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‘Park Yourself’ bags top prize for rejuvenating Paya Lebar Central

Design installations under URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge enlivened public and retail spaces islandwide

  Published: 28 April 2022

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah has announced the winning design ‘Park Yourself’ at the URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge 1 award ceremony held at Marina Square today. A cash prize of $10,000 has also been awarded to the team behind ‘Park Yourself’.
“The place to be happy is here” – reads a handwritten message on a whiteboard. Designed with bright and bold colours, the ‘Park Yourself’ installation was envisioned as a vibrant urban park that generates activity through interactive play. Its colourful structure and scribbles beckon curious mall visitors, inviting them to spend some time interacting with each other in a safe and fun manner.

‘Park Yourself’’s colourful frames and whiteboards draw in passers-by, inviting them to explore the structure and interact with others.

The creators of ‘Park Yourself’, Jonathan Christian Chin and Pearlyn Chang, attributed the idea behind the installation to their hope of rejuvenating shared spaces in Singapore, taking into account how access to many public spaces, such as playgrounds, had to be restricted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They said, “We wanted to bring the ‘social’ into social distancing, by bringing friends, families and strangers together to bond and interact, but at the same time, encourage them to do so at a safe distance.”

The third edition of the Challenge jointly organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) was launched in late October last year. It invited the public to submit ideas for innovative designs to enliven public spaces in mixed-use developments and shopping malls.

After an initial round of submissions, five shortlisted design prototypes were transformed into installations and exhibited at fourteen locations in March and April 2022. Apart from ‘Park Yourself’, which was on display at the Paya Lebar Central pilot Business Improvement District2, the other four finalists were ‘Colour Play’, ‘Fill My Little World’, ‘Cash Love Clout’ and ‘Symbiosis’. More information on the five shortlisted design prototypes can be found in the Annex [PDF, 721kb].

URA’s Chief Executive Officer Lim Eng Hwee said, “We are very encouraged by the quality and quantity of submissions this year, which translated into innovative design interventions that revitalised Singapore’s public spaces and retail developments. The positive public response towards the installations demonstrates the benefits when the public and private sectors collaborate with the community to co-create a more vibrant and meaningful built environment.”

The winner was decided by a panel of judges from URA, REDAS, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and the National University of Singapore, in addition to the results of an online poll. 1,672 votes were received this year, with ‘Park Yourself’ emerging as the most popular design with 781 votes.

“The concept for ‘Park Yourself’ was particularly well-executed. It led to a lively and immersive installation hosted at Paya Lebar Quarter and Paya Lebar Square that was well-received by mall visitors of all ages, transforming the shopping experience at the development into a shared and memorable one,” said REDAS President, Chia Ngiang Hong.

From April 30, ‘Park Yourself’ will be exhibited at Marina Square. The public is invited to experience the installation during the mall’s opening hours.

1 The URA-REDAS SPARK Challenge is a competition that seeks ground-up ideas from the public that can raise the quality of the urban environment. Each edition invites interested parties to submit design ideas based on themes that are typically tied to current issues faced by Singapore and our built environment.

2 The pilot BID programme was launched by URA in 2017 to encourage stakeholders to take greater ownership in enlivening their precincts by adopting a formalised place management framework. To date, six precincts have formed pilot BIDs.