Built environments that are familiar to us can often look very different when approached by someone or something else. We share our urban landscape with animals; by understanding how they navigate or experience public space, we can reinvigorate our own perspectives.

First conceived as a publication, HABIT©AT is an inquiry into how street cats in Singapore inhabit man-made spaces and urban landscapes. Street cats or community cats, as they are affectionately known, can be found in many public housing neighbourhoods around Singapore. As creatures of habit and resource, their behavioural patterns directly inform how they discern their surroundings.

This project follows the daily routine of four community cats — Sister, Hua Mao, Friend and Goma — as they wander around a block of public housing flats. By following the cats through a twenty-four-hour cycle, visitors are presented with a refreshed understanding of structures that might have otherwise gone unnoticed, such as gutters and curbs, and how they are used by these community cats as enclosures, backrests or sunbeds.

This project was conceived, researched and produced by Atelier HOKO. It was completed with the support of Ryan Benjamin Lee, Quek See Hong, Stephanie Goh and Karen Wai.

Image credit: Atelier HOKO

Atelier HOKO (2002) is an independent research lab that focuses on the study of the growing disengagement between people, things and space. The atelier hopes to cultivate in people, an open-ness and ability to un-know, bringing about a heightened curiosity towards all phenomena by taking a fresh look at reality. Founded by Alvin Ho and Clara Koh.

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