, there is one slogan on the window “ It takes skill mind to nurture great mind”, “Dynamic experiences create by dynamic thinkers” and so on.
There are lots of buildings in One North that have similar construction and design. This creative cluster not only providing creative groups an opportunity to develop their genius but also sending message to others that we need to live with the environment instead of destroying the green spaces.
There is another building that the backside of the buildings is a green park, but look like a small version of rainforest to me. Watching on the picture it looks like the there is a mirror at the front reflecting each side, however, everything in the picture is really. The design of the building and the park is almost symmetrical; creating illusion there is a mirror in between. I was so surprised by the creativity of the designs in this region. Personally I like design, but just like Pr. Jimmy said in our meeting session, parents in Singapore are concerned with sending their children to design institutes, because it is much harder for children become successful in creative industries than many other industries.
After all the observation, the appearances of the One North are tightly fit to the three initiatives of creating Creative Singapore’s. This place is providing Singapore with a thriving media ecosystem.