In recent times, the international design scene has shifted its focus from mature Western industries to Asia-Pacific due to boundless market potentials and vast talent pools available in the region. With increasing levels of affluence, Asia-Pacific has also become the largest growing market for furniture. The same can be said for the construction and development market, where it is projected that Asia-Pacific will expand to become the largest regional market with a projected value of US$4.6 trillion by 20201.
As a contemporary city in sync with the world’s design trends, Singapore has always been Asia’s pathway to the international design market. From architecture and interiors to fashion and retail, its sophisticated consumer base retains a consistent demand for the world’s top names in design. Singapore’s growing presence in the design market has been further expedited by the variety of design conferences and exhibitions within the country. Additionally, the relentless unearthing of emerging regional talent and products has also contributed significantly to Singapore earning the title of the world’s Best Country Brand in Shopping, Retail, and Business2. Ranked 6th in the world in design3 and 11th in design competitiveness4, the flourishing design hub continues to spearhead regional advancement in the industry.
As the regional hub for the cross-pollination of design talents and trends, Singapore brings together a perfect confluence of arts, culture, business, and technology. Many multinational corporations (MNCs) have set up design centres here to develop products specifically tailored for Asians, including global giants such as Procter & Gamble, Electrolux, NiCE Ltd, and Porsche Design Studio.
Singapore’s homegrown designers have also gained global acclaim, sweeping more than 150 international awards between 2008 and 2012. 2014 sees the official launch of Singapore’s National Design Centre, a nexus for all things design that is located in the heart of the arts and cultural district.
Singapore provides unmatched regional market platforms for fashion, architecture and interior design. In recent years, it has become the regional launch pad of choice for international design labels. This includes couture empire Chanel, which picked Singapore for the worldwide debut of its Cruise ’14 collection. International events see a massive confluence of buyers and sellers for business transactions, with International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS) 2013 registering US$297 million in spot orders, and more than US$3.3 billion in follow-up sales. 2014 is expected to mark a watershed year, with the inaugural Singapore Design Week bringing together local and international events such as the Good Mark Design Awards and Singapore Design Awards.
In view of the rising consumption of design goods in sectors such as fashion, furniture and retail, Singapore’s dynamic MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) landscape has seen a surge in design-centred trade events. With major fashion design trade shows like Blueprint and Brandery Asia, the local design scene has also garnered an increased presence within trade events in its showcase of specific product lines and niche markets.
Similarly, the international acclaim of Singapore’s furniture trade fair scene holds massive opportunities for new platforms to complement and enrich the existing interior design landscape. This has been anchored by influential events such as International Furniture Fair Singapore and Maison & Objet Asia. Additionally, the international rise of multi-disciplinary design conferences is poised to grow even further in the coming years, capitalising on the network of design talent and thought leaders based in Singapore.
The National Design Centre (NDC) is the nexus for all things design. Centrally located in the arts, cultural, learning and entertainment district in the Bras Basah-Bugis area, it is host to a variety of rotating exhibitions and programmes. It is also home to the national agency for design, the DesignSingapore Council. Find out more
The Red Dot Museum (NDC) is Asia's first contemporary design museum. Explore all areas of daily life, and how design can make a difference; treat yourself to a preview of the future, as these ideas may be made available to us. Every exhibit is a winner of the international Red Dot Design Award, one of the world's largest design competitions. Find out more
(organised by DesignSingapore Council)
The following events are held in conjunction with Singapore Design Week.