This article first appeared in BTS Issue 4.

By Sandy Low Yu Xian, Junior (Class of 2021)
Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD)

Internship at Changi General Hospital in Singapore

Healthcare in Singapore has evolved beyond care in the hospital to care in the community, including efforts to promote active living and healthy habits. With this as the focus, I had the opportunity to work with Changi General Hospital’s (CGH) Community Development Office to conceptualise, research and design how community spaces can be optimised to promote physical activity. This is very relevant to my interest and pillar of study. Taking a design thinking approach learnt in SUTD, it allows us to understand the needs of those we are building for.

One of the highlights of my 16-week internship at CGH is the opportunity to network and work together with many healthcare professionals and community organisations. I also learnt from the SUTD Social Urban Research Groupe (SURGe) how architects collect data of their target population. I developed an online survey to better understand the spaces that Tampines residents use and partnered Northeast Community Development Council to reach out to almost 200 residents. I then organised and led an on-site mixed-method survey involving almost 60 residents, which was well received. 

Asset mapping for Tampines Central and its surrounding precincts

The findings are very impactful and I was able to present them at management meetings. With new knowledge and insights gained through my internship, I discovered how architecture and the opinions of users play a critical role in urban planning. Design thinking is key in urban planning. I am glad that at SUTD, “Design” is at the heart of our curriculum, and I’m able to apply that during my internship at CGH.


Poster designed for sharing of survey with Tampines residents

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