The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030
Sat Apr 21 - Sun Sep 30 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pmFree
The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030 brings you on a retrospective and prospective journey through 100 years of local playgrounds. Explore the evolving role of playgrounds in Singapore through the past and present, and think about how such play spaces will continue to progress in the future.
Opening Weekend Activities for the Family
Come for a fun-filled weekend of activities on 21 and 22 April. The museum’s grounds will be transformed into a playground with “Bouncy Adventures” – beautiful inflatable playgrounds inspired by iconic playgrounds designs of yesteryear, and various animal springers.
You can also look forward to artist workshops, film screenings, a chance to win miniature 3D models of iconic playgrounds, as well as balloon sculptures and craft-making sessions for the family.
Throughout the exhibition period, the National Museum will also present programmes that look at Singapore’s playgrounds past, present and future from the perspective of architects, photographers, play specialists and designers. Visitors can also look forward to exclusive after-hour tours, toddler programmes, “date nights”, and a special dialogue session on future playgrounds. There will also be a “hackathon” for youths to pick up 3D-modelling skills and design their ideal future playground.
Inside the exhibition
The journey starts as you step into Singapore in the early 20th century, where designated playgrounds were few and far between, and children played in any open space they could find. It was also during this period that community-initiated playgrounds began emerging in areas such as People’s Park, Dhoby Ghaut and Katong Park.
In the 1950s and 1960s, playgrounds quickly became an integral element in Singapore’s public housing estates. These initially comprised mainly functional play equipment such as slides, swings and see-saws.
As the exhibition transitions into the 1970s and 1980s, you will see some of the familiar neighbourhood playgrounds in various forms and styles, designed and built by HDB from 1974 to 1993.
You will also be treated to exclusive video interviews with Singapore’s pioneer group of playground designers who sought inspiration from the physical landscape and everyday life, as well as heritage and culture, to create distinctly Singapore playgrounds that the community could relate to. For the first time, you will be able to view 12 original blueprints of Singapore’s iconic mosaic playgrounds by Mr Khor Ean Ghee, HDB’s first playground designer, including the well- known Toa Payoh dragon playgrounds.
Then we’re whisked into the 1990s and 2000s, where playgrounds offer more adventurous yet safe play for thrill-seekers. Playgrounds of this period have become a more inclusive community space catering to the elderly, adults and children, creating intergenerational spaces that brought the community together.
The final vignette of the exhibition brings visitors into the future, inviting them to imagine their ideal playground and how such play spaces will continue to be an expression of our community identity. Come “design” your ideal playground of 2030!
An exhibition where everyone gets to ‘play’
• See the museum’s first-ever inclusive installation for toddlers by acclaimed French artist Matali Crasset. Titled The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest, this installation at the museum’s Main Rotunda reflects a future play space where the natural and man-made meet, and families gather and socialise.
• Other in-gallery activities include a mosaic wall where visitors can pen their playground memories, and a poll on their favourite mosaic playground design.
• Children can enjoy climbing on a rope play structure that is adapted from the rope pyramid in West Coast Park, one of the tallest play climbing structures at the time when it was built in 2000.
• There will also be hands-on opportunities to test safety equipment used by playground inspectors and to “play” on re-imagined versions of familiar playground equipment created by SUTD students, such as a see-saw that tilts only when someone sits on it, and a swing for three.
• Families can also look forward to picking up a “playbook” designed for children aged 5 to 12 and the young at heart to embark on a journey of discovery through the exhibition and its outdoor playground, complete with hands-on activities.