Fusionopilis, A-Star’s corporate expose and industrial bragging point illustrated sensationalised scientific endeavours and exciting yet typical socially irrelevant technologies. The building, alike the technology it protected, was futuristic and cold, however offered a panoramic view of the cities lesser seen postcodes. The first exhibit, and ultimately spectacular, 3-dimensional holographic theatre was guarded by an enormous, confronting and inherently secure sliding door that seemed ill-fitting for the physical manifestation of the A-Star institute’s prosperity and more appropriate for the lair of an eccentric super-villain. Unsurprisingly, from this point onwards, photography was prohibited with the intention of classifying the assets of the foundation.
Evidently, Fusionopolis existed as an inconsistent amalgamation of A-Star’s economic, technological and scientific endeavours. The extravagant environment, although impressive, was delivered in conjunction with its commercial aspirations, rather than denoting the social or political ramifications of the technology it housed. Holistically, the visit gave insight into the depth and dissonance of technological research and design, and emphasised realities surrounding the financial personality of R&D. Undoubtedly, the most marketable inventions and adaptations are those that facilitate the wants of the greater public, rather than the needs.
Personally, I hope that this is not a consequence of the ‘push and pull’ marketing system, which could potentially lead to the commercialisation of pivotal scientific bodies whose funding be otherwise allocated to scientific necessities. Although otherwise excessive, Futuropilis was an impressive and undeniably spectacular incarnate of the flexibility of the A-Star corporation.
Following the visit to the A-Star institute, we were allowed an intimate tour of the Singapore Zoo and its back-of-house facilities. Disappointingly, the zoo was less than impressive on many accounts and effectively heightened my appreciation for Melbourne’s own attractions. Despite the passion and enthusiasm that the staff portrayed towards the well-being of the enclosed animals, the living conditions in many of the exhibits were unrealistic, overpopulated and confronting. Particularly in the case of the attraction’s fully-grown polar-bear, whom laid uncomfortably in solitude on a concrete slab, appearing malnourished and expressing grimace. Despite all attempts to be diplomatic in my writing, I cannot condone this behaviour on behalf of the tourist attraction.
The day, in its entirety, elucidated the underside of the nation’s commercial activities. Juxtaposed to the prosperous endeavours in Singapore’s scientific and industrial sectors, I feel that the commercial state of the country is potentially shallow and immoral.