An Embrace of the Paradox of Freedom
#freedomchains Pavilion

The #freedomchains urban installation was commissioned for the annual ArchiFest 2022 and formed one of seven pavilions; each a unique exploration and expression of the event’s wider theme on “The Order of Love”, which covered seven elements of a loving environment including Freedom.

#freedomchains seeks to articulate the connotations and aspirations around the concept of freedom by alluding to the symbolisms, dualities and paradox between freedom and control. At the basis of the design’s exploration of the rich layers of freedom is the Love it has for the environment and the migrant workers’ community in Singapore. Chains are used as the driving thematic motif in which it is both an antonym and an integral conduit that restricts and enables free movement like those in bicycles.

One thousand bicycle chains were draped and assembled to form the letters F, R, E, E on the ground with interesting interstitial spaces created by each letter. A backlit membrane with carefully placed (in relation to hidden chain anchors) LED strip devices created a luminous sky for the pavilion. Visitors were invited into the pavilion from various entry points, weaving in and out of the sea of chains that play on the interaction of each cylindrical link to produce an ephemeral moiré effect.

Post-festival, the bicycle chains were donated to various migrant worker dormitories around the island for their daily commute. Partnerships with three local bicycle repair shops were set up by the design practice to further value-add bicycle repairs and maintenance services; extending its demonstration and message of love for the migrant worker community beyond the pavilion.

Design team

DP Architects, DP Design, DP Lighting