#44 - Reworking Hospitals

Highlights from Singapore Design Week 2018

Need inspiration? Here’s A plethora of vibrant events and design seminars presented by some of the best minds who discuss innovative projects from all over the world at the #SDW2018.

The Singapore Design Week 2018 presented a variety of design, art and architecture projects in different venues spread around the city—a UNESCO Creative City of Design. The week included much-anticipated discussions at the Brainstorm Design event, newly presented products at the International Furniture Fair Singapore and the Singapore + Wallpaper* Handmade Classics exhibition, an annual project now in its eighth year.

Here’s a rundown of the activities that have marked this year’s SDW 2018:


Brainstorm Design: The Best of the Best


Over 60 global leaders in design, business, technology and public policy participated in a unique conference which explored the increasing nexus between business and design at the Brainstorm Design, presented by TIME, Fortune and Wallpaper*.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear Tom Dixon present his collaboration with Ikea, launched in February 2018, called the Delaktig—an open-source, modular seating system.

Spanish Designer Patricia Urquiola shared how she works with companies to integrate technology into buildings and transform archaeological findings into futuristic bits. She also spoke about her renovation project for the headquarters of Cassina to commemorate the firm’s 90th anniversary last year. Read more on Architects Newspaper.

Second-time participant Dan Roosegarde, founder of Studio Rossegarde, started his talk with an ice-breaker:

Do you know why you cannot tickle yourself?

“[Because of] anticipation. There is no surprise. The moment you try to tickle yourself, your body is programmed to ignore. But the moment you tickle your neighbor, like right now, then you would get an interaction.”

And that’s very interesting as it sort of proves that some experiences, we cannot do alone. We have to work together in order to make it happen. And for me, that is the essence of making new things, of tickling each other to find new connections.

dan roosegarde soundcloud image

He continued to speak about the future of design and landscapes in his session as he presented his firm’s futuristic project called Gates of Light.


Co-founder of Airbnb Joe Gebbia discussed Airbnb’s latest home sharing project called the Yoshino Cedar House, a working model of a shared home that has successfully revitalized and empowered the community in rural Yoshino.

“We’re not in the business of designing a home,” Gebbia stated. Airbib is known for creating a sense of community. In regards to the Yoshino Cedar House, he explained:

“It is not just a shared home on Airbnb but it is also a community center for the village, a very important part of Japanese village life.”

Left—The Yoshino Cedar House. Courtesy of Airbnb. Right—Co-founder of Airbnb Joe Gebbia. Courtesy of Vanessa Liwanag.

Left—The Yoshino Cedar House. Courtesy of Airbnb. Right—Co-founder of Airbnb Joe Gebbia. Courtesy of Vanessa Liwanag.

Architect and designer, Nigel Coates discussed design in urban planning with fellow panelist Hwang Yu-Ning, Acting Deputy CEO & Chief Planner from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore.

Watch the video excerpt here as Coates speeks about his students bringing vegetables to the table for an urban planning project in Florence.

Capping the event was architect Thomas Heatherwick, who shared how he and his team try to inject soulfulness into the structures that they build. He spoke about his company’s current project: an office complex for Google with its multi-layered structure that will have employees work in harmony through ample spaces, natural light and greenery surrounding the workplace.

“The clue on how to approach [the design of the Google office] actually came from looking into one of the markets in the UK, in Ledbury Market in the center, which was a simple building.”

It was lifted off the ground and so we wondered [what it would be like] if we moved from a model of a big heavy building sitting on a ground to a building that is lifted two stories off the ground. The exciting part for us is it’s a great building but underneath we have a community-driven space like a village.

“It’s a 10-story building and in terms of the workspace inside, we break it down to three main floors on those raised spaces and hanging underneath them are spaces that are temporary and changeable. In effect, we are making three main floors above a potential village.”



Wallpaper* Handmade RETREAT


The Wallpaper* Handmade RETREAT exhibition opened on March 8 at the Gilman Barracks—well-known for promoting art, culture and local artists. The event presented unique home décor objects created by different design studios and featured seven pieces by Singapore creatives Studio Juju, Stolen, Theseus Chan, Olivia Lee, Gabriel Tan Studio, WOHA and Edmund Zhang.

Tony Chambers, Brand and Content Director of Wallpaper* invited everyone to marvel at unique objects in the exhibit which includes the Cleansing Plinth by Studio Juju and Fox Marble, Chess Set by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, and ceramic pieces by Derek Wilson.


2017—Sarah Douglas replaced Tony Chambers—one of the most influential arbiters of taste in the design world—at the helm of design magazine Wallpaper*, making her the first female editor in the publication’s 21-year history. Read more here.

Design Within Reach has launched three new collections designed by Gabriel Tan Studio

Design Within Reach has launched three new collections designed by Gabriel Tan Studio.

Chambers shared his thoughts on the city’s evolving design scene:

Singapore is one of the fastest developing design destinations and we are excited to be part of it all here, in partnership with the Design Singapore Council.

The exhibition is still on-going and will continue its run until the end of March before the curated design pieces will head off to the Salon Del Mobile in Milan this coming April.


International Furniture Fair Singapore 2018


Asia’s finest furniture and décor brands presented their latest collections at this year’s IFFS held at the Singapore Expo.

The grand exhibition was divided into different areas. The nook & ASEAN area showcased creative décor objects like natural indigo-dyed stool chairs and table lamps by Taiwanese brand Taiping Blue.

At the Piazza Hall, Ruchika Singhal, co-founder of Sam and Sara Home and its subsidiary Ipse Ipsa Ipsum presented a collection of home pieces and décor objects designed in Peranakan-style and made by traditional craftsmen. Here’s an inspiring video of Ipse Ipsa Ipsum:

Thai brand Deesawat exhibited its collection of modern and tropical furniture and home décor objects. Deesawat’s R&D Marketing Director Jirachai Tangkijngamwong spoke to ArchiExpo e-Magazine:

We make some of our furniture using sustainable teak wood from Burma as preferred by an increasing number of clients. The Green Lamp is one of the key pieces in our latest collection and we are glad to present it at the upcoming Salon del Mobile in Milan this coming April.


The Green Lamp by Deesawat

The Green Lamp by Deesawat


An interesting space at the IFFS was the Design STARS where some of the best young designers from Asia-Pacific and Europe were given the spotlight. Some notable talents include Nguyen Hoa from Vietnam, who presented his very own handmade wooden rocking chair, and Anna Lima-Freeman from Studio Velce, who presented her studio’s movement-centric design objects.

Velce Active Stool, an ergonomic chair designed by Anna Lima-Freeman of Studio Velce

Velce Active Stool, an ergonomic chair designed by Anna Lima-Freeman of Studio Velce. Courtesy of Studio Velce.

About the Author

Vanessa Liwanag, is an MBA alumni of the prestigious Mod'Art International in Paris, France and founder of Creative Talents Worldwide. A frequent contributor to ArchiExpo e-magazine, she also writes for top luxury travel blog LuxeInACity.

Related Posts

Understanding digital identity and joining the network can protect e-retailers and customers from...

June 2019—During a conference at Architect@Work, Beirut architect Lina Ghotmeh transported us into...

At this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), an emphasis on asymmetry and...

Style Switcher

Highlight Color:




You can also set your own colors or background from the Admin Panel.