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Designs that inspire
WITH over 100 events happening during Singapore Design Week, design buffs are spoilt for choice on how best to spend their time.
The fourth edition of Singapore Design Week (SDW), which celebrates all things design, is on from March 3 to 12, at the National Design Centre and across various locations in Singapore.
Agnes Kwek, executive director of DesignSingapore Council, the event's organiser, says: "The suite of content will inspire visitors and participants and build greater awareness of good design in their everyday lives."
Even before SDW's official launch, some events have already been sold out, one of which is the Innovation by Design Conference, where personalities such as Ernesto Quinteros, chief design officer of Johnson & Johnson, will speak. "SDW engages businesses and C-suite to help them understand how design can be used in business strategy," says Ms Kwek, on how SDW is not only for the layperson but businesses too.
Here are 10 highlights not to be missed.
Singaplural 2017: Stories - A New Perspective
March 7 to 12, 11am to 10pm
F1 Pit Building, level 3,
1 Republic Boulevard
HOW will Singapore look in 2065? Ten designers, all of whom are past President's Design Award recipients, team up with 10 illustrators to present their visions of the future Singapore in an exhibition titled, Tomorrow: Design Stories of Our Future. But unlike most exhibitions, where visitors are to adopt a look-only stance, the illustrations will be compiled into black and white books, and visitors get to borrow copies of the book in a specially set-up library.
Tomorrow: Design Stories of Our Future is just one of the many activities happening at Singaplural, the key event of Singapore Design Week.
Another not to miss exhibition is the KYO Project, a collaboration between the Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade & Industry, Japanese craftmakers and Singapore designers. The result is a collection of furniture and lifestyle products that include whisky glasses, toys and cribs that show the skills of Japanese craft masters and modern interpretations from Singapore designers. Singaplural promises to be more than just an event which showcases products. Its Pop-up section supports the growth of Singapore brands, with new products specially developed for sale at Singaplural. These include a selection of ceramic plates from Supermama and Nonya curry powder from Shermay's Singapore Fine Food.
This edition of Singaplural will also see collaborations from local designers and international brands such as Uniqlo. Visitors will be able to enjoy a series of mini games and installations which emphasise the quick-dry and breathable aspects of AIRism, a feature found in Uniqlo's apparels.
March 11 and 12, 11am to 6pm (buses run at 30 min intervals)
National Design Centre and various locations
THE ever popular Design Trails brings participants closer to the creative community at stops around the city. Participants hop on and off the free shuttle buses to check out cool spaces such as the Airbnb office, Collision 8 (below), a co-working space, Oasia Hotel Downtown and furniture retailer Journey East. Other stops include Sing Mui Heng, a specialist on fashion craft materials, the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and Chong Wen Ge, a multi-faceted heritage landmark.
There will be scheduled guided tours and intimate talks by the people behind each location.
The Design Cookout
March 4, 6pm to 9pm
Kapok Store, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road
DESIGN shop, Kapok, and local design firm, Made by Tofu, are throwing a tze char party. Besides chomping on tze char grub, visitors have the chance to leave their mark on a gigantic art installation of a tze char box, by using the ubiquitous red rubber bands to loop onto a seemingly endless number of nails. On that night, there is also the opportunity to meet the creative Japanese folks behind HDB: Homes of Singapore, a book which documents 118 intimate portraits of HDB living.
Singapore + Wallpaper* Handmade Classics
March 9 to June 11, 12pm to 7pm
Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road
THIS exhibition features 15 original, one-off pieces commissioned by Wallpaper* magazine and created by internationally renowned talent.
Some of the ingeniously conceived designs playfully acknowledge the unique parameters of the contemporary Singaporean lifestyle, while others delight and amuse with through their handcrafted beauty.
For example, there is the Shoe Tree, a collaboration between shoe designer Beatrix Ong and London-based furniture collective Joined+Jointed, which solves shoe storage problems. The Shoe Tree's modular design merges a totem pole and shoebox stack, handcrafted from American black walnut with marquetry finger joints. Other items in the exhibition include a compact rice cooker, a minibar with five decanters in a mirrored box, and a stylish travel cocktail set.
March 4 and 11, 11am to 7pm
WY-TO, 34 Upper Cross Street, #04-132
SINGAPORE-based firm WY-TO not only designs houses, but has also done installations at the Venice Biennale and exhibition designs at the National Gallery of Singapore.
At this open house, visitors can meet the people behind the team, as well as hear them share their expertise on architectural design for humanitarian aid, sustainability, interior design, exhibition design and cultural curation, as well as to discuss collaboration opportunities.
The session is not only good for designers but design students too.
9 Lives Design Show
March 4 and 5, 10am to 8pm; March 6, 10am to 1pm
Visual Arts Centre, 10 Penang Road, #01-02, Dhoby Ghaut Green
MOST furniture designers are familiar with creating pieces for people to use. For the first time, nine designers have come together to showcase their innovative furniture designs for cats.
Titled 9 Lives, the exhibition is the brainchild of Singapore artist and entrepreneur Tan Chin Chin, who notes that as more Singaporeans adopt street cats, there is a growing demand for quality cat furniture. She herself had trouble finding stylish pieces for her own cats.
"9 Lives aims to engage and inspire Singaporeans to think critically about how innovative design can enhance the living conditions of their cats in land-scarce Singapore," says Ms Tan, who designs and sells pet collars under the label Goood Pet Collars.
Most of the designers do not have cats, such as Eelaine Toh, who created the Watermeowlon, a cat bed that can be used as a centrepiece in a small home. The watermelon-shaped cat bed was inspired by the iconic HDB playground series.
There will also be cats at the exhibition to show their "apurrval" of the furniture. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the cat furniture will be donated to the Cat Welfare Society. Ms Tan adds that depending on demand, there are plans to produce more of the pieces.
Design, Make and Craft Fair
March 4 and 5, 11am to 9pm
National Library Building, Level 1 - The Plaza
PARTICIPANTS get the chance to pick up basic creative skills in making things, and in the process, learn that design is part of everyday living.
With the theme Creating a Better World by Design, visitors can attend hands-on workshops to design, make and craft objects, guided by designers, makers and craftsmen from Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.
Some of the workshops include learning how to hand-carve a piece of reclaimed teak wood into a spoon; making a statement necklace using upcycled materials from textile factory waste and making a planter using airdry earthenware clay and traditional hand building technique such as coiling and pinching. The workshops are suited for all ages, including children accompanied by adults.
Frontliners in Action
March 3 to April 8, 9am to 9pm
National Design Centre, Atrium, Design Gallery 1 and Courtyard, 111 Middle Road
FRONTLINERS in Action comprises three exhibitions that were first shown at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition by La Biennale di Venezia in Venice. The three exhibition are the Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone; Limit/Limitless and the Living Shelter. They represent the theme of Reporting from the Front. Don't miss the highlight Space to Imagine, Room for Everyone which is a display of over 50 customised lanterns illuminating photographs. The lanterns offer a glimpse into the homes of Singaporeans living in public housing and how each family has imaginatively created a space to call their own.
The Best of Singapore Interior Designs Winners' Exhibition from Design Excellence Awards 2016
March 4 and 5, 12pm to 6pm
VLV level 1, Clarke Quay
IF you are planning to renovate your home, you may want to be at the inaugural Interior Design Festival Singapore. Organised by the Interior Design Confederation of Singapore, programmes in the festival include a range of industry events to help professionals learn more about their profession and from industry peers, and public events to raise the general awareness and understanding of Interior Design as a profession.
One public event that is worth checking out is the Best of Singapore Interior Designs Winners' Exhibition, which showcases 50 award winning projects.
- To register, go to idcs-public1.peatix.com
March 3 to 12, 10am to 7pm
PickJunction, level 4, 72 Eunos Avenue 7
SHOWERS FORECASTED, a new collection of handmade soaps, is industrial designer Andrew Loh's reimagination of how the mundane daily ritual of showering, can offer moments of fun. There are four pieces in the collection, Partly Cloudy, Light Winds, Clear Skies and Monsoon Rains, and their names are inspired by metrological terms used to describe various states of Singapore's weather. For example, Partly Cloudy features an outer layer of merino wool felt over the glycerin soap. The wool fibres act as exfoliating agents and the soap's natural antibacterial quality makes it a completely hygienic solution. The pieces in the collection are currently prototypes, but Mr Loh will develop them for sale in the near future.
- Singapore Design Week runs from Mar 3 to 12 at various locations. For a full list of events, see https://new.designsingapore.org/sdw.