Labour x Domesticity.

The aim of the project is to reconfigure my home by redefining the spaces where labour and domestic activities take place.


The pandemic has had an immediate impact upon everyone— completely transforming the daily experience of our lives. One of the most far-reaching changes has been that in a very short amount of time, our relationship to work has been completely transformed. Millions of people are suddenly working from home, which has raised many questions for the future of housing design. Even as the pandemic has pushed to the surface the inequality embedded in the current DIY conversion of domestic space into workspace, it has also presented the idea that another world might be possible. If we create a live-work space that could improve the current situation of our lives, how might new living typologies help with creating a balance life?

Domesticity and Labour are not separated by definite borders in today’s society, causing productive spaces to become unproductive and making home an area unsuitable for rest. By separating the spaces where Labour and Domestic activities take place, the efficiency of each activity will increase, which will positively affect the atmosphere of each space. They can be organised into a system of productivity. The targeted community would be the home owners. With work-from-home set to be commonplace even when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, more people are looking for layouts in residential units that can effectively be transformed into home offices. This is an investigation into the potential of the domestic space and everyday life when moving from an individualistic lifestyle towards a collaborative one.


About the Site.

I am explaining these themes in the context of my own home. It is located in Jurong East, Singapore. Located near the heart of Jurong, my home is accessible to the surrounding towns, Bukit Batok and Clementi. Using my house as a case study, my main aim would be looking into the current way of living, and making greater changes by redesigning my home. Through the narrative view of a first-person account, it helps to better understand the idea that I would want to bring forth, through material objects as it gives a relation to the occupants. The house that I am staying in is a four-room flat that was built in 1997, in the estate of Jurong East.


Living & Working Spaces. 

At the living room, as you can see, the table is placed right next to the television. So when my mother is watching her show, and when my brother/ father is using the computer to do work, it might affect their productivity (due to sight and hearing). The work space do not have its privacy, and can be easily distracted. In order to supervise my brother, my father had placed a working area near the living room. He will be able to keep an eye on him while watching the television at the same time. The negotiation of space occurs in the moment, where the purpose of the spaces interlinks with each other. The quality of space changes through the interaction between the occupants. (Goffman, 1977). Before the pandemic, it was not as serious as they do not have to stay at home daily.

From my observations, it seems that there are no distinction between the realms of working and living. Even with the thought of separating both activities (placing one to the another room), it seems that there is a lack of space to cater to both activities. Initially, the working area was placed there due to that. Looking at Figure X and X, it shows the situation of space on the table. Another issue is to be organized. it shows the working condition of the space.


Routine Diagram.

Diagrams were done in a 24h format to track my family’s typical weekday routine. The diagram tracks the prominent spaces that my family frequents the most, where it shows their priority in the usage of space at home. By comparing the paths they took before and after the pandemic, it shows the results of how my family were affected by it. The spaces usage needs to be reconsidered as it has to fit every element in during the pandemic season.


Layout Reconfiguration. 

After looking at the spaces visually, I divided them into 3 main zones, which are live, work and play. Live, work and play is a balance skillset that I would like to create in my design. It is a lifestyle where people aim achieve it. Based on my definitions, I came up with diagrams to illustrate my thoughts.

I would like to create a system whereby homeowners are able to configure their own spaces according to their needs and preferences. Using the diagrams, people can choose how to configure their spaces. As an example, I have selected my ideal space which is a combination of L1 + W5 + P2.

They can be rearranged throughout the day to meet the demands of the homeowners as they work, play and learn from home, while retaining the core elements of domesticity. This combination allows me to create flexible living and work spaces, which is specially catered to my family. It would helped my family to have a conducive environment for the activities they are doing.


Final Outcome. 

The two moveable booths are separated to form a home office with a desk and a living and dining room. The flexible volumes can divide the open plan into 3 rooms.

The model helps to explain the layout reconfiguration ideation I had in mind. The model is made up of 3 components, with the first being live, second being work and third being play. These are able to move or slide according to the way you like. As the material is slightly transparent, you will be able see the full system as they stack on one another. By enabling each system to be configured according to your own spaces, it allows the user to see and experience the kind of spaces that they make up of, allowing them the fully utilize their space. By having such concept of reconfiguration, home owners will able to maximize their home spaces to the fullest. It provides a interesting view in seeing home spaces.

Labour x Domesticity.

site plan

This shows the space relation and it seems that there are no defined borders between the realms of working and living.

How can we further work on spatial planning such that productive spaces become an area for work whereas unproductive spaces become an area for rest?

Routine Diagram

Before the Pandemic vs. After the Pandemic

Layout Reconfiguration

Live, Work, Play

Mode 1: It consists of a working space, dining space and living space. Mode 2: It consists of the dining space, living space and the sleeping space. Mode 3: It consists of the working space, living space and the sleeping space.
Sectional Perspective; emphasis on the ‘playing zone’ when ‘work’ and ‘live’ are not in use.
When Booth 1 is shifted to the left, it compromises the working zone, giving more allowance to the living are. When the working zone is in use, Booth 1 will be shifted to the right, giving ample space for people to work.
When Booth 2 is shifted to the right, it gives spaces for the dining area to take place. When not in use, the table can be folded and kept. During night time, shift Booth 2 to the left in order to place the bed. The bed can also be kept when not in use. This has definitely saved space, and are able to enjoy all programmes within these zones.