Top 6 events at Singapore Design Week
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In just four editions, Singapore Design Week has already made its mark as one of the most important festivals on the design calendar in Singapore and greater Asia. Thanks to a combination of savvy curation, marketing and heavy-duty backers – in the form of DesignSingapore Council, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and, ahem, Wallpaper* – this year’s edition promises an engagingly compact sweep of conferences, design fairs, satellite events and temporary installations. Herewith, our pick of the events to watch for.
Wallpaper* Handmade Retreat
Wallpaper* tasked Singapore-based creatives Theseus Chan, WOHAbeing, Olivia Lee, Gabriel Tan Studio, Stolen, Studio Juju and Wallpaper* Handmade's Next Generation Singapore Designer Edmund Zhang (opens in new tab) to contribute bespoke products that aid mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. These will be shown alongside a collection of Wallpaper* Handmade Classics from our exhibition of specially commissioned one-off pieces that debut annually at Milan’s Salone del Mobile. Pictured: ‘Shoe Tree’ by Beatrix Ong and Joined + Jointed, for Handmade 2016 in last year’s Handmade Classics exhibition.
8 March-31 May; Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937
International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS) (opens in new tab)
Billed as Asia’s leading design-led sourcing platform, the IFFS casts a far-reaching net to capture blue-chip trade exhibitors from over 40 countries. This translates into a tradeshow with admirable pulling power, evidenced by an almost bewilderingly varied showcase of just about every imaginable iteration of furniture, furnishings, and decorative accessories and fittings. Pictured: as part of last year’s showing, Nathan Yong collaborated with Singaporean brand Ipse Ipsa Ipsum on a new furniture collection.
8-11 March, Singapore Expo, 1 Expo Drive, Singapore
A new conference that will take place over three days during Design Week, Brainstorm Design is a unique event that will delve into the connection between business and design. Who better to participate in such a pivotal discussion than a panel of industry experts – from designer Patricia Urquiola and MoMa’s senior curator of architecture and design Paola Antonelli, to artist Daan Roosegaarde (pictured) and partner at Pentagram, Natasha Jen. These speakers will explore design topics from creative processes to working methods in collaborative projects. Highlights include talks held by Wallpaper* brand and content director Tony Chambers with the likes of Joe Gebbia, Tom Dixon and Kristina Blahnik. See the full programme here (opens in new tab)
6-8 March; Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, 039797 Marina Square, Singapore
Singapore Urban Design Festival
How do we build an engaged and interactive community? What does an effective and efficient urban environment entail? How are public spaces best used? The first edition of this five-day festival explores these questions by pulling together experts in urban design and planning, alongside intriguing installations and workshops.
14-18 Mar; Tanjong Pagar, especially around Keong Saik Road, Singapore
The Mad Hatter by Ewins & Gabriel Tan at Singaplural
Of the 13 installations at Singaplural (opens in new tab) – Singapore Design Week’s anchor design festival organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council – ‘The Mad Hatter’ more than lives up to its moniker. A playfully surrealistic mash-up of form and colour, the piece pairs 3D thermoforming with dyed translucent acrylic panels to create a sequence of hat-shaped lamp shades, and pendant lamps.
5-18 March; National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore
Simplify: Unclutter Your Materials
According to Chris Lefteri, the prolific creative director of Materials Design Lab, modern designers often overcomplicate matters with the urge to add rather than take away. The conceit of ‘Simplify’ is to recreate quotidian products using just one material – to wit, forged steel Nomess ‘Spring’ scissors, Japanese Boxwood comb, bowl made from heat-pressed polyester mesh, and even a spun polyester city map.
5 March to 9 April, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore
Singapore Design Week is on view from 5-18 March. For more information, visit the website (opens in new tab)
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.
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