Opening Remarks By Ms Agnes Kwek, Executive Director, Designsingapore Council, At Media Briefing For Singapore Design Week 2017, 14 February 2017, 4.00pm, National Design Centre

Feb 14, 2017


Members of the media,

Design partners,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome and Introduction

1 Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining us at this media briefing for Singapore Design Week 2017. We are now in the final run-up to SDW, which will occur 3rd to 12th March. Today, we will share with you key highlights of the SDW programme. This year, we have over 100 local and international design events and activities. Each one has been thoughtfully planned. You can expect 10 days of inspired, meaningful experiences.

2 Dsg would not be able to plan this robust line-up of programmes without the strong support from our design community and partners. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of them, some represented here today, for their contribution to SDW.

3 Over the years, we have had an increase in public awareness and participation in SDW because of the diverse programming that caters to different audiences. This fourth edition of SDW has something for everyone. The suite of content will inspire visitors and participants and build greater awareness of good design in their everyday lives

4 Design is more than being functional and aesthetically pleasing. Businesses are using design to help them respond to market shifts, secure new stakeholder insights, create better user experiences and reinvent their business model or organisational design – that is, “to disrupt or be disrupted”. Government agencies need design to help them deliver policies and services that are citizen-centric, even transform policies. The value of design may not be immediately apparent to everyone, but we hope to shift the narrative of design. How might we do that? First, designers need to speak the language of business or government. Second, the community needs to cultivate the design mindset. SDW is one of our big efforts in marching towards this new direction.

Key Event Highlights

5. We will organise the second edition of SDW’s feature conference, Innovation by Design Conference, to stress the importance of design as a strategic tool for business. We are thrilled to have international media company, Time Inc. as partners for this year’s conference. I invite you to attend this conference. We will hear from speakers who will share their experience and insights on design innovation, and how they use design thinking to raise productivity, unlock new opportunities for growth, and improve the quality of our everyday life.

6. Other highlights at this year’s SDW are Singapore + Wallpaper* Handmade Classics, a debut exhibition in Singapore; Frontliners in Action, a collective display of Singapore’s presentation at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice; the Design, Make and Craft Fair, as well as Design Trails, which will take participants to special design spots in and around the city.

7. We are also happy to welcome our stalwart events partners: SingaPlural, the anchor event of SDW; and International Furniture Fair Singapore. These design events offer opportunities to the design community to collaborate and grow their skills and prepare us for the future economy. Ms Serene Bek, our Lead for Programming and Outreach, will share with you further details about the SDW programme.


8. We want participants of SDW to develop deeper connections with design; and our partners to continue working with us. As a design community, we need to remember our design values – being attuned to people’s needs and aspirations, being bold with our ideas, and being daring with experimentation. Singapore is moving towards building a strong innovation-driven economy and we need to design new ways to build a lovable city for this country we love.

9. On behalf of DesignSingapore Council, we would like to thank you, the media and friends for your unstinting support for SDW. All of you have contributed in your way and in your own capacity, to make our city’s design sector dynamic and lively. Let us all give a shout-out to the Singapore brand.

10. I look forward to welcoming you to the launch of Singapore Design Week 2017. See you: 3rd of March. Thank you.

Written on : 14 Feb 2017

Media Room