10 Dec 2020 – 7 Jan 2021 | National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road
DesignSingapore Council presents a curated showcase of seven designs by eight emerging Singapore designers, presented online and at the National Design Centre. Each design has been hand-selected for its visionary approach to current issues, and has also adapted to the pandemic reality we currently live in.
Singapore, December 2020 – DesignSingapore Council’s (Dsg) Visions of the Future imagines future trends in the wake of the pandemic, through seven designs that look at the improvement of health and wellbeing through rituals and practices, sustainable processes, new materials and safety through design. Through Visions of the Future – and its wider work – Dsg aims to recognise and support good designs and designers for their role in impacting society, economy and quality of life through innovation and growth.
The participating designers were selected through an open call held by Dsg in late 2019, and were mentored throughout the process by Wendy Chua and Gustavo Maggio, founders of the Singaporean multi-disciplinary design practice Forest & Whale.
“It is a joy to see our young designers’ in-depth design research and creative responses to the pressing concerns of today. From transforming the act of soapmaking into a meditative ritual, to empowering the elderly to hold onto their fading memories, these young designers provide a fresh perspective to everyday issues – and those brought anew in the current climate – that anyone can appreciate. We are most excited to present this intimate show to the world, both at the National Design Centre and on a digital platform for all to enjoy.” – said Mr. Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council.
Design in a Pandemic State of Mind
As cities begin a slow return to some semblance of normality and the initial alarm to the public health crisis subsides, people begin to grapple with what it means to live in a pandemic state of mind. The effects of quarantine fatigue and isolation linger; we see the repercussions in the cognitive decline of seniors with dementia and the rise in mental health cases of anxiety and depression. How might design help us to thrive despite the challenges of the moment and reimagine hope in such dire times?
“All seven works help us to imagine life in the new normal through the lens of design, from safeguarding our wellbeing from our unconscious behaviours to coping with isolation, from repairing cultures that subvert the use-and-throw consumers’ mindset to rethinking production systems through processes and materials. As in Oliver Sacks’ quote, the most creative ideas are usually conceived against the backdrop of huge upheavals.” – said Ms Wendy Chua, Co-Founder, Forest & Whale.
From memory stimulation therapy using new technologies to design probes that aid us in overcoming conditioned reflexes—such as touching our face mask unconsciously—the exhibition highlights the significance of design in safeguarding our health and wellbeing. Beyond the immediate needs of the crisis, it explores the intangible but deeply rooted cultural beliefs that anchor one in a future filled with uncertainties. Through new interpretations of rituals of repair and mindfulness, design plays a pivotal role in building financial, mental and emotional resilience.
The seven works presented in Vision of the Future illuminate the opportunities in the crisis by imagining new rituals of living in the new normal. Through innovations in craft, technology and materials, the designers illustrate a hopeful future—better by design—despite the pandemic.
Exhibits and a full programme of discussion panels and podcasts will be available on the dedicated microsite here.
For high res pictures, more details on the design projects and some thoughts from the designers, please see Annex A. The profile of the designers can be found in Annex B. Annexes can be downloaded below.