Lekker Architects

Horror Vacui (2019)

Installation

Image courtesy of the artist

An installation that utilises technologies of managing public space to create a sense of uncomfortable disquiet, Horror Vacui by architects Lekker includes an empty chair blocking an exit that is framed by cautionary signs and repellent technologies to ward off youths. Not everyone can hear the faint and irritating sounds surrounding, if not seemingly emanating from the chair. In fact, one can’t be sure that they hear anything at all. Horror Vacui illustrates the psychology of horror, wherein the presumption of an unseen monster, allows terror to slowly overcome the viewer, infecting and colouring the everyday with fear.

Lekker Architects is a Singapore-based, multi-disciplinary design practice. Ong Ker-Shing and Joshua Comaroff met nearly 20 years ago at Harvard GSD, and have been working and writing together ever since.

Recent projects by Lekker include buildings and landscape, with a focus on residential and educational projects, and projects for the arts. Since the birth of their three children, Josh and Shing have found an interest in design for children—working on preschools, kindergartens, playgrounds, as well as events and cultural spaces tailored for younger audiences. They believe that design is a key factor in enhancing the development of creative and analytical thought.

Together, Josh and Shing have received the Presidents’ Design Award for Design of The Year in 2015, for Caterpillar’s Cove Child Care and Research Centre, and were finalists for Design of the Year in 2016 for the Yale-NUS Campus Landscape. They are recipients of the URA’s Architectural Heritage Award (for Lorong 24a Shophouse), and Maison & Objet’s Rising Asian Talents.

Josh and Shing remain interested in research and writing, and like to work at the intersection of academia and practice. They recently published Horror In Architecture (ORO Editions), a tongue-in-cheek survey of perverse and dream-like buildings.

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