Design Explores Evolution at SingaPlural During Design Week 2019
See how design changes and adapts with these interactive installations at the National Design Centre
Organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), with the support of DesignSingapore Council, Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board, SingaPlural’s theme this year is ‘Unnatural Phenomena’. The theme “draws on evolution in nature to inspire innovation in design”. The programme is curated by the award-winning Formwerkz Architects and branding and marketing agency Bravo.
Co-curator Eugene Kosgoron of Formwerkz Architects shares more about this programme of interactive installations, which will include exhibitor talks on March 13 (sign up to attend for free – it’s a must-see!)
How did you come up with the theme ‘Unnatural Phenomena’?
“We came up with the theme by observing phenomena in nature. Reptiles such as marine iguana evolve to swim underwater and forage on algae in order to survive, a phenomenon seen only in the Galapagos island. Evolution in nature is similarly replicated in the design industry, where we no longer are specialists in our own disciplines. In today’s context, especially in a fast-paced industry such as Singapore’s, we believe creatives need to be not only multi-disciplinary in order to survive, but also comfortable breaking boundaries that limits them. SingaPlural 2019 serves as a platform to nurture these novel hybrids that follow the theme ‘Unnatural Phenomena’.”
How would you explain the theme to the general public visiting SingaPlural?
“Embrace change, be comfortable doing something unfamiliar! We want the audience – no matter the age – to leave with a different mindset. We want them to embrace the theme, to think that something bizarre can be beautiful or something abnormal can truly be exceptional.”
For visitors who don’t have the benefit of being given a curator’s tour, what’s the best way/route to experience SingaPlural?
“We have designed a wayfinding map which provides information about the exhibition that will be installed at the entrance of the atrium space. The collaborators for each exhibit are listed and detailed descriptions can be found in each booth.
“Furthermore, the eight exhibitors are laid out in an organised manner in the atrium space underneath a main installation called ‘Twisted Paths’ that we created. Intended to unify the different exhibitors, the concept searches for the common denominator that links them. We found that in the journey the exhibitors took, each had to go through a certain pathway to get to the final design. ‘Twisted Paths’ is a reflection of these journeys, simplifying them as lines and connections in the form of a hanging sculpture that anchors SingaPlural 2019. Poetically suspended, ‘Twisted Paths’ anchors the space in a soft and ethereal manner.”
The eight installations mentioned by Kosgoron are collaborations between Singapore creatives and a local manufacturer. This year, these range from multi-disciplinary design firms such as Takashilim and parametric product design company AntiCAD, who created a sculptural acoustic installation called ‘Enjoy the Silence’ to illustrate why our ears are shaped the way they are…
SingaPlural is expecting over 28,000 visitors this year, says SFIC president Mark Yong.
Yong explains more about the theme: “In our curatorial open call for this year’s edition, our brief revolved around the idea of ‘Life’, the basis of Urban Living. This is in line with the SFIC roadmap launched last year with a collective industry vision to be the ‘Asian Hub Influencing Tomorrow’s Urban Living’.”
Asked which installation he is most excited about, Yong says: “Every installation at SingaPlural is worth a look, as the whole is more than a sum of its parts. If I can be biased for a moment, our curators from Formwerkz have done a commendable job in their tunnel and atrium installations as well as their commissioned showcase for EDL (Bo(u)lder), a laminate company.
“Visitors coming in via the main entrance of the National Design Centre will be greeted by Formwerkz’s ‘Tilt Shift’, which serves as a visual presence for Singaplural 2019 to draw the public in. Located at the main entrance of the National Design Centre, Tilt Shift is a wall feature that can be simplified as an application of two techniques, the tilt and the shift, an idea borrowed from architectural photography.
“Another noteworthy installation is Formwerkz’s ‘Twisted Paths’, the main atrium installation which unifies all the exhibitors under a single theme.”
As “SingaPlural has always been a catalyst for collaborations between creatives and brands and a key initiative by SFIC to drive design development in the industry, we worked closely with the curators to identify lifestyle brands within and beyond the furniture industry that would be a good fit with the SingaPlural brand and what we are trying to achieve,” says Yong.
SingaPlural also has a Master Lectures series to complement the exhibit. These lectures are designed for student and trade visitors, and include networking sessions. Speakers are engineer-architect Elena Manferdini of Atelier Manferdini, associate art director Raffi Lehrer of Goldenvoice and creative technologist Brandon Kruysman of Novel. Seats are limited, and there is a $50 admission fee for each lecture ($40 for students) – so check the schedule and sign up immediately.
Date: March 4 to 17
Venue: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road
Opening Hours (Daily): 9:00am to 9:00pm
Admission is free.
Click here for more information on SingaPlural.
Check out more Singapore Design Week happenings on DesignSingapore.