Year on year, we are offered a glimpse into the expansive world of design through our very own Singapore Design Week (SDW). This year’s iteration proves to be no different. With over 80 events on the roster, the past, present and future of Asia’s design landscape can soon be gleaned from a number of fascinating presentations and educational exhibitions—all meant to incite the aesthete’s soul. Expect some of Singapore’s most progressive design talents to put on a myriad of displays, spanning across concepts of fashion waste, urban living and adaptive infrastructure.
In line with the 20th anniversary of DesignSingapore Council, the theme this year will be ‘Better by Design’, also recognised as the institution’s long standing motto. “Singapore design embodies a universal attitude—the desire to always seek to make lives better using design,”offers Madeleine Ho, this year’s festival director of SDW. Good design after all, is one that helps to create a better world for everyone to live in. To that end, Lekker Architects presents FI&LD, an interactive exhibition which sheds an alternative light on the prospects for inclusive design. Similarly, a semblance of utopic living can be experienced at Playground of Possibilities. Where immersive installations envision better design solutions for marginalised communities.
For those who are inclined to learn more from the experts, the Design Futures Forum 2023 is a full-day event that will see a diverse line-up of distinguished speakers from around the world come together to discuss the future of sustainability, emerging technologies and care. And what of the true-blue design enthusiasts? Head to Emerge @ Find: a Southeast Asian design talent showcase featuring works from over 50 designers of a given curatorial theme, selected by Design Anthology’s very own Suzy Annetta.
Ahead of Singapore Design Week 2023, we round up the best exhibitions and installations you can consider making a trip out of. The best part? Most of them are close to one another, which means you can easily strike a few of your list in a single day.
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In an age of land and resource scarcity, how do we approach home design? Presenting an innovative “showcase of home design practices with Italian style”, Design Assemblies by Piemonte Home Design is an exhibition curated by Italian design visionaries Francesco Carota and Francesca Frassoldati to explore the idea of “assemblage”—which tackles how individual design objects are enhanced when incorporated into a bigger picture system.
Design Assemblies will run from 22 to 25 September 2023.
Stamford Arts Centre, #01-01, 155 Waterloo St, 187962
2 / 10
Future Impact: Homecoming Showcase
First unveiled at Milan Design Week in April, the Future Impact exhibition sees six of Singapore’s most imaginative designers—namely Tiffany Loy, Nathan Yong, Forest & Whale, Viewport Studio, Gabriel Tan and Studio Juju—share their vision of sustainability and design solutions that look towards the future. Between the use of AI to creating graphic posters that examine our relationship with Mother Nature and building cutting-edge furniture, revel in the promise of what good design can mean.
Future Impact will run from 20 September to 1 October 2023.
National Design Centre, Design Gallery 3, Level 1, 111 Middle Road, 188969
3 / 10
Playground of Possibilities
Meet the ‘Pals of Possibilities’: each one representing four playscapes being Explore, Empathise, Imagine and Adapt. Together, these immersive and socially-driven activations provide its audiences with a glimpse into the limitless possibilities of design that will stave off global challenges and preserve or enhance our current quality of life. Case in point? Building facades that will naturally cool off like elephants’ skin does—in order to diminish the palpable woes of global warming.
Playground of Possibilities will run from 21 September to 1 January 2024.
National Design Centre, Atrium (Level 1), 111 Middle Road, 188969
4 / 10
Fashion Waste Illustrated
Combining physical items and data visualisation, Fashion Waste Illustrated will be zoning in on the escalating volumes of textile waste produced in Singapore alone. At its core, the exhibition is one that questions the prevailing conundrum of the fashion industry, by putting the consumer at the forefront instead. It asks: can overall consumption be more mindful, and can we keep the clothes we purchase and wear for a longer time?
Fashion Waste Illustrated will run from 21 September to 1 October 2023.
Raffles City Shopping Centre Level 1, 252 North Bridge Road. 179103
5 / 10
The materials we use are key to design. It only stands to reason that should a more environmentally-friendly future be imagined, mindfully-sourced materials must also come into play. In a world of material fascination, Material Matters by Sony will not only explore what the trends for colours and materials will look like in time to come, but will also put a focus on its in-house ‘Original Blended Material’, Sony’s conscious paper material made from bamboo and recycled paper.
Material Matters by Sony will run from 21 September to 9 October 2023.
Sony Store, 313@somerset, 313 Orchard Road,#02-28 to 37, 238895
6 / 10
Emerge @ Find
Following its stellar debut at 2022’s SDW, Emerge @ Find will welcome over 50 emerging and established designers from the Southeast Asia region to feature their designs according to the curatorial theme of ‘Craft + Industry: Man + Machine’. Between homemade crafts and pure industrial work, all of the designs been specially selected by Suzy Annetta of Design Anthology.
Emerge @ Find will run from 21 to 23 September 2023.
Marina Bay Sands Singapore Convention Centre, Level 1, Hall A, 10 Bayfront Ave, 018956
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Design Futures Forum 2023
For those seeking out a deeper dive into the world of design, the Design Futures Forum 2023 presents a whole day affair of conversations and panels to sift through. Aimed at examining three key areas in which design can better address the future of sustainability, emerging technology and care, a bevy of prominent speakers and laureate thought leaders from Singapore and other parts of the world have been called upon for the forum.
Design Futures Forum 2023 will run from 11am to 6pm on 25 September 2023.
Drama Centre Theatre, 100 Victoria Street, #05-01 National Library Building, 188064
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The Ocean Imagineer's Work Studio
ArtScientist-In-Residence Cesar Jung-Harada has an ineffable passion for ocean technology. With The Ocean Imagineer’s Work Studio, ArtScience Museum is offering us a glimpse into his highly-intelligent world: of revolutionary designs that aim to reinvent sea transport design and discover new, ocean-drawn sources of energy for our sustained future. On selected days, viewers might even get to witness potential prototypes come to life, should Cesar choose to enter the creative workspace as he would his private workshop.
The Ocean Imagineer’s Work Studio will run till 1 October 2023.
ArtScience Museum, Level 3 Galleries, 6 Bayfront Avenue, 018974
9 / 10
Inclusive design, like never before. Offering a new philosophy on inclusive design, FI&LD will feature a range of interactive environments, graphics, products and experiences that work to showcase and emote how design can help different groups of individuals via an overarching sense of play. A new game will also be unveiled; its concept being one where the rules are constantly changing to adapt to the needs of the group.
FI&LD will run from 21 September to 1 October 2023.
Lasalle College of the Arts, City Court, 1 McNally Street, 187940
10 / 10
Sustainability Comes in Pairs
Singapore’s takeaway culture is one that knowingly causes much harm to the environment in the long run. To lessen the impact, NextOfKin Creatives launched ChopValue Singapore, which harvests used wooden chopsticks into new, stylish products of redefined value. Sustainability Comes in Pairs sees these disposables transformed into mini animal wooden toys, giving them a second shelf life instead.
Sustainability Comes in Pairs will run from 21 September to 1 October 2023.
Design Orchard, 250 Orchard Road, 238905