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Press Release

Singapore Design Week returns this September with a brand new vision

28 min read

Taking place from 16 to 25 September 2022, the new design festival experience will be defined by three distinctive pillars: Design Futures, Design Marketplace and Design Impact. 

21 July 2022 – Our UNESCO Creative City of Design will come alive this September as Singapore Design Week (SDW) makes its much-anticipated return after a two-year hiatus to showcase the best of design from Singapore and beyond. 

Following a major strategic review, SDW will be relaunched with a brand new vision that demonstrates Singapore’s distinctive brand of creativity, exploring design through three defining pillars:  Design Futures, Design Marketplace and Design Impact. 

Singapore Design Week 2022 will see a stellar line-up of designers and creatives across the three pillars of Design Futures, Design Marketplace and Design Impact. First row from left: Paola Antonelli as photographed by Marton Perlaki (Design Futures Symposium), Yoko Choy and Tony Chambers (FIND – Design Fair Asia) and Suzy Annetta as photographed by Gavin Green (EMERGE @ FIND); Second row from left: Ronald Akili (N*thing is Possible), Daniel Boey (#FashTag), Tan Wei Ming and Alvin Tjitrowirjo (EMERGE @ FIND); Third row: Vu Hoang Anh, Karyn Lim, Jim Zarate-Torres and Robert Sukrachand (EMERGE @ FIND) 

“The two-year hiatus was a good time to hit the refresh button. We deliberated on a stronger festival vision and how we could carve a distinctive and enduring niche by focusing on Singapore’s design strengths. The new Singapore Design Week (SDW) will shine the spotlight on Singapore as a futuristic city of design and innovation economy; an East-West connector and convenor for Southeast Asian design and lifestyle; and a purveyor of sustainable and impactful design solutions that address urgent real-world problems. This year’s line-up of design and creative heavyweights promises to cement SDW as one of Asia’s premier design festivals,” says Mark Wee, Festival Director of SDW 2022. 

United by the three festival pillars, SDW 2022 will bring together more than 50 events and 200 designers over 10 days.

The Design Futures Symposium will provide a fascinating glimpse of how design will transform the future of the world. Image generated by WOMBO, an AI-powered artwork tool. 

Design Futures 

Design Futures focuses on the design of the future and the future of design, through the lens of forward-looking Singapore – where a more positive future is prototyped for Singapore and the world. In 2022, this pillar will feature a Design Futures Symposium developed under the curatorial direction of internationally renowned design curator and author Paola Antonelli. The Design Futures Symposium will assemble a host of distinguished thought leaders from Singapore and around the world. Together they will probe some of the critical ways in which design is fundamental to strategies for the future; and an enzyme for progress.  

Says Antonelli, “The title of this year’s Design Futures Symposium, ‘Agency for the Future: Design and the Quest for a Better World’, points to a dual meaning. On the one hand, it highlights Singapore’s unique approach, based on modelling, prototyping, testing, and perfecting solutions for preferable futures, as in a design process. On the other hand, it points to individual citizens and their ability and responsibility. Who has agency to determine and build the future? It is not only official bodies or corporations; agency lies in each of us, through the decisions we make and the actions we take every day. Informed and sensitive design can help us address complexity, so we can fine-tune our behaviours and optimise the power of our decisions and actions.” 

Among the topics of discussion at the symposium will be design approaches to complexity, systems and prototypes; the imperative of regenerative design; designing for local and global challenges such as ageing populations and dense, low-carbon cities; how design can optimise human experience within the rest of nature; and how design can harness technology to build a better and more inclusive future.  

“Singapore is itself a complex and intricately designed system that continues to prototype solutions to challenges it encounters as a dense and young city-state. So many of Singapore’s challenges will be – and already are – encountered elsewhere in the world as humanity collectively grapples with climate change, pandemics, urbanisation, the health of natural ecosystems, changing resource streams, population diversity and ageing, food production, and more. I am excited about exploring Singapore’s progress alongside some of the most progressive design ideas and developments from around the world through the Design Futures Symposium,” says Antonelli. 

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator at The Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. She is also the co-founder (with critic Alice Rawsthorn) of @design.emergency, an Instagram platform and book project that explores design’s role in building a better future for all. 

Design Marketplace 

Anchored by FIND – Design Fair Asia, Asia’s newest and largest furniture, interiors and design fair will convene the largest carefully selected collection of interior brands, key opinion leaders, designers and content from East and West.  

Design tastemakers Tony Chambers and Yoko Choy of Wallpaper* magazine fame are helming the FIND – Global Summit where they will initiate conversations with global design opinion leaders on key trends and topics such as the metaverse, wellbeing, biophilia and sustainability amongst others. 

“We are really looking forward to the much-anticipated return of Singapore Design Week. FIND – Design Fair Asia is extremely proud and honoured to be Singapore Design Week 2022’s official Design Marketplace anchor. Together with our colleagues at DesignSingapore Council, we are excited to present a unique, exclusive, innovative and immersive new design experience that will speak to our audiences in Singapore and the rest of the world,” says Mel Shah, Vice President Asia of dmg events, which is organising FIND – Design Fair Asia. 

Fresh works by more than 50 Southeast Asian designers will be presented at EMERGE @ FIND through the lens of materiality. First row from left: Log bench seats made from rattan by Alvin Tjitrowirjo (Indonesia), Ceiling pendants made from bamboo by Abie Abdillah (Indonesia); Second row from left: Contrapunto lamp fashioned from agri waste by Stanley Ruiz (The Philippines), MEL Series made of Polypropylene Rope by Sarunphon Boonto (Thailand) and Furmidable Rug made from dog fur by Cynthia Chan (Singapore) 

As part of FIND, dmg events and DesignSingapore Council will present the first-of-its-kind Southeast Asian design talent showcase at EMERGE @ FIND. Curated by Suzy Annetta of Design Anthology, the showcase will shine the spotlight on over 50 established and emerging designers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam who will unveil fresh works through the lens of materiality.  

“I see EMERGE @ FIND as a unique opportunity to bring together some of Southeast Asia’s most exciting designers – from recent graduates to more established names. Through their work, curated by their choice of material exploration and execution, I hope to showcase and celebrate the diverse range of processes and practices that continue to develop in the region,” says Suzy Annetta, curator of EMERGE @ FIND. 

Conversation pieces include a chair and lamp by Bandung-based Adhi Nugraha which are made from reprocessed cow dung, limited edition design NFTs ‘Living Vase 02’ by Singapore and Milan-based studio Lanzavecchia + Wai, and a series of lamps created from bio/agri-waste by Filipino designer Stanley Ruiz.  

Homegrown designs that are creating a positive impact: 
Exhibits in the Good Design Research pop-up include sustainable packaging by Forest & Whale, adaptive fashion by Werable and the salvaging of local wood by Roger&Sons. 

Design Impact 

The Design Impact pillar highlights design as a driving force for transformative impact by showcasing innovative real-life solutions that address today’s most critical issues, from waste and sustainability to mental health and our ageing society.  

SDW will mark the launch of the President*s Design Award (P*DA) Tours where the public will be able to experience first-hand some of Singapore’s most outstanding, innovative and impactful designs that have made a difference to the lives of Singaporeans. The tours will feature P*DA award-winning projects including green skyscrapers, sites that celebrate heritage craft, iconic representations of Singapore’s public housing, and inclusive spaces to connect all. 

The Good Design Research pop-up, curated by design studio WY-TO, will illustrate the positive impact of good design through research and experimentation, featuring over 20 homegrown designers, and their prototypes and solutions birthed through DesignSingapore Council’s Good Design Research initiative.   

“As a small brand looking to create outsized impact by celebrating and preserving heritage craft through innovation, exhibiting in the Good Design Research pop-up during Singapore Design Week 2022 helps share our work with a wider audience,” says Felicia Toh, founder of NOST, Good Design Research recipient. 

From left: Study Chair by British designer Max Lamb, a collaborator in N*thing is Possible; Desa Potato Head’s iconic façade made of colourful repurposed window shutters and 5,000 Lost Souls installation created from over 5,000 plastic flip-flops salvaged from the beaches of Bali. 

The National Design Centre (NDC) will be transformed into N*thing is Possible, a regenerative design showcase that celebrates re-use, re-cycle, re-craft and re-live. Expect experiences that span across design, art, architecture, music, food and fashion in this creative takeover co-curated by Potato Head and OMA / David Gianotten, which includes creations by design luminaries such as Kengo Kuma, Futura, Max Lamb, Toogood Design, Eco Mantra and Thibaut Grevet.  

“Radical sustainability is woven into Potato Head’s DNA. We serve up sustainability in an appealing way, and hope to inspire our guests to adopt an earth-friendly lifestyle by showing how beautifully it can be done without compromise. We believe in sharing our learnings because this is the way to create that ripple effect. So join us and our friends on our Journey to Nothing, and see how N*thing is Possible,” says Ronald Akili, founder of Potato Head. 

“In our age of instant comfort, we are used to deploying the world’s resources to generate our desired environment, climate, and ways of living, often without much thinking about the impact on the earth. N*thing is Possible at NDC allows us to investigate the lifecycles of the materials that we use in architecture, design, hospitality, and beyond. Our exhibition joins creative efforts across disciplines to capture the potential of the materials at different stages of their lifecycles,” adds David Gianotten, architect and OMA’s managing partner. 

Design Lifestyle Experiences and Design Community Open Doors  

The local design and creative community continue to be the engine behind Singapore Design Week’s vibrant district activations and ground-up community programmes – experiences which support the three key pillars. 

Visitors can look forward to an immersive suite of design activities in various spots across Singapore. Internationally renowned homegrown fashion and creative director Daniel Boey is presenting #FashTag, which is both an exploratory and celebratory fashion experience happening on different levels of Raffles City Shopping Centre. Little India will also be reimagined as part of Re-route, a story-telling meets placemaking festival by award-winning interdisciplinary group Plus Collaboratives. There will also be open houses, talks, workshops and more as designers, design studios and design enterprises showcase their creative spirit and share their passion for design with the public. The full line-up will be unveiled closer to the festival.  

“We are excited to unveil the brand new Singapore Design Week which will grow recognition of our UNESCO Creative City of Design as a leading design hub, establish our design thought leadership, and raise awareness of the value of design. Our designers have an immense amount of talent and creative courage that we can champion, and we hope that festival goers will come away with genuine inspiration, meaningful connections and a new perspective on what Singapore design stands for,” says Dawn Lim, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council. 

For more information on the key highlights of Singapore Design Week 2022, please refer to the Annex below. 

Singapore Design Week 2022 
16 – 25 September 2022 
SDW.SG 
#SDWSG22 #SingaporeDesignWeek

Press Assets  
High-res images may be downloaded HERE. 

About Singapore Design Week 

One of Asia’s premier design festivals, Singapore Design Week (SDW) returns 16-25 September 2022 with a brand new vision, exploring design through three defining festival pillars: Design Futures, Design Marketplace and Design Impact.  

Design Futures focuses on the design of the future and the future of design, through the lens of forward-looking Singapore – where a more positive future is prototyped for Singapore and the world. Design Marketplace uncovers lifestyle trends from across the globe, with a spotlight on the fast-growing Southeast Asia region. Design Impact inspires with innovative and impactful design solutions that tackle society’s biggest questions and create a better world by design. 

ANNEX: Highlights at Singapore Design Week 2022 

Design Futures Symposium 

Developed by Curatorial Director Paola Antonelli, the Design Futures Symposium 2022 will embody four overarching messages through a diverse line up of content and speakers.  

1. Design is a fundamental component of any future-facing strategy. Design is critical to address and meet the challenges that confront us globally, today and into the future. Design is a fundamental ally and is crucial to the wellbeing of citizens and of all ecosystems.  

2. Singapore designs and demonstrates possible and preferable models for the future. Modelling and prototyping are part of Singapore’s DNA. The symposium will explore how and why Singapore uses design as a powerful tool to envision the future.  

3. System thinking and prototyping are needed the world over. Singapore is itself a complex system, and the country has excelled at systems design and prototyping at various scales and in various formats, with valuable lessons for the world. To meet real and growing challenges, a mindset of system thinking will be needed the world over, and in contexts and at scales across the board.  

4. Design is an enzyme for progress. Designers work collaboratively. They synthesise the cross-disciplinary forces available, and engineer more desirable, equitable, and responsible futures for all. It is through design that we can create impact across scales, model new paradigms, generate new behaviours, change mindsets, and integrate positive approaches. 

Says Antonelli, “Why should we use design to think more deeply about the issues that will shape our future – issues like the plight of the environment in all its reverberations, an increasingly ageing population, or the potential and limits of digital technology? It is because these issues are complex and interconnected, and design is the one discipline that can visualise the systems they straddle, as well as identify the cross-disciplinary forces underpinning them. It can then help build interdisciplinary teams, envision alternative scenarios, and even prototype some of them. It can help individuals and communities deal with change, translating it into daily life. Design is one of the most powerful tools we have to strategise and build a better future, not only for all humans, but also for other species – and for the planet. The Design Futures Symposium will make this clear.” 

The Design Futures Symposium will be held on 20 September 2022 at Victoria Theatre. Ticket sales will open soon via SDW.SG

FIND – Design Fair Asia 

One of Singapore Design Week 2022’s anchor events, FIND – Design Fair Asia is Asia’s newest and largest furniture, interiors and design fair. Organised by Fiera Milano and dmg events, FIND will convene the largest carefully selected collection of interior brands, key opinion leaders, designers and content from East and West. The fair will provide a platform for Singapore design brands and designers to be showcased alongside leading global brands and manufacturers, as well as the region’s most exciting talents in one holistic experience. Visitors, including architects, interior designers, retailers, agents and design savvy consumers from across Asia, are invited to draw inspiration, network and trade at this new 3-day event located in Singapore, the gateway to Asia. Eligible Singapore companies exhibiting at FIND will enjoy up to 70% funding. 

Design tastemakers and key opinion leaders Tony Chambers (Founder of creative agency TC & Friends and former Editor-In-Chief of Wallpaper*) and Yoko Choy (China Editor of Wallpaper*) will form the creativity and content pillar at FIND – Design Fair Asia, creating an opportunity for exchange and inspiration in the convergence of West and East and a platform for global designers to showcase their work. They will bring together a panel of global design opinion leaders at the FIND – Global Summit who will contribute to conversations on the metaverse, wellbeing, biophilia and sustainability and more. 

The 3-day event will be held from 22 to 24 September 2022 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. 

EMERGE @ FIND 

The inaugural edition of EMERGE @ FIND will present the first-of-its-kind Southeast Asian design talent showcase. Curated by Suzy Annetta of Design Anthology, the showcase will feature over 50 designers from six countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. These designers will unveil fresh works through the lens of materiality, categorised under the following four pillars: Natural & Local which includes designers and designs that utilise natural and/or local materials; Waste which includes designers and designs working with waste materials, offcuts, salvaged or recycled materials; Innovation featuring designers and designs that utilise innovative materials, or conventional materials in innovative ways; and Unconventional showing designers and designs that use unconventional materials or conventional materials in unconventional ways. 

EMERGE @ FIND showcases top designers such as Hans Tan from Singapore, Handhyanto Hardian and Alvin Tjitrowirjo from Indonesia, Wei Ming Tan from Malaysia, Gabby Lichauco from the Philippines, and introduces emerging designers such as Karyn Lim from Singapore, Sarutra Kaitparkpoom and Robert Sukrachand from Thailand, Phuong Dao and Vũ Hoàng Anh from Vietnam, Jamie Kok from Malaysia and Jim Zarate-Torres from the Philippines. 

EMERGE @ FIND will be held from 22 to 24 September 2022 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. 

N*thing is Possible by Potato Head & Friends 

A special activation to transform the National Design Centre (NDC) through a regenerative design showcase that celebrates re-use, re-cycle, re-craft and re-live. Led by the creators of the world-famous Desa Potato Head creative village, Potato Head, and co-curated with award-winning firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), NDC will be transformed into N*thing Is Possible, a three-month-long exhibition and experience highlighting the hospitality company’s journey to accomplish a zero-waste lifestyle.  

The storytelling multimedia exhibit will be brought to life with the help of international and Singapore collaborators including renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, American artist Futura, Catalan industrial designer Andreu Carulla, British furniture designer Max Lamb, London-based design studio Toogood, French director and photographer Thibaut Grevet, Indonesian architect Andra Matin, Jakarta design studio BYO Living, and Bali-based environmental engineers Eco Mantra.   

In many inspiring and innovative ways, the showcase will tell the story of how, with the help of internationally acclaimed talent, Ronald Akili’s Potato Head Beach Club became a creative, sustainable place shape-shifting waste into beautiful objects and art. The exhibit will also reveal the detailed blueprint for Potato Head’s journey to this point, with the intention that it informs and inspires others to apply it in their own businesses. 

The three-month show begins with activations, talks, panels and activities involving many of the collaborators and designers. On the opening evening, a kick-off party DJ’ed by HAAi will embody Potato Head’s signature “Good Times, Do Good” ethos. 

N*thing is Possible will be held from 16 September to 25 December 2022 at the National Design Centre. 

President*s Design Award Tours 

The President*s Design Award (P*DA) is Singapore’s highest honour for designers and design projects across all disciplines. Jointly administered by the DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, it recognises the significant achievements of an extraordinary group of people that is impacting the lives of Singaporeans and the global community. 

The President*s Design Award Tours is a new signature P*DA series that will be launched during Singapore Design Week 2022. Centred around architecture and place-making projects, the P*DA Tours seek to provide the public with opportunities to experience first-hand some of Singapore’s most outstanding and impactful designs through immersive tours and self-guided journeys that exemplify innovation, inclusivity and sustainability. The special SDW edition will feature exclusive experiences that are not normally available to the public. 

The P*DA Tours will take place on the weekends of 17 to 18 September and 24 to 25 September 2022. 

Good Design Research Pop-up 

Launched by DesignSingapore Council in March 2020 in the middle of a pandemic year, Good Design Research (GDR) underscores the importance of how design backed by deep research can make a true difference by building deep domain knowledge and solving the challenges faced by societies and cities. This initiative empowers designers and design enterprises in Singapore to find their unique value proposition in designing for impact through research and experimentation, supported by a wide network of knowledge partners. 

This special pop-up at Singapore Design Week 2022 showcases how good design can add value to lives holistically, through Purpose – making an impactful difference to overall welfare, community integration and social inclusivity; Practice – constantly improving work processes and the environment; and Play – re-framing perspectives of life through the lens of creativity and imagination. It will be accompanied by craft workshops, design thinking workshops, panel discussions, and talks. 

Over 20 GDR recipients will share their work with the public, including GINLEE Studio, Werable by Claudia Poh, Roger&Sons, Offcut Factor, NOST, Forest & Whale and more. 

The Good Design Research Pop-up will be held from 10 to 25 September 2022 at Bugis+ and 1 to 30 September 2022 at Funan Underground Pedestrian Link. 

#FashTag by Daniel Boey  

#FashTag is a fashion-focused takeover of Raffles City Shopping Centre during Singapore Design Week 2022. Through a series of collaborative, cross-disciplinary physical and virtual events and activations, #FashTag explores the possibilities for fashion in an increasingly decentralised and digital post-pandemic world. It also celebrates sustainable, inclusive design, and champions the spirit of cross-border collaborations. 

Visitors can look forward to the following key programmes: Meta Matters, a digital exhibition of fashion x art collaborations and retrospective artworks including forays into NFTs, where the likes of Chuan Do and Frey and Filbert Kung will present new original work; #FashionAvatars, a digital Extended Reality showcase of fashion labels with a conscience featuring Michael Cinco, COVERMENOT, Sean Sheila, Tube Gallery and June Ng; virtual runway shows and fashion films documenting the creative pivots made by the fashion industry during the pandemic featuring Max Tan, Shirt Number White and Nuboaix; trunk shows with a cast of racially, gender, size and age diverse models to promote inclusivity in the fashion industry; and talks and workshops exploring topics such as cruelty-free fashion, design and the metaverse, and upcycling. 

#Fashtag will be held from 16 to 25 September 2022 at Raffles City Shopping Centre. 

Re-route by Plus Collaboratives  

Helmed by creative brains, Mervin Tan and Cheryl Sim from Plus Collaboratives, Re-route is a creative placemaking festival that immerses visitors in an alternate storytelling of the Little India district through a collective of creative voices, to demonstrate how design can be used as a tool to spotlight our heritage. With curated experiences, installations, programmes, and other design interventions, it aims to encourage people to detour from their usual routes to explore the district with a new perspective and connect with Little India’s lesser-known history. 

The design intervention at each site below will pay homage to its own unique identity, heritage and community. 

Race Course: A former sports and recreational hub for horse racing for the upper class, it will be re-interpreted as a modern day Sporting Social Club, in a nod to the sporting spirit, dynamism and atmosphere of its past. The Club will feature a member’s lounge and café, a festival-branded retail store, sidewalk games and installations that are inspired by movement and leisure. 

New World Amusement Park: A popular nightlife destination from the 1920s to1960s, it will be re-interpreted as a Surreal Playscape, to draw back on the curious and vibrant spirit of the former park. Playful, larger-than-life interactive installations, costume and fashion design displays and live entertainment will see it come to life again. 

Serangoon Road: Harking back to its beginnings as one of the earliest roads built in Singapore that served as a link between town settlements and Serangoon harbour, the activation will shine the spotlight on trades that sprang from the road’s formation, such as brick kiln trade and rattan work. Keep an eye out for a main observatory tower, installations and workshops from traditional craft makers and businesses. 

Re-route will be held from 16 September to 9 October 2022 in Little India. 

Media contact

Serene Lim

DesignSingapore Council
Communications

D +65 6962 2059
Sara Chong

DesignSingapore Council
Communications

D +65 6962 2095
Doreen Ang

Edelman for DesignSingapore Council

D +65 9091 6561

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