Rooftop roller disco, drag shows and Street of Clans festival at upcoming Singapore Design Week 2019

SINGAPORE – Mark your calendars, Singapore Design Week is rolling into town with new programmes and activities, including many that will appeal to the younger crowd.

The annual festival, which is in its sixth edition, celebrates all things design with more than 80 events over two weeks in various locations around Singapore.

Organised by the DesignSingapore Council, the festival will be held from March 4 to 17. Many of the events are free, although some design talks and workshops are ticketed.

An addition this year is Street of Clans, a festival to be held along Bukit Pasoh Road to draw focus to the heritage clan houses in the area such as Chin Kang Huay Kuan and Koh Clan through design installations, workshops, talks, food and live music.

Mr Mark Wee, executive director of DesignSingapore Council, says having street activities “makes it easier for the public to consume design in an accessible manner and to learn more about it along the way”.

An interesting event to watch out for is Singapore Urban Design Festival. It will be held on the top two floors of a multi-storey carpark in Jalan Besar. There will be a 80s-themed rooftop roller disco, drag shows, Instagram-worthy photo spots and live DJ sets.

As part of the design week, there will also be urban design innovation talks on the topics of resources, mobility and community.

Other highlights include SingaPlural, a design exhibition based on the theme “Unnatural Phenomena”, exploring how evolution in nature inspires design, as well as master lectures, such as one by United States-based associate art director Raffi Lehrer, who curates the artworks at music festival Coachella.

The public can also get to see the actual furniture pieces used in the Crazy Rich Asians movie.

At the International Furniture Fair Singapore, a longstanding trade show held during the design week, home accessories brand Sam & Sara will display furniture pieces from the popular movie. The Buyers Lounge, where the pieces are shown, is open to the public on March 12 and pieces can be purchased onsite. This year’s fair will be held for the first time in Sands Expo and Convention Centre to showcase furniture from designers around the region.

Meanwhile, the Wallpaper* Handmade 2019 exhibition will feature works from seven established local designers and design studios including Chris Lee and Hans Tan, and one from young Lasalle graduate Brandon Yeo. After debuting at Singapore Design Week, the eight pieces will be shown at Milan Design Week.

Since the Singapore Design Week’s inception in 2014, the number of festival attendees have been growing steadily. Last year’s edition had over 300,000 visitors.

The DesignSingapore Council expects more visitors this year but stressed that it is not chasing numbers but focused on improving the quality of the programmes.

Mr Wee says: “We’re covering pertinent topics in the design landscape such as the circular economy and sensible urban design, with something for everyone be it the general public or the industry insider.”

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