Design Flash in Singapore by Soo Eelee

As Singapore continues to build on its foundation of becoming the region’s next art hub, Better Than Brunch gets the inside scoop on what is really going on and zoomed in on one of our favourite brands featured this Singapore Design Week.

Art and Design in Singapore


There can be a lot to learn when it comes to the arts, and while Singapore may be a young nation the development of the local art scene and culture has been nothing short of significant. Over the last two decades, Singapore’s deliberate development of the visual arts has resulted in the boom of a vibrant art scene complemented with world-class infrastructure and twice the number of art exhibitions and organisations in Singapore.


But the question is how effective has the Singapore “art movement” been so far, and how long will it last?


The last few years have been particularly exciting for Singapore with the emergence of new platforms such as Art Stage Singapore, Affordable Art Fair, the Singapore Biennale and Singapore Design Week. The public are getting more involved in the creative scene and immersing themselves in the abundance of knowledge made accessible to them as part of the government’s efforts to make the city-state into a regional art hub. Yet despite the growing commercial arts and design sector, and infrastructural investment, some commentators have voiced doubts about Singapore’s potential to become an art hub as compared to our neighbouring cities, including Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo.


Our take? While the government is investing millions of dollars into the arts industry, both local and international galleries must do their part in creating a pro-art environment for Singaporeans. Art galleries must continually roll out bold perspectives and a narrative built around the concept of art, provoking Singaporeans to think out of the box and engage in an artistic dialogue that is beyond a one-way trade of information. Besides being informative, the local art scene must be thought provoking, open to discussion and openly enthusiastic.

Singapore Design Week (SDW)


The SDW brought together a collection of local and international design activities in Singapore, which was open to public from 10 to 16 March 2014. Put together by the creative minds of Design Singapore Council, the week-long event seeked to raise awareness of local design and deepen the appreciation and understanding of design innovation, and encourage the use of innovation and productivity.


Visitors would have been able to expand their horizon and be a part of the Singapore design scene through interaction with designers who shared their innovative works and inspiring ideas at the design trade shows, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, trails and films. You need not be an art buff to have found something at SDW.




While we are still on the topic of local arts, let’s zoom in to Industry+, a Singapore-based production company and brainchild of design enthusiasts P.C. Ee and Yoichi Nakamuta. The duo is also the creative director and award-winning designer of Exit Studio and founder of internationally renowned design production company, E&Y, respectively.


In the name of design, local design, Industry+ serves as a platform to provide a mentorship for aspiring and renowned designers in Asia. Overseeing the key areas of development and production, the collaborative process aims to springboard Asian designs on to international stages, further establishing Singapore as a the hub of contemporary design in Asia.


The debut collection features the best of contemporary Singapore design – from much-anticipated designers including Studio Juju, OutofStock, Olivia Lee, Jackson Tan, as well as celebrated architects, Colin Seah (Ministry of Design), Koichiro Ikebuchi (Atelier Ikebuchi), and VW+BS. The curated collection takes an interesting utilitarian approach with the use of experimental product techniques married to a series of fine artisanal craftsmanship. While uncompromising in quality, the products have gone through serious brainstorming and employment of industrial, art and design techniques to achieve its standard of high quality industrial magnificence. Through this collection, Industry+ aims to make their products attainable, relatable yet unassumingly different. Check out Industry+ debut collection at the Kapok Store, National Design Centre.


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Want to know what some of our local designers and artists think about the Singapore creative scene?


Stay tuned to Better Than Brunch to find out more!