The exhibition entails Singapore’s fifty year development in the design scene from the early 1960s up to now, presenting “iconic, popular and pivotal designs” that shaped the design scene in Singapore.

It features designs from 4 different design practices:


Being a young nation, naturally the design scene is also very young. The development and economy of Singapore for over fifty years had a huge impact on the design industry. For example, during the early years of independent Singapore (1965 – 1975), the design scene was focused on building the foundations for infrastructure, national identity, and craft & technical skills. As Singapore’s economy booms (1975 – 1985), we see the shift of focus towards industrial design as well as tourism. Soon came the advancement of technology (1985 – 1995),and yet again we see a shift towards a more modern, technological designs. I could go on, but I think you probably got the point. The design scene is heavily reliant and adapts to the growth and progression of Singapore. Hence we must always keep up with the country’s advancement.

Future goals / key trust for design in Singapore

Keyword: Innovation-driven economy & a loveable city

Five broad, strategic thrust:

  1. Infuse design into our national skill set
  2. Expand the role of design in businesses and government
  3. Strengthen the competitiveness of design firms
  4. Bring design into the community
  5. Develop the Singapore Design brand

I think it is evident that Singapore is trying to embrace design more. The design industry is still rather new to me. However, from what I heard from my peers and the community, design is still look down upon. Let’s face it, there are still form of prejudice against designers, especially when you meet your relatives during a family gathering and you tell them that you are a designer. Odds are, they’ll give you the “Did you have nothing else better to do?” look and start comparing you with your cousins who are lawyers, doctors or teachers.

Nonetheless, with the Design 2025 Masterplan to spread design in businesses, governments, communities, and schools, hopefully people start losing the prejudice against design as design starts to be integrated into their everyday lives.

Often times, people find that Singapore have no opportunities for artists or designers to flourish and many decide to cast aside their passion for a more stable future. With the new initiative, people can find the motivation to reignite or pursue their passion for the Arts. Thus having more people in the Design industry to find and create innovative solutions.


Published by

Norafizah Normin

Leap of Faith

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