A Play Date With SingaPlural 2018

Art & Design

March 5, 2018 | BY Hashirin Nurin Hashimi

When it comes to play, there are no failed experiments, only surprising or unexpected outcomes as seen in the works of local and international creatives on show at this year’s Singapore Design Week.

Play is the highest form of research, or so says Albert Einstein. And sharing his view on the matter are the brands and designers featured at this year’s edition of SingaPlural, which kicks off on March 5 and runs throughout the duration of the annual DesignSingapore Council-organised Singapore Design Week until March 18.

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Curated by award-winning homegrown design studio Produce, and organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, SingaPlural 2018 is based on the theme of “A State in Play”, where play is vital to the exploration process that brands and designers undertake in the development of their projects and products. Thorough research and experimentation during the design process, accidents, opportunities and possibilities may come up—paving the way for innovations to happen. And it is this stage of work even before design begins that SingaPlural hopes to spotlight this year.

Since its first edition in 2012, SingaPlural has taken its role as matchmaker between brands and designers seriously. This year, it brings together creatives, including Gabriel Tan Studio and Trigger Design, and brands such as Ewins, Formica and Kvadrat, to explore a few thread of experimentations, including sustainability, material exploration, even food design.

About 12 installations will take over the National Design Centre—the nexus of all things design in Singapore—and the exhibition will be anchored by a central pavilion titled Formica for More that is all about the laminate product. Working together with Produce, Formica looks at the innate qualities as well as inherent strengths and weaknesses of its revolutionary material.

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Meanwhile, the soft cavernous monolith floating above the atrium is sure to get your attention. Headspace by Kvadrat, Europe's leading manufacturer of design textiles, in collaboration with Publicworks, is a play on material properties, effects and responsible design consumption.

Other highlights include Take a Peak by paper distributor Antalis and Meta Studio that looks at the architectural possibilities of paper; The Mad Hatter, an installation featuring the three-dimensional thermoforming and light-diffusing properties of Veromobi Alba acrylic panels by furniture fittings and builders’ hardware solution provider Ewins and Gabriel Tan Studio; and Studio Dam’s Chroma Light Series, an experimentation on the reflection of light on coloured porcelain (main image).

Extending the dimension of play is a master lecture series that runs alongside the exhibition featuring speakers: Ben Koren, founder of One to One, a computational design and digital fabrication studio in New York; Steffen Riegas, head of digital technologies at architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland; and Ren Horng Yee, head of innovation strategy and forecasting, and senior associate of UNStudio in the Netherlands.

SingaPlural 2018 runs from March 5 to 18, at the National Design Centre.

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