DesignSingapore Council executive director Mark Wee hopes to make Singapore a greener and more loveable city through good design.
Most of us may think of design in relation to physical objects, such as the chairs in our homes or the clothes we wear. But the tenets of good design can go beyond that—it should also consider the importance of the user’s sensory experiences as well as other considerations unique to the local context.
This holistic approach to design is part of what the DesignSingapore Council (DSG) advocates. “At DSG, we drive the adoption of design and the value of design in transforming the economy in terms of what it means for innovation and also the loveability and identity of Singapore,” says Mark Wee, executive director of DSG. “We’re trying to define what good design means. Today, good design needs to be socially responsible and environmentally responsible.”
Founded in 2003, DSG has fostered homegrown talents and entrepreneurs with the goal of developing the design sector in Singapore; one of its key initiatives is the President*s Design Award (P*DA), a bi-annual award ceremony that recognises outstanding projects and leaders who have made a notable impact on the industry.
Wee, who is also a jury member for the Tatler Design Awards 2020, cites a collaborative collection between local firm Supermama and Touch Special Crafts as a notable example. The Supermama Social collection features the work of artists with disabilities, translated on the brand’s blue-and-white porcelain; part of the sale proceeds are given to the artist. “The products are aesthetically beautiful and they’re made by the hands of communities that we want to support,” he says.
The Yuan Loft side table by Scene Shang, one of the brands shortlisted for the Business of Design programme