Design week back with a boom

Key highlights at the Singapore Design Week include Rice Cube, a cuboid rice cooker; Tasting Cabinet (above), a mirrored cabinet for storing Armagnac; and Shoe Tree, a modular shoe storage shelf.
Key highlights at the Singapore Design Week include Rice Cube, a cuboid rice cooker; Tasting Cabinet (above), a mirrored cabinet for storing Armagnac; and Shoe Tree, a modular shoe storage shelf. PHOTO: DESIGNSINGAPORE COUNCIL

Singapore Design Week will feature events that are not only targeted at business and design professionals, but also families

Singapore Design Week this year will feature a record number of 120 activities in its line-up.

From March 3 to 12, craft fairs, design conferences, exhibitions and design workshops will take place islandwide.

Most of the activities - which run the gamut from children-friendly pendant-making workshops to design conferences - are free, although some workshops may charge for admission.

Key highlights include an exhibition of unique one-off pieces - including a cube-shaped rice cooker and a shoe-storage system - commissioned by the iconoclastic United Kingdom-based design magazine Wallpaper.

Another notable event is the home-grown Singaplural, a six-day long festival showcasing installations from the local and international creative industry.


Key highlights at the Singapore Design Week include Rice Cube (above), a cuboid rice cooker; Tasting Cabinet, a mirrored cabinet for storing Armagnac; and Shoe Tree, a modular shoe storage shelf. PHOTOS: DESIGNSINGAPORE COUNCIL

Visitors, for instance, can check out interactive installations such as The Waiting Room, where they dip their hands into boxes to retrieve slips of paper with answers to questions plastered around the exhibit.

The Innovation by Design Conference is returning to the festival for the second year.

This time, organisers partnered media company Time Inc to bring in a host of international and local speakers to headline the conferences.

Guest speakers include chief design officers from companies such as Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo.

While key events are mainly targeted at business and design professionals, there will also be a host of other family-friendly fringe activities.

For example, there is a do-it-yourself lightsaber workshop at the National Design Centre, where participants can create lightsabers using everyday materials.


Key highlights at the Singapore Design Week include Rice Cube, a cuboid rice cooker; Tasting Cabinet (above), a mirrored cabinet for storing Armagnac; and Shoe Tree, a modular shoe storage shelf. PHOTOS: DESIGNSINGAPORE COUNCIL

There is also an open house - organised by brand-consulting firm OIG International - where parents can learn to plan the perfect birthday party for kids.

In its fourth edition, Singapore Design Week has grown since its inception in 2014, when it had only 30 activities.

Organised by the DesignSingapore Council, it aims to raise awareness of good design by bringing together a collection of all things design-related.

Ms Agnes Kwek, executive director of the DesignSingapore Council, says: "In order for our country to really recognise the value of design, it has to be everywhere and we have to come up with the narrative that design is not only for designers, by designers."

Past visitors are already looking forward to returning to this year's edition.


Key highlights at the Singapore Design Week include Rice Cube, a cuboid rice cooker; Tasting Cabinet, a mirrored cabinet for storing Armagnac; and Shoe Tree (above), a modular shoe storage shelf. PHOTOS: DESIGNSINGAPORE COUNCIL

Ms Cherie Lim, 25, who attended last year's festival, says that she is looking forward to the new offerings this year.

"I'd really like to see more new collaborations between local design agencies," says Ms Lim, who does design work as an assistant manager at the Maritime Port Authority.

She adds that the events are a good opportunity for her to network with fellow designers."It's nice to see how people design with a Singapore flavour."

Visit www.designsingapore.org/SDW for more information.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'Design for everyone'. Print Edition | Subscribe