MEDIA RELEASE: DesignSingapore Council Honours Design Pioneers and Announces Plans for Design Future

Oct 20, 2015


Pioneer Designers lauded and Design Masterplan Committee shares preliminary ideas at the Design Golden Jubilee Award Ceremony


Singapore, 20 October 2015 – Seventy pioneers in the design sector were honoured for their significant contributions to the development of Singapore in the last 50 years. The pioneer designers received the award from Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the Singapore Design Golden Jubilee Award Ceremony held at the National Design Centre. 

Organised by the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg), the Singapore Design Golden Jubilee Award is a special award presented to designers aged 65 and above (in 2014) who have played an instrumental role in nation building as well as the development of Singapore’s design sector in their respective fields of design. 

“Design was integral to Singapore’s 50 years of nation building and the works of our design pioneers have made an impact in our everyday lives. Today, they continue to inspire our next generation of designers to emulate and benchmark their professional standards,” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.

Some of the pioneer designers honoured include:

  • Mr Chua Peng Chye who was the chief planner in Singapore’s first Concept Plan
  • The late Mr Sannie Abdul, who was a champion of Singapore design and set up the former Product & Design Centre
  • Ms Su Yeang who designed the World Trade Organisation logo and helped to raise the profile of Singapore brands such Tiger Beer and F&N internationally
  • Mr Alfred Wong who designed several education institutions like Singapore Polytechnic and current Saint Joseph’s Institution campus, and significant buildings such as the National Theatre and Tourism Board Headquarters
  • Mr Shamsuddin H. Akib, who illustrated for The Straits Times and designed the original Yayasan MENDAKI logo 

Design Future – Masterplan to build design capabilities and develop talent 

In March 2015, the Ministry of Communications and Information announced the setting up of a Design Masterplan Committee to chart the course of development of the design sector for the next 10 years. The 16-member Design Masterplan Committee (DMC) led by Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of the Economic Development Board, comprises representatives from the private and public sectors. 

Chairman of the Design Masterplan Committee, Dr Beh Swan Gin said, “The Committee will set a bold vision for the growth of design in Singapore. With the increasing importance of innovation as the driver for growth, the Committee sees enormous opportunities for design to help businesses create value and compete successfully in the global marketplace.” 

The DMC has started work since June and has conducted interviews and focus group discussions with various stakeholders to seek their views, understand their concerns and identify opportunities for the design sector. 

Besides strengthening the adoption of design by businesses, one of the key focus areas for the DMC is to explore talent and capability initiatives that will broaden the understanding of design and deepen the core skills of designers. Some ideas include recognising ‘designing’ as a life-skill for nurturing creativity and adaptability in our children, developing a structured programme for young talents with interest to venture beyond the traditional disciplines of design into areas such as design entrepreneurship and design research, and supporting multiple design career pathways for designers to pursue non-design-related jobs and leadership positions. 

The DMC is expected to present its recommendations to the Ministry by March 2016. 

For a full list of nominees, profile of featured pioneer designers or more details on the Singapore Design Golden Jubilee Award, please refer to Annex A

The list of Design Masterplan Committee members can be found in Annex B



20 OCTOBER 2015 

Media Contacts

Carol Lum
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communication & International Relations 
DesignSingapore Council 
D +65 6837 9343 
Frances Kong 
Corporate Communication & International Relations 
DesignSingapore Council 
D +65 6837 9314  

About the DesignSingapore Council 

The vision of the DesignSingapore Council is for design to differentiate Singapore from global competition. As the national agency for design, the Council’s mission is to develop the design sector, and to help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, as well as to make life better. The DesignSingapore Council is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information. 

The DesignSingapore Council also oversees the programming of the National Design Centre (NDC). The NDC supports the Council’s efforts to enhance the vibrancy of the design ecosystem as well as catalyse industry collaborations and business opportunities for innovation and growth. 

More information about the DesignSingapore Council and the National Design Centre is available at

Written on : 20 Oct 2015

Media Room