Singapore’s highest design accolade honours a diversity of recipients and projects for addressing global and local challenges while creating meaningful change
Singapore, 30 June 2021 – President Halimah Yacob presented the President*s Design Award (P*DA) 2020 today at the Istana to 11 Designer and Design of the Year recipients for creating innovative and impactful solutions that address global and local issues such as ageing societies, under-served communities, climate change and sustainability.
Jointly organised by the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the biennial award was given to two Designer of the Year and nine Design of the Year recipients who have contributed to economic, cultural and community transformation, raised quality of life, made ground-breaking achievements in design, and elevated Singapore on the world stage.
Guest-of-Honour, President Halimah Yacob said, “The common thread that runs through good design is the improvement it brings to our quality of life. All of this year’s award recipients have accomplished this through their creative, thoughtful and empathetic designs. Each award-winning project is a unique testimony to how design can be used to empower lives, uplift communities and propel innovation.”
A total of 129 submissions across various disciplines — including architecture, interior design, visual communications, user interface, UX/UI design, educational and user experience, spatial design, engineering design and more — were received, reflecting the critical role of design in shaping how we can better live, learn, work, and play.
Ar. Mark Wee, Executive Director of Dsg said, “This cycle of the P*DA takes place amidst an unusually trying time when societies and economies are in flux. The turbulent changes are a stark reminder that as designers, we can serve a higher purpose by seeking to solve societal challenges to create a better world. This year’s P*DA recipients exemplify design’s ability to transform, improve and touch the lives of people from all walks of life. We hope others will be inspired by these projects and see how good design can create a brighter, better future.”
Ar. Yap Lay Bee, Group Director (Architecture & Urban Design), URA added, “The P*DA 2020 recipients and projects have demonstrated responsiveness to environmental and community outcomes. This is testament to the pertinent role that architects play in creating places that inspire the community, drive connections and break social barriers. This results in well-designed buildings and spaces that aren’t just attractive, but also sustainable and beneficial for generations to come.”
The Designer of the Year award went to a Singapore designer and an architect duo who have spent their careers focused on making a difference to their industry, community and country:
• Kelley Cheng, Creative Director of The Press Room, was recognised by the Jury for her outstanding body of work spanning visual communications, publishing and exhibition design; and for tirelessly working to champion and nurture Singapore’s creative community.
• Husband-and-wife architect team, Ar. Khoo Peng Beng and Ar. Belinda Huang, Directors of ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism Pte Ltd, were lauded for developing socially meaningful, community-focused projects and for their outstanding contributions in mentoring and developing young and aspiring architects.
Nine projects received the Design of the Year award for demonstrating design’s ability to transform and touch the lives of people from all walks of life, here and abroad:
• For the young, Sparkletots Large Preschool at Punggol, led by Ar. Ho Tzu Yin and Ar. Matthew Yeo from LAUD Architects Pte Ltd, provides a safe and inclusive space to learn and play by reinventing the conventional notion of a childcare facility.
• Kampung Admiralty, led by Ar. Wong Mun Summ and Ar. Pearl Chee from WOHA Architects Pte Ltd, and Goodlife! Makan, led by Ar. Seah Chee Huang from DP Architects Pte Ltd, create spaces that reintegrate our silver generation into the community and revitalise their golden years.
• Cloister House, led by Ar. Alan Tay and Ar. Seetoh Kum Loon from Formwerkz Architects, reinterprets the cluster house typology to provide a functional yet stunning living space in the tropics.
• Etania Green School, by Prasoon Kumar and Robert Verrijt from Billion Bricks Ltd is a source for experiential learning as well as a place of pride and dignity for the stateless children and community in Sabah, Malaysia.
• EYEYAH! by Steve Lawler and Tanya Wilson empowers children with creative and problem-solving skills through visual communications not just in Singapore, but in the United Kingdom and the United States.
• The [Not-So] Convenience Store, led by Astri Nursalim from Kinetic Singapore is a tongue-in-cheek exhibition, which has sparked necessary discussions around the cost of our culture of convenience on the environment.
• Jewel Changi Airport, led by Moshe Safdie from Safdie Architects as well as RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd, is an architectural feat which has propelled Singapore to the world stage by redefining the notion of an air transit hub.
• AirMesh Pavilion, led by Professor Carlos Bañón from the Architectural Intelligence Research Lab (AIRLAB) @ Singapore University of Technology and Design, realises the future of construction by pushing the boundaries of 3D printing.
Please refer to Annex A for full details on all the above-mentioned recipients.
Selection Criteria for the P*DA
Of the 129 entries received this P*DA cycle, 13 designers were shortlisted for Designer of the Year, while 38 design and architecture projects were shortlisted for Design of the Year.
Candidates for the Designer of the Year category were assessed on their design philosophy, innovation and originality and the level of leadership in their design disciplines, with accomplishments that demonstrate impact on contemporary life and living environments, social and national significance as well as iconic value. The Designer of the Year is also a role model who actively nurtures the next generation, and a driver of change — advancing the standards of the industry through his or her influence and contributions.
Design of the Year projects were evaluated on the creativity and originality of their design ethos, design research, aesthetics and craftsmanship, and impact of design in one or more of the four areas: enabling economic transformation, raising quality of life, advancing Singapore’s brand, culture and community and ground-breaking achievements in design.
The recipients were selected by a panel of 18 prominent Singapore and international leaders in design, business, and architecture. This year, seven of the jurors in the Design and Architecture Panels were past P*DA recipients.
Please refer to Annex B for details on the jurors, and Annex C on the Award.
The award-receiving works will be featured in a travelling exhibition across the island, slated to commence at The URA Centre after the award ceremony before moving to selected venues including National Design Centre, library@orchard, Temasek Shophouse and Singapore University of Technology and Design. More venues will be confirmed closer to date. For the well-being of all visitors, visitation arrangements will adhere strictly to prevailing safe management measures. For more information about the P*DA travelling exhibition, visit https://pda.designsingapore.org.
About the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg)
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 www.designsingapore.org
About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA)
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is Singapore’s land use planning and conservation agency. Our mission is ‘to make Singapore a great city to live, work and play’. We strive to create an endearing home and a vibrant city through long-term planning and innovation, in partnership with the community.
URA’s multi-faceted role includes being the main government land sales agent. We attract and channel private capital investments to develop sites that support planning, economic and social objectives. We also partner the community to enliven our public spaces to create a car-lite, people-friendly and liveable city for all to enjoy. In shaping a distinctive city, URA also promotes architecture and urban design excellence.
For more information, please visit www.ura.gov.sg