Discipline the City



How Safe Are We? Security and Trespassing in the City

The discerning citizen is respectful of other people's possessions and property.

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The more property and possessions people amass, the more there is the desire to secure and guard these against trespassing and theft. Yet how much confidence can people place in security mechanisms to keep themselves and their property safe?

This workshop consists of two parts: the first examines how the fear of trespassing has influenced how we read, design, and inhabit our built environment. A building cannot be fully understood without examining the people who want to break into them. The idea of trespass is a deviant counter narrative wound up tightly with the built environment; without barriers there will be no need to trespass, without trespassers there will be no need for barriers. Peering closely through the right lens, one can observe that every city implies the trespass that might someday occur. 

The second unpacks the role of the lock as the symbol and act of security. Gaston Bachelard writes in The Poetics of Space, “The lock doesn't exist that could withstand absolute violence, all locks are an invitation to thieves. A lock is psychological threshold". The workshop will lead the participants through an overview of locksport – a recreational hobby that allows individuals to demonstrate a variety of skills that includes lock picking, lock bumping, and a variety of other skills traditionally known only to locksmiths and other security professionals.

This workshop is open to all. All participants will receive a lockpick and training lock set. There will be a $15 surcharge to cover lockpicking materials.


Yvette Koh
Yvette is an Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Design at Temasek Polytechnic and founder of YiDesigns, a design module established to explore ideas and space, artistry and craft, architecture and the home. She is also the founder of her precinct's reading initiative that cultivates the love of reading, and also makes books and readers accessible to underprivileged children in the neighbourhood. A keen believer on the importance of architectural theory, critique, and application of resolve, she believes that good design responds to its environment and social fabric. Apart from architecture, Yvette enjoys reading critical theories and strategies, and imagines that in an alternate universe she would be a military strategist.

LockpickSG consists of Zach and Gerald. Zach started picking locks as a young kid because he was always losing his keys. This curiosity led him to research extensively and sought out locksmiths to pick up various lockpicking methods. This is the first time he will be sharing his insights and experiences on locksport on a public channel. He is aided in this workshop by his locksport buddy, Gerald.