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Singapore’s first-ever national level design education committee sets bold 30-year vision for our workforce to thrive in future economy

9 min read

Design Education Advisory Committee (DEAC) announces three recommendations guided by a Point-of-Vision to shape Singapore’s design education system for next 30 years

“Design plays a fundamental role in how we tackle increasingly complex challenges in a highly globalised world. There is a crucial need for us to equip our general workforce with skills rooted in design to build resilience and thrive in our future economy. To that end, the DEAC has reimagined design education and developed a Point-of-Vision that encapsulates our aspirations to developing a robust generation that can accelerate the pace of innovation in the world.”

 Mr Low Cheaw Hwei,

“As Singapore becomes an innovation-driven economy, attributes such as creativity and design thinking will grow in importance and demand. Across sectors, whether manufacturing, information & communications or retail, both the skills and principles of design will enable companies to innovate, differentiate their offerings, and stay ahead of the competition. MTI thus welcomes the DEAC’s timely recommendations, which set the direction for design education in the years to come.”

–  Ms Low Yen Ling
Minister of State
Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

“The DEAC’s recommendations will help enhance design education in Singapore, by strengthening engagements and collaborations between industry and the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs). These closer partnerships support the IHLs’ ongoing efforts to ensure the continued industry-relevance of their programmes, provide students with multidisciplinary exposure and overall better enable our graduates to seize opportunities in the future economy.”

–  Ms Melissa Khoo
Deputy Secretary (Higher Education and Skills)
Ministry of Education

“The Design Education Advisory Committee brings together brilliant minds from a multitude of sectors working towards the same vision that DesignSingapore shares – to infuse design as a national skillset into our youths and create a world-class design education landscape. With so much talent serving on the Committee guided by a North Star, I am confident that we will make our Point-of-Vision a reality.”

Ms Dawn Lim
Executive Director
DesignSingapore Council

Singapore – 31 August 2022: Singapore’s Design Education Advisory Committee (DEAC) today released its first term report announcing a bold 30-year vision to develop the next generation of creative thinkers, problem solvers, and a global, resilient workforce using design to help Singapore thrive in the future economy.

Launched in 2020 by DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) and appointed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) as the first-ever national platform for design education thought and practice leadership, the tripartite DEAC comprises leaders from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), the design industry and non-design sector, as well as policymakers from the government agencies.

As Singapore progresses from an industrial economy to an innovation economy, the role of design has grown to tackle multifaceted challenges, navigate ambiguity, and foster effective problem solving. Following its first two-year term, the DEAC has outlined three key recommendations, comprising a Point-of-Vision centred around six pillars, for 2050.

Figure 1: An overview of the recommendations and ideas by the DEAC

To realise the 2050 vision, the DEAC will continue to champion the recommendations and work closely with a wide group of stakeholders to shape a globally recognised design education unique to Singapore and bring design education and the industry closer together.

Concurrently, the committee developed 11 design ideas during its first term to amalgamate design education and the creative industry. Eight are currently being developed into prototypes as proofs of concepts, these include collaborations with students from polytechnics, universities, and industry partners like DP Architects, Ideactio, KR&D, Phillips Singapore, STUCK Design, Tribal Worldwide Singapore, and many more. Among the eight prototypes are: 

Cross-IHL Learning Bootcamps: Design Leadership Challenge 2022

Beyond existing efforts to organise events and programmes jointly, this project brought together 38 students and 15 faculty members from four IHLs, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic to work in cross-institution teams to develop entrepreneurial ideas that address health and wellness issues for youths. The five-day camp held in June 2022 was organised in partnership with Ideactio, a strategic design consultancy, and *SCAPE, a non-profit organisation that supports youth talent and leadership development.

Students coming together for design bootcamp organised by four Institutes of Higher Learning

Seamless Career Pathway

Since April 2022, three design students from Nanyang Polytechnic have been working in the advertising agency as part of their final-year programme. In this first phase, the students spend six months on a hybrid internship where they take on client projects, work on their final-year project under the mentorship of practitioners in the agency and attend classes at the polytechnic. The students have been involved in various projects for clients, such as iShopChangi and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Students from Nanyang Polytechnic working with Tribal Worldwide on a TikTok challenge for Singapore’s 2022 National Day Parade.

Chaired by Mr Low Cheaw Hwei, the Global Practice Lead for Product & Spatial Design who is also the Head of Philips Experience Design and Government & Public Affairs for ASEAN Pacific, the DEAC hopes to steer Singapore to develop skillsets critical to our future economy through design education, advocacy and experimentation across education and industry. The committee is focused on two key tasks:

Figure 2: The two key tasks of the DEAC

During DEAC’s second term over the next two years, the committee will expand its engagement to include non-design trade, business associations, parents, and students, on top of its existing relationship with IHLs, the design industry and the government. To ensure Singapore is in tune with global trends, the committee will work with overseas experts in design education and continue to develop the Point-of-Vision – which will become a strategic framework to guide the transformation of design education in Singapore.

To view the DEAC report and recommendations, please visit:

Download the DEAC media fact sheet here:

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

About the Design Education Advisory Committee

The Design Education Advisory Committee (DEAC) was launched by Dsg and appointed by MTI on 1 April 2020 as the first-ever national platform for Singapore’s design educators, industry leaders, as well as the government. It aims to shape the quality of design education and embed design into design higher education to develop a global, resilient workforce that can help businesses become competitive through human-centred innovation in the face of global disruption and economic uncertainty. For more information, please visit:

Media contact

Pearlyn Cheu

DesignSingapore Council
Assistant Manager

D +65 6962 2063
Yee Yeong Chong

DesignSingapore Council
Senior Assistant Director

D +65 6962 2089
Hoong Huifang

Edelman Singapore
Client Director

D +65 9128 0762

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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