So we went to the National Design Centre. I’ve seen the exhibition a few times, but I’ve never actually paid attention closely to them.
Some types of design practices I saw:
Over the years, I could see that in the beginning (starting from the 1965-1975), Singapore was still very focused on building the country. Design was made with a clear purpose to serve the needs of the people, instead of actually building the identity of the nation. However as time passed, design in Singapore began to take shape. A lot of design was made to promote Singapore’s national identity, especially when Singapore started to be noticed globally. As new technologies were introduced, Singapore slowly got modernized, but even until now the design in Singapore never really left the roots. Now the design in Singapore, I feel, is modernized, yet still really showing the national identity. Design is also not just “art”; it’s always used to improve other sectors such as economy and education.
I think even in the future, the goal for design in Singapore is to continue to develop fresh ideas that not only are aesthetically pleasing, but also contribute to Singapore’s growth and promote national identity at the same time. While that is not easy, I feel that Singapore designers are moving in the right direction. I can see some designs nowadays that combine some of the ideas – like, combining modernization and national identity.
Design continues to be of importance, and I feel like people’s awareness of that will only grow from now. Some things that used to just be functional, now can possess aesthetic values – a simple example is HDB buildings which walls are painted in pleasing colors or certain colors to create rainbow / gradient. And as more people see the significance of design, more people will be encouraged to think critically about it, and design in Singapore will hopefully grow to be better.