Alkaff Courtviewhttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/SG-Mark-2022_Architecture_Alkaff-Courtview_5.jpg16001068Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/SG-Mark-2022_Architecture_Alkaff-Courtview_5.jpg
Shared spaces within housing enclaves are important institutions that bind people together. One such example is the playground. Alkaff Courtview offers 3 levels of differentiated play spaces with an overarching theme reflecting the abundance of nature of the Bidadari Estate. With each level embodying different realms of nature, children are encouraged to connect with nature and given a unique and educational play experience.
1. How do you think your design has impacted users? I believe a good design helps in activating spaces and bringing communities together. It makes spaces lively and more interesting.
2. What was the most difficult moment when developing your idea? To continuously churning our new ideas for different projects especially when projects revolve around the same theme.
3. What are some new things you learned about yourself and the users as you were designing? Users are always looking around for the same theme. Be it forest, ship or sea theme. They revolve around the 3 most popular themes. New things that I have learned is being able to be creative and managing expectations of the users what can be done and what cannot.
4. What are your future plans? Future plans are to design playgrounds that teaches children on sustainability such as playground that harness children’s energy and convert to wind or kinetic energy.
5. What was the inspiration behind your product/design/idea? We are inspired by modern architecture, abstract objects and nature behind our product / design/idea.
6. Did you experience designer’s block during your work process? No, I leave to my team of designers while I provide them the inspiration.
7. How has the SG Mark benefited you? It has position us an award winning design firm that clients look forward to working with us.
8. How do you unwind after the grind? By reading novels, watching movies and a glass of wine to end the day.
Harsai Kron Reflects on his Career & Lifehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/team-1-scaled.jpeg25601920Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/team-1-scaled.jpeg
Tell us a little more about yourself. What do you do at ComfortDelGro?
I’m currently working at ComfortDelGro (CDG Zig app) as a Senior UI/UX Designer. I am deeply passionate about solving problems and making useful things for people. I leverage research and data to transfer insights to actionable design solutions which solve problems for both users and businesses.
How do you feel when you see consumers using the CDG Zig app?
I feel both happy and proud when I receive compliments or feedback from the users. With the given feedback, we try to enhance the user experience in the app.
Interaction with any product produces an experience (emotion) – whether it has UX or not. Thus, we establish connections with the users by tapping into their emotions through enhancing their user experience.
What has been your personal mantra?
As a firm believer of having a positive attitude, I constantly advise myself to never let go of the witty kid inside me. I believe that such a mindset can create a ripple effect to the world in volumes.
If you had the chance to turn back time, what would you tell your 20-years old self?
Embrace technological endeavours, and make sure that they are accessible, applicable, and affordable to all.
Keep on learning and enjoy what you learn.
Living in a world where technology is ever advancing, is there anything you wish would remain unchanged?
Technology makes life easier and more comfortable for humans. It enables us to save both time and money. Indeed, AI can replace some of our jobs.
But leadership, socio-emotional skills and human intelligence are irreplaceable facets of the world. The human intelligence and humanity that run the world should remain unchanged.
Having recently joined DBCS Circle Connects, what topics are you looking forward to in the future?
Design Thinking, UI/UX, Interior Design and Product Design
The Duo Behind PLUS Grouphttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/7.jpeg16001600Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/7.jpeg
How was Plus Group founded? How did Mervin and you meet and become a business duo?
PLUS was founded by 11 other members. We started out as a student group in NUS Architecture that explored life plus curriculum outside of architecture to enrich our understanding of what design can do to a creative person. From the student group, the Head of Dept and our Professors encouraged us to form something more concrete outside of the school’s vicinity, to harness the unique synergy that we have built in school.
Currently, most of the other partners have expanded their personal careers and have left PLUS, a situation that we knew would arise and hopefully our journeys will meet in the new future to push PLUS again.
Husband-and-wife creative duo, Mervin and Cheryl are founders of the PLUS Group, a Gold Recipient of the Singapore Good Design Awards 2022.
Instead of focusing on a specific niche, why interdisciplinary?
We have always felt that design is a strategy to reach a goal that was carved out. We view each project with a holistic approach and suggest different outputs that we feel will have the best outcome. Therefore, to be able to achieve this unusual approach, we needed an interdisciplinary setup.
“Design is subjective. But your objectives aren’t.” Could you further explain this bold statement on PLUS Group’s website?
Design as a topic is definitely subjective. What is “nice” or “beautiful” to a person, might not necessarily be the same to another. However, when achieving a goal with proper setups of targets to meet, that becomes objective. For PLUS, this is where the data and art or design meet.
What went through your mind when the project – Insecta Iridesse was awarded the Singapore Good Design Gold Award?
We were definitely delighted. It just proves that our hard work meant something to others, especially those within the design industry. It was tough to convince clients of our unusual approach to design, but this helps in showing that our ways, though unconventional, could still yield positive results.
What is one of the most worthwhile investments that both of you have ever made for a project?
Community projects are something new that we are exploring. Seeing the faces of the communities and having them respond to you the way you want your design to impact them – those situations are priceless.
Leading a team isn’t easy. Do you have any advice for solopreneurs or managers on what it takes to succeed and/or complete a project?
We are not sure if it is an advice, but we make sure the team in PLUS eats a lot. Eating is our form of appreciation and eating is our way of showing that we care. Make sure the team is being taken care of and the team will take care of you.
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. If we may ask, how do you and your partner take care of each other after work?
We do not know actually. Our lives are so intertwined with work that it sometimes gets muddled up and the flow just leads the way.
EMBRACE!https://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/embrace-day.jpg500500Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/embrace-day.jpg
Project EMBRACE seeks to beautify Singapore’s landscape and unite people with MRT pillars.
I frequently go down to the track right by the MRT to run and I’ve often thought that the spaces could have been better utilised. The idea of EMBRACE is to clad the MRT columns with 22 used holding panels and allow members of the community to come together to paint them and express themselves.
About the project
The premise of this project stemmed from a far-sighted concern on the MRT system. Mindful about the implications the fixed corridors created by the network of on-grade MRT tracks have on our city when WFH becomes the norm, how can design spark online or physical conversations/collaborations to rejuvenate our community spirit in a post-pandemic Singapore?
EMBRACE cleverly reuses construction hoarding steel panels affixed on circular steel support around the MRT pillars, with hoarding panels serving as canvas for any community expression through Paint, Stick or Project. The initiative showcases our people’s ingenuity for turning an urban challenge into opportunity, while the colours and vibrancy of the adorned columns embraces our diversity, creativity and aspirations.
3D Printing and Pokemon Enthusiast, Matt of Imagene Creativehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Figure-8.jpg16001066Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Figure-8.jpg
Tell us a little more about yourself. What excites you in life?
Hello, I am Matt, a photographer, a maker, and a designer. More importantly, I am a 3D printing enthusiast who enjoys creating new products that solve everyday problems. I work on a wide range of 3D printed projects ranging from architecture models, toy making, engineering solutions to many everyday products. As convenient as 3D printing is, not all parts of a product need to be 3D printed.
I often go shopping at stores like Daiso to hunt for a simple base product (for example a spray bottle) and enhance its features functionally or aesthetically by modifying the base product to suit it for a specific purpose. As a huge fan of Pokemon, I creatively recreate functional items that reflect the characteristics of some of my favourite Pokemons.
How was Imagene Creative founded?
Although Imagene Creative officially started in 2020, the preparation works started much earlier. When I was in university, I realised a market gap in which students are expected to complete their prototype for their course work within a certain time period, but there are often not sufficient resources in schools for everyone to utilise. That was when I began to provide a prototyping service via 3D printing.
I started off with only one personal 3D printer on hand, and as the business grew, I acquired more printers along the way. Through this journey, I met more like-minded people and that is where I got exposed to workshop facilitation in the area of design across various levels. I really wanted to advocate the convenience of self-printed products and the power of imagination that allow oneself to break free from the concept of forced adaptation of lifestyle based on the restriction by the readily-available-products in the market.
Currently, Imagene Creative is a start-up based in the SUTD Entrepreneurship Centre (EC) where the school provides support for its students and alumni to kickstart their creative process. This environment provides a safe harbour and a close network for like-minded individuals to spark creativity and mutual learning.
From 3D printing services to offering workshops, which activity engages you the most?
I would say that both the 3D printing services and the conduct of workshops are closely related within the design ecosystem; they are in an upstream-downstream relationship. Firstly, the teaching of design or entrepreneurship allows students to create solutions on paper or in some form of 3D software, then there is a need to prototype them into the real-world space for testing, and that is where 3D printing comes in.
Matthew Chiu is a young entrepreneur and the founder of Imagene Creatives, where he works on an array of 3D printed projects.
How did the PM50 project come about?
The PSM50 is a project that took all my skills to test. I was referred by one of my university professors in Architecture about an opportunity to re-create replicas of national monuments in Singapore in collaboration with the National Heritage Board (NHB). Having a degree in Architecture, creating 3D models of buildings should not be that difficult of a task, at least that is what I thought at first. In the engagement of PSM50, I was tasked to recreate digital 3D models of 11 renown monuments before 3D printing them physically within a short period of 2.5 months.
The real challenge lied where I had to recreate the digital 3D models without the full set of building documentation mainly due to security reasons. In order to complete the task, I will then have to rely on puzzling complete images of various sources together such as Google Maps, Google Earth, Instagram, and several onsite visits to determine the shape and proportions of the monuments. Another challenge involved the short timeline where I had to stagger the virtual model creation and the physical 3D printing. While the first monument had been loaded on the 3D printer, I would have to start on the next monument immediately. Though the job was tedious, I had a lot of fun learning about our history as I was detailing the model.
One of the 11 monument miniature models that I was tasked to create was the “Bowyer Block” that is located within the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). Besides the models needed for the PSM50 Exhibition, I was also tasked to fabricate extra Bowyer Block models that were going to be given as tokens-of-appreciations to VIPs during an important event. I was thrilled to be told that one of the Bowyer Block models was even presented to PM Lee.
How did you feel when you learned that you were awarded the Singapore Good Design Award?
I was really excited when I was notified about the award and the opportunity to be able to interact with fellow brilliant designers in Singapore. In my impression, SG Mark is a prestigious recognition given to the top designers across the sectors and I would not have fathomed receiving it before I got to work on the PSM50 exhibition.
During the gala dinner, I was honoured to be meeting so many like-minded individuals and organisations that are pushing the forefront of design in various aspects in their own unique ways. The award ceremony acts as a symposium that motivates and encourages people to solve everyday problems creatively using design as a focal point, to emphasise that there is more than one approach to solve the same problem; where each individual can potentially solve a similar problem in a very unique approach that leverages on their personal experiences and beliefs.
Overall, it was a fun and joyous experience in both knowing about getting the award and attending the actual event itself.
Is there any equipment or software that you use to help you manage your workload and productivity?
Yes, simply a 3D printer. The response may give the impression that I am a geek, but I wouldn’t want to be classified as one. Having a 3D printer at home keeps my brain active and allows me to immediately prototype my ideas into the real world, without having to wait till the next day at work. I do not particularly agree with the phrase “to sit on an idea and give it another thought”. I believe in the rapid cycle of “prototype – test – learn – repeat”.
Having to materialise my ideas allows me to test it immediately in terms of ergonomics and usability, which are aspects of design that are hard to foresee just by thinking. Thus, having a 3D printer at home grants me the power to create something overnight literally by just sending the file into the printer and heading to bed.
One example was the involvement in the “MakersAgainstCovid19” organisation that was founded during the initial Covid days where the 3D printing community in Singapore collectively printed 52,000 ear-savers for the frontline workers within a short period of time. The ear-savers were printed and iterated in batches rapidly in accordance with the feedback obtained.
What helps you to decompress and recuperate after work?
I indulge in a wide range of activities such as kayaking, prawning, 3D printing, photography, and surfing. Well, the most interesting activity to share might be my photography hobby where I have moved beyond digital cameras. When I say, “moved beyond”, most would think that I have shifted to something more high-tech. But no, it is the exact opposite. I am now doing Gameboy Photography which is a 1990s technology. Being a 90s kid, the Gameboy is something that I personally grew up with. But only recently did I realise that there is something called the Gameboy Camera which was released back in 1998 which I did not have the luxury to have back then.
The Gameboy Camera is basically a game cartridge with a built-in camera and allows the Gameboy device to become a camera upon plugging the cartridge in. Although the Gameboy Camera produces a low-resolution image, the image has a unique timeless style to it. As the Gameboy Camera has a built-in wide-angle lens, it is difficult to capture portraits with a rather clean background.
To mitigate the issue, online enthusiasts have attempted to combine a Gameboy Camera cartridge with modern DSLR camera lens with a customised adapter. In my case, I have 3D printed my own adapter using the online provided file and added my own modification of an extra grip for a more stable and pleasing shooting experience. The process of creating such an adapter had demonstrated my emphasis on the “prototype – test – learn – repeat” cycle as one will never get the prototype right on the first try itself.
Beyond working hours, do you have any commitments or activities that you pursue?
Beyond working hours, I am actually a full-time dad for my 8-month-old daughter. From my very brief experience, juggling fatherhood and work is not easy at all but I will say it is indeed very fruitful when you see that happy face smiling at you after a long tiring day of work.
My love for 3D printing does not just get confined with work; I think it is more of a way of living to be constantly creative and try to problem-solve using design. I have designed and 3D printed various gadgets and toys that help me with fatherhood along the way whenever I encounter “opportunities”. Yes, I will identify those as opportunities instead of problems, so yes, I am quite “problem-free”!
Scratchbachttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/scratchbac2.jpg17781000Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/scratchbac2.jpg
Scratchbac was inspired by the thought of connecting neighbours together.
Scratchbac is a proximity-based app that originally started out to solve my personal problem but the idea quickly grew to something bigger than myself.
We began organising events such as inviting neighbours to come down and play games together and small markets where people could bring down and exchange their pre-loved items with one another.
Lionbots International’s Quirky Head of Special Projects, Lee Tat Linhttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/DSC00007.jpg16161080Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/DSC00007.jpg
Lee Tat Lin, a SUTD graduate, happens to be the designer and maker behind our Singapore Good Design (SG Mark) plaques.
Tell us a little more about yourself. Describe your personal style.
I’m educated as an engineer but the last 7 years of my career has taken me through a multitude of experiences from research to design, to consulting, and to where I am now. I value each one of them and suffice to say, I like to explore and dabble in new things!
What do you do at Lionsbot International?
I mainly focus on investor relations and overseas expansion, as well as driving a portion of our marketing efforts. It is exciting to see our cleaning robots all over the world, empowering cleaning professionals to be the future of cleaning!
What is your design ethos/motto?
I believe that every design is a solution to a problem, and it is crucial to always design for the right problem instead of seeking the right design for the wrong problem.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I’ve had many great advices but I like this rather unusual piece of advise: “Teach them the right way, but tell them the real way”
What would you like to have as your last meal on earth?
Definitely a bowl of noodle soup accompanied by grilled steak with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Not forgetting some good beer!
Semula to a Dying Industryhttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/semulaplaque-with-semula-plasticsw-local-wood.jpg6671000Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/semulaplaque-with-semula-plasticsw-local-wood.jpg
Our project is about giving a new life to a dying industry. Through our project, we hope to rejuvenate the kiddy ride that many of us are familiar with using recycled plastic materials.
We wish to create a common space for multigenerational communities to bond and interact such that this will be a space for young children to play and enjoy the kiddy ride, parents to relax and catch up with others, and elderly to participate in sensory experiences and promote their physical well-being.
Young Changemakers!https://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/young-changemakers1-1.jpg11481000Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/young-changemakers1-1.jpg
Young Changemakers believe that a better future lies in a strong foundation that incorporates sustainability into the teaching pedagogy.
When we started the project, we were driven by the desire to make sure that kids had the right principles growing up from a young age, especially when it comes to sustainability.
As no one has ever done a program on sustainability, we wanted to be the first.
Abhay Vyas of Salesforce Advises to “Keep it Simple”https://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Swift_Review_1_1_1280-e1671078069192.jpeg12801119Design Business Chamber SingaporeDesign Business Chamber Singaporehttps://dbcsingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Swift_Review_1_1_1280-e1671078069192.jpeg
As a designer, have you always been interested in the tech space? Share your journey with us. Tell us a little more about yourself.
I’m a young, always cheerful and passionate UX designer practising user-centred design in Bengaluru, India. I am also a well-acknowledged photographer & auto-ethnographer.
I started my career at Whirlpool India as an Interaction Design Intern working on multiple tangible interfaces, then moved to the research domain and joined CKS as a researcher. After exploring research, I joined Info Edge (Naukti.com) as an interaction designer and primarily worked on the recruiter side of the products for close to three years. Later, I moved to Microsoft India and worked for 5+ years on various products like Windows Apps, Bing, and Dynamics 365.
From there, I joined Salesforce, where I’m responsible for the end-user product experience for Industries’ Common Services and Platforms. I’ve spent the last few years helping various companies to create an effortless user experience and design delightful digital products. This experience allowed me to acquire a wide range of skills as a designer.
Building products from scratch, working alongside developers, analysing customer interactions, and seeing how users use my designs and continuously improve them is what I love the most about my job!
What are the greatest highlights or impacts of working at Salesforce?
Salesforce is a fast-paced and dynamic environment where we work closely with our product owners and constantly innovate.
As part of the Salesforce Industries, I had multiple opportunities to work on zero-to-one products. I lead the end-to-end product experience for Industries Public Sector Cloud. This has dramatically impacted connecting today’s government with every citizen and employee. With the help of this product, government agencies can now deliver mission impact through modern, secure, and compliantexperience.
I lead the design and product (to an extent) for the Salesforce Business Rules Engine that empowers anyone to build, test, and execute rules with a drag and drop no-code interface. This product has become a core of the Salesforce platform and won the Singapore Good Design award.
There have been a few other personal highlights as well. Salesforce supported me in completing my executive education from IIM Bengaluru, allowed my interest for mentoring new talents to manifest in reality by giving me a chance to participate in the AIGA New York mentorship program, and many more.
Working with different stakeholders in cross-departments across the organisation isn’t easy. How do you facilitate and manage your stakeholders? How would you advise your junior and why?
I would give credit to Slack for its great asynchronous and continuous collaboration. 😀
Keeping that aside, we have established clear roles in the team that have helped to keep things moving more smoothly. We have limited the number of stakeholders to only those who are essential. We have created a regular check-in and have given sign-off power to everyone involved in the project.
I would advise the team to “set the right tone”. Healthy relationships between cross-departments can significantly influence how well team members can collaborate. You can set up regular check-ins with your counterparts to understand the overall progress and challenges. Have retrospectives within the teams to understand what went well and what did not and improve things. This can foster a sense of collective responsibility for your organisation’s success and build a sense of trust across the departments.
In the past 3 years, what new habits or systems have helped improvised your life?
This has helped me collaborate with people around me to create alternatives rather than settling for a compromise. While practising synergy, we have developed innovative solutions that leverage diversity and satisfy all key stakeholders.
On the personal front, I have also started focusing more on my health and have developed a few good habits like doing yoga, meditation, and a few weekly runs, which keep me at peace.
What advice would you give to any graduates who are entering the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
“Speak up and make yourself visible.”
Ask questions and don’t hesitate to give your opinion. Talk about your work; try to expose yourself to more opportunities. This will give you a lot of visibility and help you learn fast.
“Avoid focusing on Minimum Viable Product.”
You are a designer, so use your skills to create an ideal vision that can serve as the “guiding light” that your team can constantly refer to, consult, and steer towards.
If you have a chance to place a quote on billboards across your city, what would it be and why?
“Keep it Simple.”
Everyone loves simplicity. It’s easy to articulate, understand, and execute. We should avoid providing excessively complex solutions to a problem and focus on what works given the circumstances.