Six designers, among Singapore’s top talents, present their innovative projects promoting sustainability and the use of cutting-edge technologies in design, in an exhibition curated by Tony Chambers and Maria Cristina Didero .From 18 April, Future Impact, the exhibition curated by Tony Chambers and Maria Cristina Didero and promoted by the DesignSingapore Council, which illustrates and celebrates the positive impact of future-thinking design on our daily lives,opens to the public; on display until 23 April 2023, at Casa del Pane, Bastioni di Porta Venezia. Future Impact stems from the desire to showcase Singapore as a hub of innovation and creativity where novel design and technology solutions come together to shape a brighter tomorrow for all and a more respectful and inclusive society, emphasising the importance and urgency of the role of sustainability in design and manufacturing today.
The curators and DesignSingapore Council of Future Impact, Singapore’s national design agency, invited Singapore’s most talented and promising designers to reveal their vision for a better future. Cutting-edge design solutions derived from the use of novel technologies and creative, poetic and optimistic thinking have been created by the six lead designers: Forest & Whale, Viewport Studio, Gabriel Tan, Nathan Yong, Studio Juju and Tiffany Loy. Future Impact will present six new works, exhibited in the historic and iconic location Casa del Pane (Bastioni di Porta Venezia), which will be the new home of the Museum of Digital Art in 2025. A perfect setting for the exhibition, which with its dramatic atmosphere allows designers and their works to interact with the past while designing the future. Tony Chambers, co-curator of the exhibition says, “Singapore has been a land of progressive design for many years and I am delighted to help spread this message to an international audience during Milan Design Week. I am confident that Future Impact will leave a positive and lasting impression.”
“Singapore’s contemporary design scene is characterised by its innovative and futuristic spirit. Singapore, whose cultural, social and political background stands apart from Asia, has been able to build its own independent and thriving cultural scene and has chosen to celebrate its achievements by attending Milan Design Week 2023 with an exhibition showcasing the forward-thinking ability of its designers to connect the most sustainable and innovative products with the latest available technologies. The participation of six of Singapore’s leading studios, with never-before-seen works and designs, makes the Future Impact exhibition an incredible opportunity to discover new perspectives and visions and to imagine our future,” says co-curator Maria Cristina Didero. Dawn Lim, Executive Director of DesignSingapore Council says, “Singapore is known as a futuristic and visionary city. Our design has a creative, innovative and transformative bent, aiming to make an impact to improve lives, cities and the world. DesignSingapore Council is proud to present Future Impact and its visionary designers at Milan Design Week. Their works represent how Singaporean design can positively contribute to issues such as sustainability, craftsmanship and the role of technology in design.”
Nathan Yong – Bent Onyx
Nathan Yong, a multi-disciplinary designer, presents Bended Onyx, a bridge between the past and the future, between the traditional craft associated with working with Onyx, one of the most fragile natural stones to work with, and technological innovation aimed at sustainability.Yong uses a patented waste-reducing technology created during the production process of Onyx furniture and interior objects. The onyx blocks are cut into thin sheets and then laminated to create shapes and volumes, positively impacting the amount of material used and thus, protecting the stone and ensuring its availability to future generations.
Studio Juju – OO Collection
OO Collection, designed by Studio Juju, is a collection of five sculptural objects characterised by circular holes. Abstract in their function, the holes are omnipresent and leave their function to the imagination. The objects are made entirely of Dekton (Kode Stone), a sophisticated, high-performance and ultra-compact stone material that maintains carbon neutrality throughout its life cycle.
Tiffany Loy – Building Futures Line by Line
Textile designer Tiffany Loy collaborates with SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design’s Digital Manufacturing and Design Centre) DManD to explore advanced automated textile construction as a means of additive manufacturing. Despite their ancient origins and close connection to craftsmanship, the processes of weaving and knitting have been constantly upgraded with digital media, software and hardware automation. Fuelled by fervent designers like Loy and the researchers at DManD, the domain of coding for complex textile constructions is growing. OO Collection explores the construction of multi-material and flexible 3D shapes, filling a gap in the current world of 3D printed options. Textile construction methods allow material properties to be retained in the final product, unlike 3D printing processes that are often limited by the types of fusible materials used. Any material in the form of the flexible line can be woven or knitted into a 3D form. Loy and the DManD team explore an imaginary future of a world built from lines.
Gabriel Tan – Aiming for Peace: The Carnation Lamp
Aiming for Peace is a floor and pendant lamp that conveys a sense of hope and emotion. Inspired by the Flower Power movement, the flower triumphs over conflict and becomes an iconic symbol of non-violence and harmony. In our current global climate of division and conflict, this lamp is a beacon of light in the midst of chaos. Composed of an ash wood base made from furniture production waste, a recycled steel tube and a 3D-printed shade made from recycled plastic, the lamp uses a low-power 2.5W LED source.
Viewport Studio – Renew
Viewport Studio began questioning how design could have changed in relation to sustainability from the early beginnings of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Viewport studio realised two projects. One resulting from a collaboration with the Italian manufacturer Equilibri using metal scraps. The other with artificial intelligence. The viewers will decide for themselves which approach they prefer and reflect on the importance of AI now and in the future.
Forest & Whale – Wallflower
Wallflower, the project by multidisciplinary studio Forest & Whale, reinvents the codes of gardening and turns seeds into works of art to remind us of the importance of living in harmony with nature. Wallflower is a poster composed of several coloured dowels, each of which contains a seed of the corresponding plant and allows a new seedling to be created at any time, simply by detaching a dowel and placing it inside a pot, created on the spot using a 3D printer. As new seedlings grow, the poster changes colour and shape until it disappears, leaving no waste behind. In collaboration with Fab.Pub, Forest & Whale has designed a limited edition of pots that will be 3D printed on site using a clay-based filament. With a surface that undulates and ripples like the roots of plants, the pots have a long, tall silhouette, evoking the ritual of the kitchen garden. Visitors to the installation will simultaneously witness the cultivation of the seedlings and the production of the clay pots.
Singapore is an innovation-driven economy and design-oriented city. As the national agency promoting design, our mission is to develop the design industry, help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, and improve lives. Our work focuses on three areas. First, we help organisations and businesses use design as a strategy for business growth and excellent public service delivery. Second, we cultivate skilled design and innovation talent and generate a design-oriented workforce for the future economy. Thirdly, we promote Singapore’s brand and passion for design, helping local design talent and companies go international and create emotional connections with people around the world. Dsg is a subsidiary of the Singapore Economic Development Board. Singapore was designated a Creative City of Design by UNESCO in December 2015. The title supports the development of a creative culture and ecosystem that integrates design and creativity with everyday life. It also expands Singapore’s opportunity to collaborate with cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The Design Cities Office is based at Dsg, which coordinates and implements programmes that meet UCCN’s mission. designsingapore.org
Tony Chambers is a creative director, design consultant and editor. He is the founder of creative agency TC & Friends and co-founder, with artist Ryan Gander, of OTOMOTO – a platform for design, art and ideas. Tony was curator and artistic director of the exhaustive monograph on designer Paul Smith published by Phaidon and co-director of Brainstorm Design, the joint conference of designers and entrepreneurs organised by Fortune magazine. From 2003 to 2018 Tony was editor-in-chief and art director of Wallpaper* magazine, for which he still writes. He was also art director of British GQ and art editor of the Sunday Times Magazine. He has twice received the Professional Publishers Association’s Designer of the Year Award and has twice been named Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors. He has received the Mark Boxer award for outstanding achievement in publishing – the most prestigious award in British publishing. Tony sits on the board of the Barbican Arts Centre and on the board of Whitechapel Galleries Ventures.
Maria Cristina Didero
Maria Cristina Didero is an independent curator, working on design and publishing projects. A consultant and author, she has collaborated with several magazines including Domus, Vogue Italia, AD, has served as editor-at-large for Icon Design, as well as contributing to institutional publications; she is currently a correspondent for the English magazine Wallpaper. Didero has been a consultant for Vitra, Fritz Hansen, Lexus, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Valextra, among others. She lives in Milan and works internationally from here, creating exhibitions for Italian and foreign institutions: some of her most recent projects include Nendo: The Space in Between and The Conversation Show at Holon Design Museum, Israel; FUN HOUSE, Snarkitecture, at the National Building Museum, Washington D.C.; SuperDesign, a project on radical Italian design, in New York; Vegan Design, The Art of Reduction by Erez Nevi Pana and The Fish and The Crowd by Carlo Massoud, on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2018 and 2019. She is currently preparing a solo exhibition on the theme of migrants with Fernando and Humberto Campana to be presented at Dallas Contemporary in Dallas, a project at the MK&G museum in Hamburg entitled Ask Me if I Believe in the Future and an exhibition by Mathieu Lehanneur entitled The Inventory of Life, as well as a number of other collaborations. In January 2022, she was appointed Curatorial Director of Design Miami/ for the Basel, Paris and Miami Beach fairs.