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Growing Leaders by Design

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DesignSingapore Council awards four scholarships in 2019 to cultivate leaders of the future

Singapore, 2 August 2019 – DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) awarded scholarships to four young talents in a ceremony graced by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs, Dr Tan Wu Meng, at the National Design Centre this evening. The Dsg scholarship aims to groom design talent who have the creativity, drive, passion, and heart to serve Singapore to be leaders in their field of design training, so as to develop Singapore into Asia’s leading hub for design talent.

2.    The Dsg scholarship, which was enhanced in 2018, offers design talents a more holistic education journey. It is not only focused on the academic aspect, but also provides opportunities of learning and support from industry mentors and buddies. In 2019, the Dsg scholarships will enable both undergraduate and postgraduate studies for Ms Jocelyn Angela Salim, Mr Ziqq Rafit, Ms Olivia Seow, and Ms Yip Jing Xin. This brings the DesignSingapore Scholarships to a total of 58 over 14 years since its inception in 2005.

3.    Said Dr Tan, “We will need a design-empowered workforce with skillsets to match. In fact, people with design-training are already highly sought after in the job market, and the number of design professionals in Singapore is expected to grow to more than 12,000 by 2022. More companies outside of the design sector will look to hire people with design skills – people who can bring creativity to work every day, and across disciplines too”.  

4.    2019’s scholarship holders come from diverse backgrounds and interests, but are united in their willingness to experiment, and a firm belief in the power of design to improve lives. Jocelyn’s drive to learn new things from tutorials and experiment in art, crafts and design saw her transform her hobby into a small online business. As this year’s only undergraduate scholarship holder, Jocelyn looks forward to addressing the challenges of a rapidly changing society through meaningful visual narratives. Ziqq, founded “Hello by Design” to advocate design as a catalyst for social change, when he realised the impact of small design interventions, such as painting murals and playgrounds, on a community, while on a school service learning journey to Cambodia. Since then, Ziqq has been deliberate in his use of Design Thinking methodology to achieve holistic integrated solutions in his projects across sectors like healthcare and FinTech.

5.    The desire to drive the social impact of design is echoed by Olivia who was from the pioneer batch of students at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), where she majored in Engineering Product Management. Olivia is keen to drive design projects which harness the power of machine learning. Product designer Jing Xin, a SUTD Engineering Systems and Design graduate, has always placed emphasis on human-centred design, and digital transformation efforts in both the public and private sectors. Jing Xin was inspired by her visit to the DAWN Café in Tokyo which was staffed by robot waiters operated remotely by patients with motor neurone diseases or spinal cord injuries. She hopes to hone a transdisciplinary skillset, including game mechanics, collective leadership and financial modelling, which can be used to build sustainable solutions, and to create more such projects, bringing technology and humanity together. 

6.     “The concept of design and its impact on our society has undergone tremendous change, especially in recent years. We are entering an age where design is a critical enabler for today, and in our future economy. Our scholars have a bright future ahead of them. Armed with transdisciplinary skillsets to better operate in a corporate setting, they will undoubtedly be ready to face real-world challenges and to inspire and lead others in their wake”, said Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council.

7.    Upon graduation, this year’s scholars will join an alumni of design talent, many of whom have gone on to impressive careers, and made valuable contributions to society through their work. For his Folks Kitchenware for the Blind Design, 2018 scholar Kevin Chiam was the National Winner for the James Dyson Award 2018. Qixuan Lim, a 2016 scholar, is a living example of versatility and adaptability, key qualities in design-led creative thinking skills, as she took the leap into unknown territory from sculpture and Information Design to User-Experience (UX) Design, to prepare herself and assist society in coping with the digital age.


Please refer to Annex A for the profiles of 2019 DesignSingapore Scholars and Annex B for the DesignSingapore Scholarship Fact Sheet.

About the DesignSingapore Council

DesignSingapore Council’s (Dsg) 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. The Dsg is a subsidiary of the Singapore Economic Development Board. For more information, please visit

Written on : 02 Aug 2019

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Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre