SPECIAL REPORT

Design For A Week... And Beyond

by Victor Chen
Photography by Chino Sardea
Art Direction by VC Chong
05 Mar 2018

Singapore Design Week returns this year with a program comprising activities that will likely continue benefitting everyone beyond the event’s official run

A major international event, SDW is a major international event (it runs this year from from March 5 to 18) that champions design thought leadership by bringing together design, business, and public policy to explore ways of bringing innovation and solutions to build businesses, engage communities and enrich people’s lives.

Among its principals objectives is to take design to the masses, and to this end organizer DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) is working with government agencies and local creative businesses to bring SDW beyond the NDC. District Activations involving National Heritage Board (NHB), HJGHER and LOPELAB, will bring installations and activities to Bras Basah, Bugis, Holland Village and Tanjong Pagar, while design trails in places of architectural and heritage value, named The City Ramble Design Trails, will be set up by Shophouse & Co. Another highlight is long-standing trade show, the International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS).

Our favorite creatives identify themselves, their works, and their participation in the upcoming event.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Lorenzo Petrillo, LOPELAB

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Who We Are

At LOPELAB, our philosophy is to do good and to inspire. In everything that we do, we evaluate whether the outcomes would do good to the people, to our planet and to brands, and always work at achieving the best outcome that would maximise the most amount of good.

We strive to create spaces that will build communities of people who share similar values and interests, and that are constantly challenging the public’s perception of their city and neighbourhoods. Public spaces play such an important role in community building, and we hope that people can see beyond just the physical, and join our movement to create spaces that serve as a platform to build meaningful interactions.

Some of our projects include hammock parks, communal rocking chairs, street festivals and parties, and guerrilla activities that take over public spaces to make them engaging and communal. With these projects, we hope to inspire people to think beyond what they know, and get creative! Only if we work together can we change for the better, moving towards a more inclusive and integrated society.

I left my corporate life to work towards the goal of improving public spaces to bring people together. This purpose keeps me going every day, as I hope for a better future for communities to bond. Additionally, Singaporeans are beginning to appreciate the work that we do, and see value in our efforts. This definitely helps to fuel my passion, and I am excited to see what the future would bring, especially with the support of the local communities.

What We Believe In

Designers should design for society and humanity. This is not a concern, as most designers already have both in mind! At LOPELAB, we believe in People, Space and Content, where we use human-centred design to connect communities and unique experiences. We understand that everybody plays a part in design, and therefore, we are always looking for ways to engage all the different stakeholders – the authorities, professionals and citizens – to create meaningful discussions so as to work towards the bigger goal of designing liveable cities for communities to thrive in.

What We Have For SDW 2018

LOPELAB is presenting Singapore’s first ever Urban Design Festival, a key programme of Singapore Design Week 2018. The theme of the festival is Stay and Play, dedicated to urban design and the growing global movement in placemaking and the activation of public spaces.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Stella Gwee, Co-Founder & Director, SHOPHOUSE & CO

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Who We Are

The studio firmly believes that great places in our cities exist when culture, community, and urban spaces are interconnected as a whole and our work is about forming and strengthening that connection. We also believe that to make great places happen, we must start and focus on the place instead of specific elements or disciplines like design, events, policies. It is about all of it working together in harmony and SHCO’s role as a placemaking studio is to be the strategist and intermediary to bring it all together

Our projects broadly takes a few forms. We develop sustainable placemaking strategies, activate places through creative programmes, and design interventions that catalyse communities in both private and public spaces to create a sense of place. Since founding it with Adib Jalal in 2013, we have worked with various city agencies, boutique and commercial real estate Developers, non-profit organisations, private companies, local communities, and creative practitioners from across design disciplines as we work on public spaces and buildings, private developments of various scales, and underutilized spaces.

Whether we are aware or not, design is present in our everyday lives and plays a pivotal role in society and humanity. Some people think of design as making something appear beautiful but design is much more than that. It is not about creating “nice and new” for its own sake but about being “better”. When seen from that perspective, design has so much to offer.

Just a few examples and there is so much of it: design can make things better in the sense that an object or space can become more delightful to use or experience. It can also be better because a designed solution can make something more efficient (cost and materials). Good design can also help a product or space achieve its outcome/intent or realise its desired vision better. Of course there are many more examples that good design can impact society ranging from issues of ethics to sustainability.

What We Do

As placemakers, we come up with creative solutions and strategies to turn urban spaces into meaningful and memorable places for the people who use it. The various traditional disciplines of design are tools for us to achieve that vision, either through urban furniture that encourage lingering and interaction in public spaces, delightful architectural spaces that are conducive for activities while have a sense of identity, better communications design that convey information while being sensitive to local nuances, etc. We also embrace a broader definition of design where we see ourselves as designing systems that will enable vibrancy to thrive- from operational guidelines, partnership frameworks, and so on. To us, design and creativity is a state of mind that can be applied to our multi-disciplinary work of creating great places for all of us who live in cities.

What We Have For SDW 2018

Shophouse & Co. is bringing back the Design Trails to the Singapore Design Week 2018 with a new format and brand: The City Ramble Design Trails. It retains the core spirit of discovery and conversations about design but with new programming pillars that offer different experiences for various segments.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Justin Long & Jerry Goh, HJGHER

Who We Are

We are a design collective with specialized backgrounds in design and behavioral science. We cover design, interior architecture, art direction, content creation and design thinking to provide multi-disciplinary and wholistic brand experiences from start to end.

Some of our porjects include our own publications dedicated to design to culture, Underscore and U Press, and branding interiors at Pollen, Bincho, Birds of Paradise, The Cheese Artisans, and Kabuke.

We initiated The U Factory in 2013, and transformed Gilman Barracks into an artist village for artists, creators and designers. We also organized The U Symposium in 2015 and 2016, which were a symposium dedicated to the independent magazine community, featuring the editors and creatives of Fantastic Man, The Gentlewoman, Apartamento, Kinfolk, etc. to shed insight into making and running an independent magazine.

We are excited to launch District Design Dialogue - Holland Village in 2018, which is about authentic indelible experiences, and which for us mean unforgettable memories. 

Design is a good tool for problem solving, telling stories, and in making a voice heard. Good design is universal and transcends language barriers, time, and space. At HJGHER, we try in our way to ensure these voices and stories are heard, whether through design or as a platform to bring people and communities together. We strive for a sense of community in everything that we do.

What We Believe In

Design should help bring a better tomorrow. Design is for progress. Design is the future. The future is design. The future is hope.

All that we seek in life are genuine experiences. And those that remain within us are often simple, long-lasting and beautiful. Design is human, afterall.

What We Have For SDW 2018

HJGHER is behind District Design Dialogue – Holland Village, an activation of the creative enclave in conjunction with Singapore Design Week 2018. The activation includes the takeover of 10 houses in Chip Bee Gardens and populating them with design and activities across everyday categories of lifestyle, design, fashion, food, music and art throughout the week.

 

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Pan Yi Cheng, PRODUCE

Who We Are

PRODUCE is a design studio for the City, and one with prototyping capabilities. We develop and actualise ideas for the city through the design of objects and spaces.

Integrating the design studio with a workshop, we have the ability to test, experience and make proposals at a 1:1 scale with our precision prototyping machines. This forms an integral part of our design and evaluation process, which allows us to realise our design visions meticulously.

We strongly believe in a rational and objective approach to design which means that every project is born out of a carefully identified or framed conflict and developed towards a precise, purposeful resolution that is necessary, probable and/or inevitable.

PRODUCE actively integrates stakeholders such as users, clients and specialists as vital players in the design narrative. Constraints and economies become important ingredients that enrich the projects. We wholly embrace these conditions as generative forces that shape our formal ideas and strategies. The concepts that we develop out of this process are thus inherently contextual.

Some of the notable projects we have completed includes Fabricwood. Xtra + Herman Miller Shop-in-shop, KKi Sweets and the Little Drom Store. We have also designed Monoform Living Strata apartment.

What We Believe In

Design should frame questions of existence and discover the essence of things. How does a project come into existence? What is the essence of the site? What is the inherent attributes of a material? What is the purpose of an object?

I think that these questions allow the designer to examine and refine his or her views of the world and subsequently communicates these views to end-users of the design.

Produce approaches every project through these questions and develops a narrative to guide all aspects of the design such as formal strategies, structure, construction detailing material selections and even colour palette.

What We’re Bringing to SDW 2018

PRODUCE is curator of SingPlural 2018 and designer of the SingaPlural Pavilion. As curator, it seeks to celebrate the exploration process designers and businesses undertake to develop their projects and products. As designer, it is collaborating with Formica.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Razvan Ghilic-Micu & Jiaxin Chum, PUBLICWORKS

Who We Are

Publicworks is a Singapore based collective led by Razvan Ghilic-Micu and Jia Xin Chum that engages in all-things-design with enthusiasm and resolve.

Our work is driven by the strong belief in the transformative power of architecture as an agent of meaningful delight, innovation and empowerment for both the individual and the greater public.

We operate at a wide range of scales: from re-envisioning the future Port of Singapore as a series of decentralized buoyant ecologies floating out at sea - proposal in collaboration with ARUP NYC and Princeton University, to designing versatile affordable furniture inspired by the lively eclecticism of HDB corridors - our JIA project that won a D’Star Award last year.

Besides undertaking design projects, we also curate talks and exhibitions and teach design studio - we truly enjoy the rewarding energy and exchanges we get from this diversity of preoccupations.

What We Believe In

We believe that the agency that comes with practicing architecture and design must be put in the service of humanity. We see every project as a call to action, and seek to create meaningful places and delightful objects that endear to people.

Our work somehow inevitably ends up toeing the line between romantic idealism and pragmatic resolve. We find that to be the most fertile ground for purposeful innovation and discovery.

What We’re Bringing to at SDW 2018

Publicworks is woking on two projects for Singaplural 2018: Headspace and Perspective, both with leading European textile manufacturer Kvadrat. This collaboration was born out of the shared work ethos and attitude towards the joint responsibility of designers and suppliers to be agents of change and champion socially and environmentally responsible design.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Wai Lim Chan, TRIGGER

Who I Am

I am an industrial designers. I run my studio, Trigger Design Pte Ltd.

I help my client in industrial design from create ideas to meaningful, and sustainable products and experiences.

I believe good design triggers positive social change that improve life, drives business success & builds a strong brand. It connects people through story infused with Fresh, Clever, Love and Trust.

Some of the products that I have design range from home decor and furniture to consumer electronics and medical equipment. Some designs that I’ve worked on and are still on market include Dell AIO PC Design family XPS 2710 and Dell All-in One PC Inspiron23, Icons of Sembawang outdoor children rocking furniture, and The Endangered, a series of scented memory boxes in the form of endangered animals.

What Design Means to Me

Design needs to be a practice with outcomes geared towards the protection and correction of damages we have brought to our environment and the wildlife. It is a call for assuming an individual and personal responsibility that starts with a small daily thought and action for saving the Earth. We must learn to cherish and to protect a landmark/ an animal. Once it is gone, we will never able to turn back – the message of my project “The Endangered” in 2016.

What I’m launching at SDW 2018

Trigger’s project for the Singapore Design Week 2018 is titled as ‘StealPlay’, which encourages “steal some time from our lives to devote to play” amidts modern life’s overlapping commitments. Steal Play aims to bring people back to those moments of quiet delight, stolen interludes from the frenetic pace of modern life.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Debby Yu, STUDIO DAM

Who We Are

STUDIO DAM is a multidisciplinary design studio. With a background in graphic and industrial design we, Debby Yu (Singapore) and Matthijs Rikken (The Netherlands), graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) in the Netherlands.    

DAE’s education curriculum has a great influence in our body of work and that shaped us to become the designers we are today. We always start our creative process by working with materials rather then creating shapes on paper/computer and then finding a material that fits the shape.    

Our approach is to always work intuitively with our hands, get inspired by a material, experiment with this material and let the material guide us into a certain direction. In this manner, new concepts and outcomes are created.  

What’s Our Commitment

We believe design should either be solving a problem or creating pleasure.    

For our studio, design is not only about showing a final product… Its about conceptualising, prototyping and also educating our audience how things are made.  

What We’re Designing for SDW2018

Studio Dam is creating the Chroma Light Series, a research based on porcelain, light, colour, and translucency, for the Singapore Design Week. Inspired by old light fittings made of porcelain and brass, and crafted as beautiful and long-lasting pieces.

  • LORENZO PETRILLO, LOPELAB
  • STELLA GWEE, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, SHOPHOUSE & CO
  • JUSTIN LONG & JERRY GOH, HJGHER
  • PAN YI CHENG, PRODUCE
  • RAZVAN GHILIC-MICU & JIAXIN CHUM, PUBLICWORKS
  • WAI LIM CHAN, TRIGGER
  • DEBBY YU, STUDIO DAM
  • NATHAN YONG, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

Nathan Yong, NATHAN YONG DESIGN

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What I Do

I run a design firm, a furniture retailer and a lecturer. I believe that we have to give respect to our environment and people when designing so that everything works in harmony. My latest project is public seatings and Bins for THE JEWEL at Changi airport which will be open by end of this year. Very honoured to be involve with this project that is design by Moshe Safdie, as it is a very prestigious project that will definitely be a destination that most tourist will chance upon when they are here. It also shows that The Changi airport group is now able to engage with local furniture designers and take local designers seriously with respect, I hope this paves the way for more government linked companies to engage with local product designers so that it inspires other SMEs to follow suit.

What I Believe In

Maybe I am an old school designer, I am petrified when designer or media think that there should be some big game plan that design can change the world… the current so-called disruptors. I prefer to let things evolve in an organic manner, things that last a bit longer due to the appropriateness of it at the time it serves the society and then let it silently change the world. So as a designer I always believe in just doing your area of work well, with good intention comes good values and then let that change the world.

What I’m Doing for SDW2018

Nathan Yong Design is exhibiting new items under its in-house label FOLKS at The International Furniture Fair Singapore 2018. It will also debut POPUP, a series of flatpack furniture for office/home office using colored MDF and CNC technology I created in collaboration with local firm SuperStructure.