This international workshop brings together academics working to challenge the established notions of domesticity with relation to home, architecture, and space in order to re-interrogate the inherent relationships of these four tenets. More than the terms ‘home’ and the ‘interior,’ domesticity implicates gender, sexuality, labour, class, ethnicity and taste. It suggests certain productions, be it biological, material, psychological, social or national. Within these diverse domains, domesticity concerns the performative aspect of bodies in space as occupants, tenants, parents, grandparents, children, maids, architects, designers, builders, state-representatives. And, it also involves spatial practices which represent, reproduce, construct and govern these bodies. As such, its scope is necessarily wide-ranging, referring amongst others to ‘domestic sustenance,’ ‘domestic affiliation,’ ‘domestic comfort,’ ‘domestic help,’ and ‘domestic boundaries.’

This workshop provides a forum to begin to articulate how these changing relationships affect disciplinary discourses, and the implication on their histories and theories.  By highlighting specific aspects of domesticity and domestic spaces/practices, we reconsider the implications that recent national and global changes bring to studies of home and rootedness related to a variety of disciplines including architecture, urban space and planning, geography, anthropology, landscape studies and ethnography.  Collectively, we are interested in the politics and poetics of domestic space related to: policies and protectionism, war and territorial conflict, economic liberalisation, consumerism and consumption, colonisation and decolonisation, gender/race/ethnicity, migration, nation building, media culture, and technological developments in building processes and domestic products.

We offer a shared space to begin to articulate how the notion of domesticity can be untangled, unravelled, re-woven, and re-constructed by asking such questions as: How does domesticity allow us to negotiate complex situations and processes while also thinking materially about the lived spaces that produce self and society?  What are the disciplinary implications of using domesticity as a critical lens to look at home and identity?  Do domestic material expressions contest or cross geopolitical boundaries?  Can domestic cultures propose new architectural and spatial outcomes in relation to spatial typologies?  Does domesticity provoke new methodologies for representing architectural histories and theories beyond conventional architectural representations of drawings and models as well as architect-driven intentions?  Our aim is to instigate the theorisation of domestic spaces and ‘homes’ across diverse geographical, political and cultural boundaries and regions; suggesting that there are significant overlaps in our increasingly fragmented world.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017

Organised by the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore
Funded by the National University of Singapore Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Seed Fund
Convenors: Lilian CHEE, Simone CHUNG, Jessica COOK


Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 16:30 – 18:00——
WALKING TOUR OF TIONG BAHRU (For delegates only)
Johannes WIDODO, National University of Singapore, Singapore

DAY 1 – Thursday, 07 Dec 2017


  • Welcome Address 
    Professor LAM Khee Poh, Dean, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Introduction
    Lilian CHEE, National University of Singapore, Singapore 

10:10 – 11:20——SESSION 1: PRECARITY
Chair: Erik G. L’HEUREUX, NUS

  • A Pilot Study of Household Food Security and Domestic Roles Among Migrant Farmers in Delhi, India
    Jessica COOK, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Humanitarian Homemaker, Emergency Subject
    Anooradha Iyer SIDDIQI, New York University/ Harvard University, USA

Chair: Adrianne JOERGENSEN, FCL

  • Space from the Inside: Cinematic Framing of Interiority
    Simone CHUNG, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Performative Domesticities:  The Performance of Conversion Among Filipino Domestic Workers
    Teresita CRUZ-DEL ROSARIO, National University of Singapore, Singapore 

13:40 – 15:05——SESSION 3: DESIGN
Chair: Bobby C.T. WONG, NUS

  • Engineering Home
    Jane M. JACOBS, Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  • The Flexible Heart of the Home: Rehabilitating Disabled Homemakers in Postwar America
    Barbara PENNER, University College London, UK
  • Minimal Space and the New Home Economists
    Lilian CHEE, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Chair: LEE Kah Wee, NUS

  • Modernity, Transitoriness and Homelessness: Reflections on the Refugee Crisis
    Hilde HEYNEN, University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Domesticating the Sovereign Border: The Trojan Village at Block 19
    Anoma PIERIS, University of Melbourne, Australia

DAY 2 – Friday, 08 Dec 2017

09:30 – 11:15——SESSION 5: HOME CULTURES
Chair: CHANG Jiat-Hwee, NUS

  • Domestic Empires: DIY and the Home Improvement Craze
    Lori A. BROWN, Syracuse University School of Architecture, USA
  • Origins of the Japanese House: Postwar Discussions on Historical Dwellings, Lifestyles and Cultural Identities
    Izumi KUROISHI, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan
  • Domesticity, Labor and “Ideal Homes” in Singapore
    Eunice SENG, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China 

11:25 – 12:35——SESSION 6: SOCIAL CLASS
Chair: Joshua COMAROFF , SUTD/Lekker

  • Homeless Cities
    Gülsüm BAYDAR, Yaşar University, İzmir and
    Cansu KARAKIZ, Graduate student, International Media Cultural Work programme; Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences
  • Shopping Centers as Public Spaces: The Case of Kolkata, India
    Mallika BOSE, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

13:35 – 14:45——SESSION 7: HOUSEWORK
Chair: Siddharta PEREZ, NUS Museum

  • Refusing Housework and Other Implications of Devaluation in Architecture
    Catharina GABRIELSSON, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • House/Work: On Laundry, Subversion, and Enchantment
    Naomi STEAD, Monash University, Australia and
    Kelly GREENOP, University of Queensland, Australia

Chair: CHO Im Sik, NUS

  • Leviathan and the Santo Perri House in Melbourne
    Mirjana LOZANOVSKA, Deakin University, Australia
  • Scientizing Tradition in Postwar Korea
    Melany Sun-Min PARK, Harvard University, USA

16:05 – 16:20——CLOSING COMMENTS

16:50 – 18:00——DISCUSSION (For delegates only)