3 Dining Commons, Yale NUS, Singapore | Blog

Posted by Seb Egan - 07 October, 2020


Much more than designing furniture as product, this is a story of rigorous dining commons space planning and a furniture design process driven by intelligent understanding of how people behave in buildings, and how furniture can optimise those buildings to support that behaviour.

Yale University’s first–ever joint collegiate collaboration, with the National University of Singapore, is the first liberal arts college in Singapore and one of very few across Asia.

It makes Yale the first Ivy League university to establish a college bearing its name in that part of the world. But the start of the project, at least, was troubled. Singapore restricts freedom of assembly and association, and homosexual acts are illegal there. The response to this political environment - and to Yale’s perceived subscription to it ­­ (from Yale alumni and a good few other commentators and organisations), was heated to say the least.

The contract encompassed 500 chairs for each of three dining halls plus both round and long rectangular dining tables. The basic Luke Hughes ‘Newnham’ chair design, originally developed for Newnham College Cambridge in 1994, was updated, sections and angles modified, and given three different backs, one for each of the halls, which are all roofed and detailed in different architectural styles.

For more information:

View the Yale NUS project

Enjoy the article? Delve deeper into Luke Hughes & Company’s place in the Arts and Crafts tradition with the fascinating new book 'Furniture in Architecture' . Available through Thames & Hudson

Topics: stacking chairs, dining hall, Case Study, Education & Research, Singapore, Yale University

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