Organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, the fourth edition of SingaPlural took place this year at 99 Beach Road from 10 to 16 March. Stephanie Peh gives a rundown of this year’s extravaganza.
18 March, 2015
Top image: Our Neighbourhood: Urban-Inspired Stories
SingaPlural 2015 is a celebration of ‘firsts’ – this is the annual festival’s debut consolidated affair, contrary to previous editions where works were showcased at multiple venues around town. It is also the first time external curators, design studios PLUS Collaboratives and GOVT were appointed to lend an insider voice to the anchor event of Singapore Design Week 2015.
For six days, the former Beach Road Police Station was transformed into a destination for creative installations and ideas spanning 13,500 square metres. As was the aim of the organisers, the design event was “a more approachable and relatable edition for the masses” this year, allowing the public to trace the complex stages of design from inception to end product through curated design spaces.
The theme “Process” was broken down by multiple designers, artists, veterans, manufacturers, students across a wide spectrum of design: architecture, interior, furniture, graphic and fashion, all of which explored across six defining pillars of the festival.
One of the pillars, Project X, highlighted the golden designer and manufacturer relationship, where within the industry, constant dialogue often leads to the creation of groundbreaking work. In this case, home-grown pressured laminates brand, Lamitak collaborated with four creatives to push the envelope of the common laminate function, opening up new possibilities of the material to create lifestyle products, rather than to simply serve as a finishing product.
Spatial design studio, wynk, considered its lightweight and flexible properties to their advantage, creating a series of modular pet houses that can be flat packed and catered to different animals. “Typically, pets have a semi-permanent and pricey house to dwell in, if not just a basket with fabric lining. The choices are quite limited. We wanted to create something affordable that could also change in size as the animal grows,” says Leong Hon Kit, founding partner of wynk.
Other installations for Project X included a table and wall-cladding that explored the use of textured laminates to create a new form of surface design by industrial designer, Tiffany Loy, as well as a ‘garden’ made out of laminate floral petals used with actual flower parts to create new floral species by designer, Miun.
Thirty-three specially conceived installations were also showcased, including pieces that celebrate Singapore’s bustling jubilee. “With this year being the meaningful SG50, there’s no better time to fly the design flag high and share the evolution of our very creative design scene,” says Mark Yong, Vice President of SFIC and Chairman of SingaPlural.
At the heart of the festival, visitors pondered upon the exhibition, Our Neighbourhood: Urban-Inspired Stories, a collaboration between Indonesian engineered wood manufacturer, Samko Timber Limited (SAMKO) and design collective, Little Thoughts Group. Eight designers from the collective were tasked to think about their personal memories of Singapore, using them as inspiration for their installation.
Through the use of ‘Heveatech’, an eco-friendly, weather resistant, rubber wood, a series of outdoor pieces were created: Playstools, inspired by 1980s sand-based neighbourhood playgrounds; Tempinis, an overhead shelter structure inspired by the forests of Tampines in its past; as well as ABC Brickworks, a seating that can be reconstructed from sofa to lounge through a magnetic mechanism inspired by the ABC Brickworks Market.
Design geeks also got a chance to peek into the design process of agencies such as multidisciplinary studio Acre, which displayed a foldable table that can be easily dismantled, stored or set up through the use of nylon strings; Design consultancy Stuck put up a compelling series of background sketches that celebrate four years of work.
Installations that bordered the realms of artistic pursuits and dreams included The Marvellous Marble Factory, where Olivia Lee did a Wes Anderson like take on the journey of raw marble production. In What We Are Constantly Losing, Calvin Pang celebrated the process of loss in life through time.
Finally, RSP Architects’ Dream a Little was a creative illustration of a whimsical city, a dreamscape depicting the ludicrous but endearing aspirations of an architect, where despite being a laborious profession, the industry is still bustling with creative dreamers – possibly a mirror to all creators at this year’s SingaPlural.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
Jumeirah Bali tells the story of the grand Majapahit empire through water sculptures, symbolic forms and contemporary injections, bridging Bali’s past and present.
Halfway through Milan, design-breaking pieces keep on coming. With Habitus editor Aleesha Callahan on the ground, get the first look at these commercial pieces for all your workplace desires.
Cera Stribley’s head of interior design, Jessica Coulter, reports back from Milan Design Week and tells us why Fuorisalone put on a better show than Salone del Mobile in 2022.