Communal Dining: A Celebration of Our Hawker Culture

16 May 2022 - 29 May 2022
Long Concourse,
Level 1
10am – 6pm
Free Admission
Designers from Raffles Design Institute were invited to research, reflect, and respond to Singapore’s Ubiquitous Hawker Culture – our food, our multiculturalism, our architecture, our social innovations, the way we eat, the way we socialise, the wares we use, our way of life.

Communal dining is the practice of dining with others. The practice is centred on food and sharing time with people who come together to connect over meals and conversations. Singapore’s tradition of communal dining at hawker centres has been recognised by UNESCO for its cultural significance – the United Nations’ cultural agency inscribed Singapore’s hawker culture to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2020.

“Hawkers prepare a variety of food (‘hawker food’) for people who dine and mingle at hawker centres. These centres serve as ‘community dining rooms’ where people from diverse backgrounds gather and share the experience of dining over breakfast, lunch and dinner”, reports UNESCO.


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Such is the cultural impact of something seemingly mundane, perhaps even overlooked. Through Communal Dining, we invite young designers from all walks of life to define what Singapore’s Hawker Culture means to them. Communal dining during the pandemic might seem a little contradictory, when we have been limited to permissible groups of two or five, in adherence to public health measures as the new-normal. But it’s impossible to refute how important our local hawker culture is to the construct of the Singaporean identity.

Designers are encouraged to employ interdisciplinary thinking in their creative process, to work collectively to innovate, design, and interpret these unique communal dining and culinary practices, set in our multicultural urban context.
Organised by Raffles Design Institute

In Partnership with

Venue Supported by

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Museum guide

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