Home Comfort Part 1: Discomfort
This final year project is about the different types of home comfort one can experience.
To begin, comfort has various meanings that evolved throughout the years. Home, on the other hand, represents different meanings to different people. Home can be for the individual or with people, some may treat it as a territory or a place of retreat. Some institutions are also regarded as homes because people live permanently in them. Now, when we put home and comfort together, it means something more deep than what we think. People usually do not think of home comfort as something important because we live in it everyday. Only once we are affected by our current living conditions, we start to wonder about the comfort we want to achieve everyday in our homes.
Part 1: DISCOMFORT
Investigating discomfort in a home through the living conditions of physical abuse
At the end of every day, the common thought is that most people go home to rest, but we might not know what someone else has to go home to everyday. In Singapore, the rate of domestic abuse has increased by 22% during the circuit breaker period (due to COVID-19). According to the Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singaporeans need to be more knowledgeable about domestic abuse in the country, and that there is a need to talk more about how the issue can be countered or dealt with. Hence, I wanted to explore and investigate whether designing for comfort can be effective for the home with the extreme living condition of physical abuse.
Research was done in the films Marriage Story and Parasite. In Marriage Story, it depicts how living together can change so differently when individuals start to feel uncomfortable around each other. In Parasite, it shows how characters are separated by social class, with the usage of lines. These lines come in various forms, they are represented by objects, furniture, walls, floors and materials, all of which make up domesticity.
For this project, the line is not just a line or a wall, but an invincible line that separates the physical and emotional space between the abuser and the victims. The house is to have a main line that separates the abuser’s side and the victims’ side. The abuser’s side includes a work room and a rage room while the victims’ side includes escape routes and comfort room. Other ideas include living in transparency because walls are meant to give privacy, but in the case of physical abuse, walls trap victims and it becomes a prison for them. The usage of lines are heavily used to separate all these spaces.
Ultimately, at the end of this part of the project, the challenge to design a house for the abused is very limited due to the sensitivity of the topic. This project was very precedent driven leading to an uncertain outcome. Abuse should not be seen as a game and victims suffer from abuse in various ways and
different degrees of trauma or phobia may be inflicted on them.