Uni students re-imagine migrant worker dormitories for Singapore

A virtual showcase of the SUTD capstone project reimagining a dormitory for migrant workers.

In the past year, the high number of Covid-19 infections among migrant workers in Singapore has shown the need for improvement in the design of the dormitories they live in. 

As part of their capstone project, students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) envisioned a new typology of dormitories integrating with an arts district, allowing migrant workers and the community to interact. The students were guided by Ms. Ivy Koh, Director of SJ architecture, for over eight months, and they were from the Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD) and Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) faculties.

The brief: Design smart and sustainable migrant worker dormitories that prevent the spread of infectious diseases while boosting the quality of life of the occupants.

Among the different ideas of a reimagined unit is an open plan layout designed to increase social interaction while providing occupants with more personal space and privacy. A toilet and feet-washing area, positioned at the entrance of each reimagined unit, can be used before one enters the living space.

Ms. Koh is “heartened” that she can share her knowledge and experience with the students. “The solutions they proposed are actually very innovative and viable,” she said, adding she would explore how they can be implemented in the dormitory projects that SJ designs. This is the first time SJ is participating in SUTD’s annual capstone program. View the virtual showcase here. 

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