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Sunday April 13, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday April 13, 2014 MYT 11:21:31 AM
by leong siok hui
Design Larger Than Life featured six outdoor installations accessible to the public, including this one designed by Claudio Colucci and entitled Spectrum. Located on the Dhoby Ghaut Green, a public space next to Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, Spectrum tries to immerse people in the fundamentals of design through a spectrum of colours, forms and spaces. -Photo by LEONG SIOK HUI/The Star
The inaugural Singapore Design Week offered a visual feast as well as a cerebral fix for design aficionados.
YOU could get yourself 3D printed and reproduced as a mini plastic figurine of yourself. For retail therapy and design ideas, you could hop onto a free shuttle service that took you to six design shops and studios around Singapore. Or if exhibitions are your thing, you could feast your senses on wooden sculptures and furniture crafted from salvaged logs by designers who are inspired by memories of time spent in green spaces.
These were just some of the fun, stimulating activities held during last month’s weeklong Singapore Design Week (SDW). Organised by DesignSingapore Council, a government agency that promotes design, the inaugural SDW featured over 50 local and international design activities, including trade shows Maison&Objet Asia and International Furniture Fair Singapore 2014.
Held from March 10 to 16, the event attracted 57,000 participants. Offering everything from design talks and seminars to exhibitions and film screenings, SDW was open to the design community, businesses, students and the public.
Interesting highlights included the Collective Consciousness In 3D project initiated by the Design Incubation Centre, a design laboratory in the National University of Singapore.
The public was invited to digitise themselves using 3D scanning technology. The 3D versions were then uploaded to a website where the images could be viewed, downloaded or printed out in 3D.
“The response was overwhelming. We had to hand out queue numbers and advise those keen to experience technology to return in two to three hours,” said Design Incubation Centre director Patrick Chia in a press statement. “I am heartened that more people are appreciating what design can offer.”
Participants of the Design Trails: Creative Circuits programme embarked on a tour with stops at various atypical retail and design studios around Singapore town via a free shuttle service.
One of the stops, the Foundry Store, is a homegrown retailer and producer that collaborates with international designers to create furniture and home accessories under the Foundry brand.
Participants were also given a handy map as a guide to explore the neighbourhood surrounding each stop and other design-related venues in the vicinity.
In talks like “Hello, you want to be a designer?” adroit Singaporean designers like Edwin Low, Patrick Chia and Pann Lim shared their stories of struggle and getting that first big break in the design world.
In short, it was more than just a trade fair and conferences. It is this proliferation of sui generis design retail concepts, dynamic design studios and workshops, homegrown brands that capitalise on local craftsmanship and advanced industrial processes, and a design-supportive government that make a design capital.
Sounds like Singapore is on the right track.
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