Embrace! @ Yuhua

Singapore Design Award 2021 Grand Winner
Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS)

Co-Created by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) & Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE)

The premise of this project stemmed from a far-sighted concern on the MRT system. Mindful about the implications the fixed corridors created by the network of on-grade MRT tracks have on our city when WFH becomes the norm, how can design spark online or physical conversations / collaborations to rejuvenate our community spirit in a post-pandemic Singapore?

Embrace cleverly reuses construction hoarding steel panels affixed on circular steel support around the MRT pillars, with hoarding panels serving as canvas for any community expression through Paint, Stick or Project.

Grand Winner

Award organised by

Co-created by


Supported by

As featured on

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Community sponsor

An initiative by

Speech by Ar. Ong Teng Cheong (1980) on the inception of MRT

On the other hand, there are also some people who see the danger of developing a city along fixed and inflexible corridors. Advocates of this school of thought point towards the rapid strides in the micro-processor technology making electronic communications readily available at our finger tips. With a sophisticated and extensive system of telecommunications linking television monitors to computers they believe that man of tomorrow need not travel to his work. Work will travel to him instead. Work can be done at home with television monitors linking him to his fellow workers and with access to a central computer storing all the information required for his work…




Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) was conceived by city planners in 1967 for a rail-based urban transport system across Singapore. First construct spans at 216KM, with approximately 31% (67KM) on-grade tracks going across various parts of Singapore. The pursue of rapid urban mobility left behind a trail of urban scars.



Approximately 82% (55KM out of the 67KM) on-grade tracks cut through residential zones across Singapore. The underside of the MRT track has become merely a shaded transient space for many while walking to transport nodes such as MRT stations or bus interchanges.



While the MRT tracks serve as critical linkages between neighbourhoods an towns for trains and pedestrians, the Park Connector Network (PCN) provides an island-wide network of linear green corridors linking major parks and nature areas across Singapore. A portion of the MRT tracks and PCN intertwine in the community area.



Where the MRT tracks and PCN overlap beside community areas, there are opportunities to heal the urban scars through careful interventions which do not disrupt or endanger the functioning of the train services. This forms the basis of this design proposal which strive to solve both urban and community issues.



Eight columns opposite Yuhua Community Club have been selected for the inaugural launch of "Embrace!" and we are looking to bring this community project to other parts of Singapore!

The visually stimulating panels make my walk to the MRT station less mundane now!



Strategy 01


Transition spaces below MRT tracks are ideal as there is high commuter traffic on a daily basis between neighborhood and MRT stations.

Strategy 02


Active participation and contribution by the community would be vital in the success or impact of this initiative. The process of active participation would also fulfil one of the design objectives - community interaction.

Strategy 03


For those who did not participate in the artwork creation process, they can be engaged through the various interactive elements of the artworks such as Augmented Reality (AR), Treasure Hunt, scanning of QR codes to read more, or simply to just take a lovely photo in front of the artwork and uploading on social media.




It is hoped that through this initiative, we can spark the rejuvenation of underutilized spaces beneath the MRT tracks in other parts of Singapore and turn them into heartland galleries that promotes a greater sense of community and ownership!

My daughter hopes that her artwork will be selected for display one day!


Scenario Study

Only certain MRT track scenarios would achieve the objectives of this initiative. Here are three different scenarios studied:

Road | Road

This scenario is not ideal since the roads are barriers for community engagement and impede accessibility to the underside of the MRT tracks.

Road | Community

The spaces below the MRT tracks beside PCN in this scenario has potential for community to engage, while serving as visual interest for commuters on buses or cars.

Community | Community

Another preferred scenario for this design initiative is when the MRT tracks are flanked by communities both sides. This allows maximum encounters with the design initiative.

These installations definitely make my run much more enjoyable!



The design allows for three application methods: Paint, Project or Stick. Different methods can be applied depending on the intent of the initiative by the Participating Agencies.

Option 01


The most hands-on approach that allows like-minded individuals in the community to come together to create an artwork for the neighborhood.

Option 02


For more intricate graphics created through computer software, they can be printed and sticked onto the hoarding panels. Painting after the graphics have been sticked on can also be done to allow for community engagement.

Option 03


In the subsequent launches, collaboration with night festivals can also be explored to give light artists the opportunity to transform these underutilized spaces into a light show right in our heartlands!

This initiative allows elderlies who have similar interest to come together to work towards a common goal!


Ernesto Sirolli

The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, imagination, and resources of its people.