promotion: The themes of innovation, inclusivity and sustainability will be the focus of exhibitions, workshops and talks at this year’s Singapore Design Week (SDW), which opens later this month.

Singapore Design Week, one of Asia’s most anticipated design festivals, aims to showcase Singapore’s “premium brand of creativity”. This year marks the 20th anniversary of its organizing body, DesignSingapore Council (Dsg). To celebrate this important event, the 11-day festival will adopt the council’s slogan, “Best in Design”, as its theme for 2023.

“Singaporean design embodies a universal attitude – the desire to always strive to improve lives with design,” said Madeleine Ho, Director of SDW 2023.

“Better by Design reflects the DesignSingapore Council’s commitment to supporting design and creativity that helps us address complex challenges and shape a better future.”

To highlight the theme of ‘Best by Design’, the DesignSingapore Council commissioned local design curators to create a number of installations.

Curators included Black co-founder and creative director Jackson Tan; Co-Founder and Creative Director of Kinetic Singapore, Pann Lim; and co-founders of Lekker Architects, Ong Ker Shing and Joshua Komarov.

Curators include Jackson Tan, Ong Ker Shing, Joshua Comaroff and Pan Lim

The installations titled Playground of Possibilities, School of Tomorrow and FI&LD will be spread around Bras Basah.Bugis – the arts and heritage district in downtown Singapore.

Organized under the themes of innovation, sustainability and inclusivity, these installations are designed to showcase impactful design solutions that address the biggest challenges facing society.

The Playground of Possibilities exhibition presents “12 stories of possibility,” including social and interactive exhibits such as a “mini” public housing city designed to be dementia-friendly and 3D-printed medical prosthetics to achieve better patient outcomes.

“I hope visitors of all ages realize that everyone can create a positive impact through design,” said Jackson Tan, Playground of Possibilities curator. “As our society evolves, complex challenges such as digital disruption and climate change have also emerged.”

In the Playground of Possibilities, visitors also learn how biomimicry and nature-inspired strategies can help design to deal with climate change.

FI&LD will feature exhibitions that push creative inclusivity including Bureau Spectacular’s Cave of Hug

FI&LD’s installation presents a “new philosophy of inclusive design” based on play and improvisation. Here, visitors will be able to experience examples of this ethos in practice – from physical environments to graphics, products, services and experiences.

The installation aims to emphasize the potential connections between inclusion, emotion and technology through design.

“Inclusive practice is not just ‘disabled ramps’ or accessibility infrastructure,” said Joshua Comaroff, co-coordinator of FI&LD. “Instead, it’s a whole new way of thinking about the design user, in all our human diversity.”

“Empathizing with diverse audiences will lead to better design, bringing more comfort and joy to all of us.”

To explore sustainability, the School of Tomorrow will offer classes that teach important environmental issues through common subjects such as geography, chemistry and social studies.

“Sustainability may seem like a broad topic of discussion, but we hope that by using the school concept for these facilities, visitors can more easily learn about the diverse environmental challenges we face, and find ways to better equip ourselves, both theoretically and practically,” said the School of Tomorrow curator. , Ban Lim.

Sustainability is a theme throughout the week. Image by Kinetic Singapore

In addition to the Bras Basah.Bugis area, the festival will also present the Marina Bay area and Orchard Road as design areas. Each of these three districts aims to reflect the unique character of its community and offer immersive design experiences within walking distance.

As in previous years, the 2023 event will continue to explore design through three specific pillars: Future of Design, Design Market, and Design Impact.

Addressing the future of design, the Future of Design Forum at Singapore Design Week will see distinguished designers and thinkers from Singapore and around the world exploring design-enabled versions of the future.

Speakers include Japanese architect Shigeru Ban; Fitness innovation expert and founder of Whitespace, Lululemon’s thinking lab, Tom Waller; and the first Asia-Pacific President of the World Green Building Council, Joel Chan.

Speakers at Singapore Design Week’s Future Design Forum include Shigeru Ban, Dr Tom Waller and Joel Chen

The festival’s ‘Design Market’ pillar will once again be headlined by FIND – the Asian Design Fair, which will return to Marina Bay Sands for its second edition from 21-23 September 2023.

The exhibition includes Emerge at FIND – a show dedicated to contemporary design in Southeast Asia curated by designer and curator Susie Anita of Design Anthology.

This year’s edition will have the curatorial theme of “Craft and Industry: Man and Machine”, with works by more than 50 emerging and established designers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

EMERGE@FIND is a gallery dedicated to contemporary design in Southeast Asia

Alongside the festival’s commission for immersive installations, the ‘Design Impact’ pillar will be showcased through the ‘Future Impact: Homecoming Exhibition’, curated by design consultant Tony Chambers and curator Maria Cristina Didero, which was first presented at Milan Design Week 2023.

Additionally, the local design community will present more than 80 immersive events including exhibitions, talks, panel discussions, workshops, tours and retail windows informed by the festival’s theme and pillars.

To learn more about Singapore Design Week, visit their website.

Singapore Design Week takes place from 21 September to 1 October 2023 in Singapore. Check out Dezeen’s events guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Singapore Design Week as part of the partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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