Hard City, Soft City is a film programme organised by NUS Museum and NUS Baba House.

Serving as a postscript to the APRU University Museums Research Symposium 2021 on Universities and Architectural Heritage, this film programme draws out cinematic impulses around the Symposium’s discursive material to investigate the porous layers between the built environment and the manifold interests that both govern and are elided by it.

Hard City, Soft City invokes Jonathan Raban’s book and lexicon to describe the tensions between the macro structures that bind the city, and the plasticity of personal imaginaries that encroach it. Through a series of films, blog resources, and a closing panel discussion, the programme’s collection of intimations, memories, and aspirations coalesce to form the soft city, offering moments of resistance and transcendence against the limitations of master plans and the processes of urbanisation and global capital. As a corollary, each of these representations are new avenues to approach pertinent questions of policy, conservation, modernisation – that is, the polemics of negotiating the spaces we produce and build for ourselves.

To find out more about the film programme, head over to: https://hardcitysoftcity.squarespace.com/