Singapore Design Week 2019 features musical pavilions, Indonesian craft and ‘Passion Projects’

Wallpaper* Handmade ‘Passion Projects’ on view at National Museum of Singapore
Wallpaper* Handmade ‘Passion Projects’ on view at National Museum of Singapore.
(Image credit: Jovian Lim)

If you’re looking for a comprehensive snapshot of Singapore’s evolution as a design capital, Singapore Design Week 2019 (4-17 March) provides outsized clues. The fifth edition by Design Singapore Council is replete with heavy hitters from the local and regional creative communities. The curation, in particular, is commendably egalitarian with the four programme themes – Transforming Businesses, Empowering Communities, Inspiring the Everyday, and Reimagining the Future – deliberately keyed to a range of interests, specialisation, and even ages.

SingaPlural – Unnatural Phenomena

Singaplural at Singapore Design Week

(Image credit: Jovian Lim)

Organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, and curated by local studio Formwerkz and branding agency Bravo, this year’s Singapore Design Week’s anchor design festival wonders how beautiful objects can be created in ‘unnatural’ ways while mimicking natural patterns. We’re particularly taken by the unusual table form of ‘Graceful Fig’ (pictured), a sinuous iteration of the fruit using the Fibonacci sequence. 4-17 March, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road

Wallpaper* Handmade

Wallpaper* Handmade Singapore

(Image credit: Jovian Lim)

The annual presence of Wallpaper* Handmade at Singapore Design Week is a reliable barometer of our confidence and support for the city’s design ambitions. This year’s theme ‘Passion Projects’ reflects the sometimes incomprehensible level of commitment artists bring to their craft, with the likes of Asylum, Lekker and Clara Yee contributing pieces alongside a collection of greatest hits culled from Wallpaper* Handmade Classics. 7 March- 10 June; National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road

Bras Basah.Bugis Urban Interventions

Tree Harop by AaaM Architects & Kapok

(Image credit: Jovian Lim)

How might a city be lit in a way that encourages civic interaction with the built environment? Three interactive installations dotted through the Bras Basah.Bugis district of museums, design centres, schools and historic monuments are lively explorations on the theme. ‘Tree Harp’ by Hong Kong-based architects AaaM and local design studio Kapok (render pictured), for instance, turns trees into intimate musical pavilions. 4 March - 31 August; Queen Street and National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road

UNESCO Creative Cities of Design Public Forum

It’s not often that you’ll get the chance to hobnob with global designers and experts to canvas hot topics like the role culture plays in urban development. Creative leaders from 15 cities will pile on stage to explain their plans to hitch design to sustainable growth, public policy, businesses and communications. 8 March; National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road

Made-in: Indonesia

Cassia Split for Made in Indonedia

(Image credit: Jovian Lim)

Every year, Singapore-based design maven Industry+ showcases the designers, artists and manufacturers of a specific country. In 2019, the spotlight is on Indonesia, an oft-overlooked design centre which, judging from the curated list, bears all the hallmarks of an emerging powerhouse. Among the pieces that caught our eye were side-tables by Bika Living and sleek tableware by Cassia Studios (pictured): the designs are a complex blend of millennial chic, natural materials and traditional craft. 9-12 March; Nook Asia 2019, MBS Expo and Convention Centre10 Bayfront Ave 


Singapore Design Week is on view from 4-17 March. For more information, visit the website

Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.