Reframing What Design Is

A City for Nature
by Justin Zhuang

A Vernacular Sign Language
by Vikas Kailankaje

Huat Ah!
by Justin Zhuang

The Future of a City’s Past
by Stephanie Peh

New Ways, Familiar Tastes
by Sheere Ng

We Make This City
by Don Wong

Science of the Secondary: Rubber Band
by Atelier HOKO

Cooling Down This Hot Island
by Timothy Misir

Housing Singapore’s Smart Nation
by Justin Zhuang

Consider the Wok
by Sheere Ng


In Plain Words

Modular Unit

Grenadier Press Pte Ltd

Sponsored by Antalis Singapore Pte Ltd
Cover: OLIN Rough High White 300g
Inside: Cocoon Offset White 100g

Made and printed in Singapore.

What is design? This is a question that frequently popped up when putting together this publication. Many of our interviewees expressed (pleasant) surprise to be featured in a “design” publication, while some designers were sceptical about including less than professional work. Underlying these reactions is an assumption that “design” is extra(ordinary) and can only be created by those trained in it. This has led to the popular view that there are chairs, and then there are “designer” chairs—a binary view we seek to reframe with By Design: SINGAPORE.

Our compilation of 10 stories challenges the belief that design is only a stylish product and a tool for innovation. In examining design as broadly as possible, By Design: SINGAPORE shows how design is everywhere around us. It can be stylish. It can be innovative. But more than a consumer product or invention, design is an action each of us can take to make an impact on the world.

The publication is supported by the DesignSingapore Council and was first published for the Singapore Design Week 2019.