DRIV­ING FORCE

The Sin­ga­pore de­sign­ers com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments that are both live­able and com­mer­cially vi­able

Wallpaper - - Singapore Revealed -

Our abil­ity to de­velop and de­ploy de­sign so­lu­tions is fun­da­men­tal to our sur­vival. We of­ten ad­mire com­pa­nies such as Airbnb, Ap­ple and Dyson, and think of such in­no­va­tors as hav­ing the abil­ity to change lives. How­ever, de­sign in­no­va­tion to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful na­tion is a chal­lenge on an­other scale. And Sin­ga­pore is lead­ing the way.

Since ar­riv­ing in Sin­ga­pore from Sil­i­con Val­ley seven years ago, I have seen how in­cred­i­ble cre­ative en­ergy and cap­i­tal have been har­nessed to trans­form the coun­try. It may well be the great­est legacy of the coun­try’s first prime min­is­ter, Lee Kuan Yew, who demon­strated how to ap­proach the chal­lenges that con­front a chang­ing world, and how to do so in a com­mer­cially ef­fec­tive way. He in­sisted that a great idea alone is not enough, that in­no­va­tion hap­pens only when peo­ple adopt a vi­sion. For that rea­son, Sin­ga­pore’s mod­ern de­sign ap­proach is based on per­pet­ual learn­ing. The so­lu­tions that have pro­duced the suc­cess of Sin­ga­pore today may not be ap­pli­ca­ble to­mor­row, which means evolv­ing cre­ativ­ity is a pre­mium. As Dr Beh Swan Gin, chair­man of the De­sign Master­plan Com­mit­tee (DMC), points out, ‘De­sign can play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the fu­ture econ­omy of Sin­ga­pore. It is an im­por­tant driver of in­no­va­tion and value cre­ation. It can also add vi­brancy and rich­ness to our na­tional iden­tity.’

The vi­sion of the DMC is to help Sin­ga­pore make bet­ter use of de­sign to drive in­no­va­tion and growth. The cre­atives pro­filed here are all fine ex­em­plars of this ap­proach. Their work shows a com­mer­cial yet hu­mane ap­proach to de­sign in har­mony with Sin­ga­pore’s com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments that are both live­able and com­mer­cially vi­able.

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