2015 marked Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. Exhibitions and events celebrating Singapore’s 50-year milestone were held around the world, hailing the city state’s many achievements. One exhibition highlighting Singapore’s contribution to urban design was held from June to September in Paris at the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine museum called the 1000 Singapores: Eight Points of the Compact City. Upon its completion, the exhibition then moved ‘home’ to Singapore.

1000 Singapores was commissioned by the DesignSingapore Council to explain Singapore’s urban model of land intensification, planning strategies and ‘export urbanism’ through diagrams, drawings, photographs and architectural models arranged in a tunnel-type structure. Originally presented at the Venice Biennale 2010, the premise of the exhibition was that if 6.5 million people were able to live sustainably in an area of approximately 710 square kilometres, then Singapore could potentially act as a model for the compact city of the future, housing the entire world’s population of 6.5 billion in 1,000 Singapores.

This current exhibition compared Singapore and Paris in depth, using the planning strategies of both cities to model sustainable urbanism and illustrating how nature plays a prominent role in both cities – Singapore positions itself as a ‘city in a garden’, while Paris operates as a city with many gardens – a dense urban area with distinct green landscapes.

Pico was instrumental in bringing 1000 Singapores to French audiences, providing management, production, installation, logistics and teardown services for the exhibition. After its close in Paris, our team then brought the entire exhibition back to Singapore, where 1000 Singapores ran throughout December 2015 and January 2016.

Due to space constraints at the venue, we needed to adjust the layout of the exhibition – instead of a tunnel, we proposed that the exhibits be presented in a 36-metre circular array containing 300 diagrams, drawings and photographs. Eight large-scale models were placed inside the circle, creating a neat, symmetrical structure and a harmonious display. Despite the necessary layout change, the client was extremely pleased with the new design. They also praised both exhibitions and our timely, quality service delivery.