New design award aims to improve dining experience for people with disabilities

Submissions can come in various forms, including product design, mobile app concepts and spatial design.
Submissions can come in various forms, including product design, mobile app concepts and spatial design.PHOTO: CULTURE- EDUCATION AND NEW GROWTH

SINGAPORE - With plenty of dining options in Singapore, most people here enjoy the convenience of eating out. But this is not the case for people with disabilities, who find it hard to navigate restaurants and menus.

To help make dining out less of a hassle for this group, the Singapore Creator Awards (SCA), co-organised by Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao and the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, has rolled out a new award.

Called the Inclusive Design Award, it is jointly launched by SCA and SG Enable, an agency that helps persons with disabilities. It is an additional category to the third edition of the competition.

In line with the theme of New Normal, New Designs, creators are invited to submit designs that will give persons with disabilities a better experience in a food and beverage (F&B) setting.

Submissions can come in various forms, including product design, mobile app concepts and spatial design, as long as they promote an inclusive environment for the disabled to eat out. The designs should be innovative, functional and scalable.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and have a chance to implement his or her design in a real F&B environment.

Examples of inclusive designs could be apps that read out menu items, or a restaurant laid out in a way that gives enough space for a wheelchair user to move around easily.

Ms Ku Geok Boon, chief executive of SG Enable, says that while the pandemic has given rise to innovations in design, these often overlook the needs of persons with disabilities.

"Through this competition, we hope designers and F&B business owners will consider the needs of persons with disabilities and their caregivers when designing any new product, service or environment," she says. "As more people understand accessibility and inclusion, we will be closer to realising our vision of an inclusive society and enabled lives of persons with disabilities."

The award is open to Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and foreigners based in Singapore.

Interested applicants must submit their entries consisting of the proposed design, the rationale behind it and its go-to-market potential at this website by May 2.

The judging panel for the award is chaired by Ms Lim Sau Hoong, recipient of the President's Design Award Singapore Designer of the Year 2007. Also on the panel is Mr Ron Loh, director of SG Enable's Enablers Development, which focuses on technology and innovation to include the disabled.

The winner will be notified to attend an awards ceremony held on July 30.

For details of the competition, go to Singapore Creator Awards 2021's website.