Local start-up StandCraft wins design competition to promote wellness in malls

Ms Shirley Lee, 27 and Mr Galven Lee, 29, with their "Peace and Power" pavilion at Orchard Central mall on July 13, 2018.
Ms Shirley Lee, 27 and Mr Galven Lee, 29, with their "Peace and Power" pavilion at Orchard Central mall on July 13, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - When the co-founders of local start-up StandCraft entered a competition for ideas to improve wellness in urban spaces, they did not think they would win it, let alone be close to securing a business deal.

But that is exactly what happened for Mr Galven Lee, 29, and Ms Shirley Lee, 27, who started their company last November to create designs for physical spaces. The two are not related.

They designed a pavilion dubbed "Peace and Power" to be located in malls.

Equipped with wireless charging for phones and panels that light up when more people use it, the pavilion won the pair the top prize of $10,000 in the competition by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas).

StandCraft has since been approached by a mall in the west to make its pavilion a space that will be available for public use.

Its prototype was open to the public at Raffles City Shopping Mall and Millenia Walk. Ms Lee, who studied architecture, said: "We wanted to create a space where interactions could happen within a public space, and to bring a fun or memorable moment into the day."

"The intention is to create moments of delight that will break the monotony and improve the emotional wellness of people who experience it," added Mr Lee, who read history in university.

Their design was chosen out of 12 submissions for the inaugural edition of the competition, which was launched last November. The winner was announced on Friday (July 13).

The top three prototypes were displayed in six malls for three weeks with the public voting for the one they liked. In all, more than 850 votes were received.

Besides public votes, the winner was also chosen by a panel of judges from URA, the Singapore University of Technology and Design and home solution company Home Fix.

The prizes were given out by Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee.

In a speech at the event on Friday, Mr Lee said: "Innovation can involve technical solutions, social innovation and even business ideas. It can help our city be more liveable and resilient in a world that is fast-changing."

He praised the finalists and their projects.

One project involved stone-shaped fabric cushions for people to rest, modelled after the game of five stones.

It was created by Mr Nicholas Yeo, 34 and Ms Samantha Tan, 29. Mr Yeo is an architect and Ms Tan is self-employed. The married couple have two children, aged two and four.

They said they wanted to make malls more family-friendly through spaces for parents and children to rest.

The other project was a punching bag that when hit, would issue a positive quote from an attached printer.

It was built by housewife Saranya Subramanian, 32, and her husband Palaniappan Shanmuganathan, 37, an engineer.

He said: "Singaporeans are often very stressed so I want to give them something to relieve that stress and also share a positive message with them."

Redas president Augustine Tan said the projects are all "very feasible" for use in public spaces.

URA chief executive Lim Eng Hwee added: "All the finalists submitted worthy proposals that were engaging and helped to meaningfully improve people's experiences of their urban environment."