Asian designers should rise to the demands of flourishing Asian markets through design and innovation.
International design experts at the inaugural President’s Design Award Jurors’ Forum urged the 250-strong participants to tap on their cultures so as to innovate and design for the Asian markets.
“Culture is the real background behind innovation, design, art or music,” says Mr Werner Aisslinger, an award-winning German designer. He believes that Asian brands should re-interpret their products by referencing their own culture, rather than “float around in a global style” where everyone is mimicking each other and the level of innovation is low.
Mr Dick Powell, co-founder of Seymourpowell, says that the next phase of growth in Asia is for manufacturers to transform themselves into brand owners. “Then there will be a pressing need to innovate…a need that becomes their responsibility rather than someone else’s,” he says.
Citing the example of Japanese craftsmen innovating to create successful modern lifestyle products, Ms Lei-Mei Julia Chiu, president of Icograda (International Council of Communication Design), explains how the traditional craftsmen re-invent themselves, whilst remaining true to their craft.
Other speakers at the Forum were Mr Bhanu Inkawat and Mr Paul Finch. The forum on 3 August was the second of two forums jointly organised by the DesignSingapore Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The first forum on 1 August covered the topic “Architecture & Design for a Green City”.