Singapore Design Sector Gets Leadership Boost

Feb 26, 2018

 Industry veteran Mr Mark Wee comes on board as Executive Director (Designate) on 1 March 2018; current Executive Director Ms Agnes Kwek will assume the role of Design Ambassador to promote Singapore design overseas.


Singapore Design Sector Gets Leadership Boost



Singapore, 26 February 2018 - The DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) will be expanding its leadership bench on 1 March 2018, when industry veteran Mr Mark Wee, aged 42, joins the Council as Executive Director (Designate). He will take over the role of Executive Director on 14 May 2018. Current Executive Director, Ms Agnes Kwek, aged 40, will be relocating with her family to Paris, France. There, she will assume a new role as Design Ambassador from 1 October 2018, to promote Singapore designers and Singapore design on the global stage.


Mr Wee is a familiar name in the Singapore design scene. Recently named one of Singapore’s “20 under 45” architects by Urban Redevelopment Authority, he currently heads his own design consultancy, ANNEX A, which specialises in service design and architecture. He is also an adjunct lecturer in service design and digital innovation at the Institute of System Science at National University of Singapore (NUS-ISS). A pioneer design thinking practitioner in Singapore, Mr Wee founded and led the award winning Experience Design practice at the ONG&ONG group prior to establishing ANNEX A. Mr Wee is no stranger to the Council. He has served in various capacities as a key resource to the Dsg, such as a Juror on the President’s Design Award jury panel for 2017/18 awards, as well as a design advisor on the Council’s Innovation by Design programme.


“In the experience economy that we live in today, the power of design is critical to innovation and an important enabler for transformation. I am excited to build upon the wonderful work and progress that Agnes has established with her team to bring Singapore closer towards the Design 2025 vision to be a thriving innovation-driven economy and loveable city by design,” said incoming Executive Director (Designate) Mr Mark Wee.


Design practitioners welcomed the appointment. Said Mr Jackson Tan, Creative Director of BLACK Design, “Mark is an outstanding architect who pivoted later to service design. This puts him in a unique position to grasp very well the needs of both the traditional design domains, as well as emerging areas of service and innovation design. I believe he will be able to do a lot for the design community.”


Mr Low Cheaw Hwei, Head of Design for Philips Asia, agreed that Mr Wee’s cross-discipline experience “puts him in a vantage position to understand and drive the design-innovation agenda in a collaborative and holistic manner”.


Ms Kwek joined the Council on 1 November 2016. Although her stint with the Dsg was short, she put in place important foundations to implement the Design 2025 Masterplan. She created the Innovation by Design programme to help organisations use design for business transformation, and kick-started industry transformation roadmaps for the various sub-sectors of design, in a joint effort with the respective industry associations. Under her leadership, the inaugural Brainstorm Design[1] will be launched in partnership with Time Inc Brands, a part of Meredith Corporation, during the Singapore Design Week from 6 - 8 March 2018. She has been serving the public sector for 17 years in the Administrative Service in various roles ranging from defence, manpower policies, social welfare and community building, public sector transformation, and transport.


Ms Kwek’s new portfolio as Design Ambassador, based in Paris, will support the work of the Dsg. She will focus on deepening Singapore’s design networks with North America and Europe in order to help Singapore designers go international, foster collaborations, facilitate talent exchange and spot the latest trends and developments in the design industry that could be relevant for Singapore.


“Singapore has some fantastic creative talent, and challenging briefs to match. In order to grow, Singapore design companies need a stronger global orientation,” said Ms Kwek. “I hope to help amplify the Singapore design brand internationally, especially in Europe and North America.”


Mr Mark Yong, President of Singapore Furniture Industries Council, signalled his enthusiasm for having a Design Ambassador based in Europe. “It is extremely helpful having a presence on the ground overseas to help us open doors and make business connections in target markets. I have worked closely with Agnes in the past year and I am confident that she will help Singapore establish itself as a global player in design,” said Mr Yong.


Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of Economic Development Board Singapore, who also chairs the committee that oversees the Dsg said, “I am confident that Mark will build on all that Agnes has put in place, and take the team at the DesignSingapore Council to the next level of excellence. I am also delighted that Agnes will become our Design Ambassador as her unique experiences, skillsets and networks are invaluable for our work. The expansion of the leadership bench at the Council signals the government’s commitment to expand Singapore’s capabilities in design in our push to be an innovation-driven economy and a loveable city.”






26 FEBRUARY 2018

Written on: 26 February 2018 



[1] Brainstorm Design is a new global conference that seeks to demonstrate the power of design to build better businesses, improve sustainability, engage communities and enrich people’s lives.  

Written on : 26 Feb 2018

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