DesignSingapore Presents: ‘Visions of the Future’
MesseDesignSingapore Presents: ‘Visions of the Future’10.12.2020 - 07.01.2021
DesignSingapore Council presents a curated showcase of seven designs by eight emerging Singapore designers, presented online and at the National Design Centre. Each design has been hand-selected for its visionary approach to current issues, and has also adapted to the pandemic reality we currently live in.
December 2020 – DesignSingapore Council’s (Dsg) Visions of the Future imagines future trends in the wake of the pandemic, through seven designs that look at the improvement of health and wellbeing through rituals and practices, sustainable processes, new materials and safety through design. Through Visions of the Future - and its wider work - Dsg aims to recognise and support good designs and designers for their role in impacting society, economy and quality of life through innovation and growth.
The participating designers were selected through an open call held by Dsg in late 2019, and were mentored throughout the process by Wendy Chua and Gustavo Maggio, founders of the Singaporean multi-disciplinary design practice Forest & Whale.
Exhibits and a full programme of discussion panels and podcasts will be available on the dedicated microsite https://visionsofthefuture.sg/.
Design in a Pandemic State of Mind
As cities begin a slow return to some semblance of normality and the initial alarm to the public health crisis subsides, people begin to grapple with what it means to live in a pandemic state of mind. The effects of quarantine fatigue and isolation linger; we see the repercussions in the cognitive decline of seniors with dementia and the rise in mental health cases of anxiety and depression. How might design help us to thrive despite the challenges of the moment and reimagine hope in such dire times?
From memory stimulation therapy using new technologies to design probes that aid us in overcoming conditioned reflexes—such as touching our face mask unconsciously—the exhibition highlights the significance of design in safeguarding our health and wellbeing. Beyond the immediate needs of the crisis, it explores the intangible but deeply rooted cultural beliefs that anchor one in a future filled with uncertainties. Through new interpretations of rituals of repair and mindfulness, design plays a pivotal role in building financial, mental and emotional resilience.
The seven works presented in Vision of the Future illuminate the opportunities in the crisis by imagining new rituals of living in the new normal. Through innovations in craft, technology and materials, the designers illustrate a hopeful future—better by design—despite the pandemic.
“It is a joy to see our young designers’ in-depth design research and creative responses to the pressing concerns of today. From transforming the act of soapmaking into a meditative ritual, to empowering the elderly to hold onto their fading memories, these young designers provide a fresh perspective to everyday issues – and those brought anew in the current climate - that anyone can appreciate. We are most excited to present this intimate show to the world, both at the National Design Centre and on a digital platform for all to enjoy.” – Mark Wee, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council.
‘Mass Production of Happiness’ by Yingxuan Teo
‘Mass Production of Happiness’ by Yingxuan Teo is a project which envisions a near future where plastic packaging is eliminated from the cosmetics industry, with single use plastic being replaced by entirely sustainable ‘make your own’ systems. Yingxuan Teo has designed a soap-making device which can be incorporated into an everyday routine. The device uses natural ingredients, for example the Aloe Vera plant, therefore avoiding the harsh chemicals that are often used in everyday soap products and as an antidote to burgeoning plastic waste due to the pandemic. The design is a call for more sustainable practices in our daily sanitising procedures due to the public health crisis.
‘Rewind’ by Poh Yun Ru
‘Rewind’ by Poh Yun Ru is a cognitive stimulation therapy tool for people with dementia – who rely heavily on repetition in everyday life via sounds, smells and sights in order to retain memory. A motion-tracking tool produces visual and audio feedback through a paired device and asks the user to relate personal memories which they associate with the images and sounds that appear on the screen.
Due to their vulnerabilities to the coronavirus, older people are encouraged to stay at home, even to a state of near isolation with little physical contact with their families. The lack of suitable activities while being confined at home also contributes to the rapid deterioration of their cognitive faculties. Poh Yun Ru has designed these new activities to engage the mental agility and acuity in response to this.
‘Pneumatics’ Touch’ by Sheryl Teng
Taking an experimental approach to pneumatics (a branch of engineering that makes use of pressurised air), Sheryl Teng seeks to investigate how air can “come to life” in the form of a pneumatic textile, which responds to the needs of the user and the environment - creating the ‘Looft’ collection.
Using a battery-operated handheld heat sealer and pleated fabric, Teng produced an inflatable, stretchy resilient material made up of multiple compact air pockets that can be used for a variety of purposes. The resulting series of clothing, objects and protective cases that Teng created serves to reimagine the system and application of pneumatic objects, utilising its thermal insulating properties. The innovative series comprises thermal wear, a laptop case, a space partition and applications to a wingback chair and lamp.