Ong Ker-Shing and Joshua Comaroff of Lekker Architects are interested in design that delivers social impact. Their latest endeavour is a school for underprivileged children that is located in rental public housing estates in Singapore. Aptly called the School of Magical Sciences, the project aims to create a parallel track that goes outside of the country’s meritocratic highway.
The lessons start with getting children to disassociate common objects from their perceived uses. A simple cup can be a drinking vessel, a flowerpot, or a percussion instrument. If we are able to see things as multifunctional and re-interpretable, we open up our world to better imagination and creativity. The ultimate goal is to get kids to think beyond preset rules, and to get them to say, “Look, I can make this different. What I see around me does not have to be the way it is.”
How else can we use design to subvert the everyday and disrupt the status quo? How can design attempt to close inequality gaps and empower individuals to define their own values system?