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Saturday, November 21, 2015 - 05:50
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FINE-GRAINED CITY GRID: Xu, Phua and Ng conceived the 25km x 48km axial aerial map of Singapore to capture the island's peculiar coastline as a start. Then they proceeded to zoom in on the downtown district, which exhibits the Singapore River and showcases the interesting juxtaposition of old versus newfangled developments in the Marina Bay area. The maps the trio create are drawn from scratch, using Autocad software and editing it in Photoshop.
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'URBAN X MAPS celebrates the urban fabric of our built environment. Our maps capture our fine-grained city grid and scaled building blocks.' - Klo'e Ng, who together with Richard Xu and Megan Phua designed URBAN X MAPS

FINE ART OF MAPS

URBAN X MAPS

WITH Google Maps at your fingertips, who still fumbles with a fiddly folded map? Nobody, but a group of Singaporean-based designers hopes to change that by bringing back the charm of old-school maps.

Richard Xu, Megan Phua and Klo'e Ng are the brains behind URBAN X MAPS, a collection of maps of Singapore that are produced as art pieces. "Maps are representations of spaces. URBAN X MAPS celebrates the urban fabric of our built environment.

"Our maps capture our fine-grained city grid and scaled building blocks," says Ms Ng. "The level of details encapsulated in our maps is a microcosm of our city-state."

The range of maps they have include an entire map of Singapore, and one of the downtown area, but done in different colours.

The trio are camera shy and would rather their works speak for them.

They met during their postgraduate programmes in the National University of Singapore (NUS). The concrete idea for URBAN X MAPS came after graduation and before embarking on their professional careers in architecture and urban planning.

On their decision to design maps, Ms Ng says that "maps of places such as New York and Paris are often celebrated, mapped out and highly sought after. We felt that there was a lack of something similar for the Singapore market".

The maps the trio create are drawn from scratch, using Autocad software and editing it in Photoshop. "Drawing maps and mapping out the details of Singapore is what we did a lot in school, hence part of that experience rubbed off on us, so much that we turned the process into a passion project," says Ms Ng.

They conceived the 25km x 48km axial aerial map of Singapore to capture the island's peculiar coastline as a start. Then they proceeded to zoom in on the downtown district, which exhibits the Singapore River and showcases the interesting juxtaposition of old versus newfangled developments in the Marina Bay area.

"In the grand scheme of things, we will look at mapping selected districts to feature elements that are peculiar to Singaporeans," says Ms Ng.

Each A3-sized map costs S$35 and $60 if it's framed. The maps are printed on special paper, but can also be printed on canvas upon request. The trio can also do customised maps. Response to URBAN X MAPS has been encouraging. Their clientele ranges from both locals and expatriates. "We had one customer from the United States who shared that most of her childhood was spent in Singapore and she wanted a memento of the city she grew up in," says Ms Ng.

She adds that the maps are conceived as centrepieces. "We think that map aficionados and city-dwellers would be interested in investing in our designed pieces to decorate their workspaces and homes," she says. "Going forward, we hope to collaborate with local joints and offices to adorn their spaces with a distinctive touch."

.URBAN X MAPS can be found at www.urbanxmaps.com. To order, email urbanxmaps@gmail.com

'URBAN X MAPS CELEBRATES THE URBAN FABRIC OF OUR BUILT ENVIRONMENT. OUR MAPS CAPTURE OUR FINE-GRAINED CITY GRID AND SCALED BUILDING BLOCKS.'

Klo'e Ng, who together with Richard Xu and Megan Phua designed URBAN X MAPS