07 SEP 2022

How to Spend a Day with Good Design  

How can we understand design research? How about through a day in the life of a designer? That’s the aim of the Good Design Research Pop-up Exhibition which hopes to throw some light into this process by bringing it out to the public during Singapore Design Week at Bugis+ and at Funan’s Underground Pedestrian Link.  

But first, a little history: The Good Design Research (GDR) which was launched by DesignSingapore Council in March 2020 aims to help and support designing for impact through research and experimentation. And it has grown to a full-fledged exhibition to showcase 23 projects from its first three runs.  

Curated by WY-TO Architects, the GDR pop-up exhibition is divided into three sections, each representing a different part of the day, with “Morning” evoking a sense of purpose; this is followed by “Afternoon”, which is about a sense of practice and productivity since it is when most of us are at work or school; and “Night” centres on play and nurturing creativity.  

“The different GDR projects are clearly addressing the different moments of people and their needs, and that is how we ended up with this idea to celebrate life,” says Yann Follain, founder of WY-TO’s Singapore practice.  

The Exhibition

Start by exploring in the Morning/Purpose section. Look out for Werable by Claudia Poh, which designs easy-to-wear styles that can be worn with one hand that are ideal for the adaptive market.  

Now that you’re ‘dressed for the day, head to the Afternoon/Practice area where you will see Offcut Factory by Edmund Zhang and Esli Ee. The duo takes material waste and creates new, useful designs out of them like rulers and coasters. Also found here is The Local Tree Project by Roger&Sons, which repurposes trees felled in Singapore into furniture, among others.  

When ready to Play, move to Night and have fun with Wild Dot by Shirin Rafie, who uses horticultural waste to make paints and pigments for hobby artists. And just like how some of us enjoy shopping at the end of the day, immerse yourself in Reconceiving the Future of Malls, by Spatial Anatomy, that delves into how malls can be rejuvenated to stay relevant.  

These are just some of the projects featured in the pop-up space at Bugis+ that also hosts the physical prototypes and products created by GDR recipients.  

In addition, videos of GDR recipients and their projects will be screened at the Underground Pedestrian Link of Funan where you can also scan QR codes to access digital content created by the designers. 

Fringe Events

Running alongside “A Day In The Life” are craft workshops, design thinking classes, talks and panel discussions conducted by GDR recipients. Happening at both Bugis+ and National Design Centre, these sessions cover a range of subjects from mental health and ageing to biomimicry and urban design.  

For instance, you can sign up for a workshop titled How to Be Kind where’ll learn to take simple steps to exercise empathy for yourself and the communities you support. Alternatively, you could go for Well-being at Work to learn how to get buy-in to create spaces that allow for healthy conversations on mental wellbeing. For those with tweens, check out Flight and Fight: Biomimicry for Tweens to discover what we can learn from nature and created a nature-inspired flying device.  

With so much good design to surround yourself with during this Singapore Design Week, be sure to pop by Bugis+, Funan’s Underground Pedestrian Link and make a date for the specially run workshops.  

About Good Design Research

Launched in March 2020 in the middle of a pandemic year, Good Design Research (GDR) underscores the importance of how design backed by deep research can make a true difference – building deep domain knowledge and solving the challenges faced by societies and cities. This initiative empowers designers and enterprises in Singapore to find their unique value proposition in designing for impact through research and experimentation, supported by a wide network of knowledge partners.

The Good Design Research Pop-Up Exhibition will run from Sep 10 to Sep 25 at Bugis + and Sep 5 to Sep 30 at Funan Underground Pedestrian Link.