The biennial summit themed ‘I am
NOT Creative: Nurturing the Next Generation of Changemakers’ also showcased over 30 novel works created by more than 1,000 students
Singapore, 9 November 2023: Over 500 educators and industry leaders convened at the third Design Education Summit today to discuss how design in education can unlock creativity and nurture the next generation of changemakers – creative and resilient youths who can ride the future waves of change.
Presented by DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) as a part of the Learning by Design initiative, the sold-out summit returned this year with the theme, ‘I am
NOT Creative: Nurturing the Next Generation of Changemakers’. Curated by Mr Hans Tan, Associate Professor at the Division of Industrial Design at the National University of Singapore and three-time recipient of the Design of the Year category at the President*s Design Award, the summit urged participants to make a fundamental perspective shift in how we see creativity, and recognise that it is a skill that can be harnessed and magnified through design.
Guest-of-Honour Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, said: “How we approach and solve problems is a life skill. This is why I am so happy to see DesignSingapore Council working on this closely with Ministry of Education and other like-minded partners, including many industry partners who are here today for us to embark on this journey, to inculcate design thinking skills in our students starting from young. If we can do this well, then truly in time to come, we need not fear that Singapore cannot distinguish ourselves as a nation, full of people that can value add to the world.”
This year’s summit explored three critical questions following focus group sessions with educators.
- Is Design for everyone?
- Will human creativity survive AI?
- Are my students too young to make a difference?
As sub-themes for the Design Education Summit, these questions were mapped against recommendations put forward by the Design Education Advisory Committee for the future of design education.
Shedding light on his curatorial direction, Mr Hans Tan said: “As an educator, a common refrain we encounter is the belief that ‘I am not the creative type’. But creativity is an inherent ability within every one of us. As participants apply the ideas and frameworks acquired, I hope they are inspired by the vast possibilities that design education offers.”
Speakers at the Design Education Summit included:
- Ms Liew Wei Li, Director-General of Education, Ministry of Education
- Mr Low Cheaw Hwei, Chairperson of the Design Education Advisory Committee
- Ms Laura McBain, Managing Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University
- Mr Aditya Batura, the co-creator of the acclaimed “Potato Pirates” game, recognised by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times
Through presentations, fireside chats and workshop sessions, the summit covered topics ranging from empowering educators as futurists, to the impact of AI on ideas generation, and how to mobilise youths as social innovators.
Showcase of student works
National Design Project
In addition, the summit presented 21 projects from 18 schools under the National Design Project. These projects included a device developed to remind seniors to take their prescribed medications, to a high-tech room which can detect stress levels in occupants. Highlighting the students’ ingenuity in harnessing the transformative potential of design, these projects were created in response to the theme ‘Design for Wellness’, where 50 teams submitted solutions for environmental, social, workplace, or mental well-being.
Learning By Design
The summit also spotlighted 10 innovative projects ranging from reimagining school and community spaces to ideas for a sustainable future. Schools and design partners involved included Queensway Secondary School, Jurong Pioneer Junior College, Beeplab and Forest & Whale. These were brought to life by Dsg’s Learning by Design initiative which provides a platform for students to engage in real-world problem-solving through a design experience.
Speaking about the summit, Mr Eugene Chin, Director, Talent Development, DesignSingapore Council, said: “We’re encouraged by the overwhelming support and robust discussions we saw today. This extended beyond an exchange of ideas to actual collaboration, and covered how we can further develop design education, to inspire Singapore’s youths to discover their inherent capacity for creativity.”
“The participants and speakers have affirmed that design thinking is a life skill. We need to further integrate design principles in education to prepare the next generation of changemakers who will create solutions for tomorrow’s challenges and lead us towards a more innovative and sustainable future,” he added.
About the DesignSingapore Council
DesignSingapore Council’s vision is for Singapore to be an innovation-driven economy and a loveable city through design by 2025. As the national agency that promotes design, our mission is to develop the design sector, help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, and make life better in this UNESCO Creative City of Design. Dsg is a subsidiary of the Singapore Economic Development Board.
For more information, please visit designsingapore.org.
About the Design Education Summit
The Design Education Summit is the only biennial thought leadership platform in Singapore that connects educators of all levels with innovators, designers, researchers, and digital experts to promote accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability in and through design. The third edition of the Design Education Summit aims to highlight the importance of design literacy for everyone.
For more information, please visit designeducationsummit.sg.