A letter to the Design Community

Dear Designers,

As countries continue their battle to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a global disruption of economic activities. Many design freelancers and design businesses are in a vulnerable state,  due to project cancellations, postponements and impact from retail slowdown.

Support During This Time
To help save as many jobs as possible, the Singapore Government announced the third round of relief measures today. We’ve compiled the most relevant COVID-19-specific relief measures, as well as the Council’s existing schemes that may provide additional support. This page will be refreshed when there are new updates.

Our teams are also working with various government agencies to find ways of supporting the design community further.

At the National Design Centre, we’ve made rental waivers to help our retail and F&B tenants cope with the drop in footfall in the past month. Tomorrow, in line with the Government’s measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Centre will be closed for a month.

Taking Advantage Of The Downtime
Some design studios have shared that they’re using this time to rethink their business models and the work that they do. This is great.

In fact, if you have a design impact proposal in mind, do respond to our Good Design Research programme Open Call. This initiative helps designers and design enterprises in Singapore find their unique value propositions through research and experimentation, and a network of knowledge partners.

We will support exploratory projects with up to 70% sponsorship to deliver the “proof of concept”. Ultimately, we hope this enables you to carve a niche to gain a stronger competitive edge. The first open call ends April 30.

Or check out the SkillsFuture Study Awards for Design. This award will support designers who want to take this time to deepen their technical skills or pick up new skills in adjacent domains in business, tech and innovation. In view of COVID-19, online learning courses are now eligible too, if training providers are able to meet the criteria.

The Council is also working on delivering a Digital Learning Programme. This would include commissioning designers and other professionals to deliver webinars and virtual workshops beneficial for both design and business communities.

While the recovery may seem far away, we want to support you to prepare for it, so that the design community ultimately comes back stronger.

Unleash The Power Of Design
Amidst the gloom, we have reason to be hopeful and resilient because of YOU.

Designers are shining a bright light to make things better. We are cheered to see generous acts, such as STUCK design offering their services to help healthcare workers with ideas to address COVID-19 – with no strings attached. Globally, there are calls, like this one from the World Design Organization, for designers to chip in.

Your actions give us the confidence that the design community will pull through this difficult time. It will not be easy – but with your agility, grit and creativity, I have no doubt that you all will.

I look forward to welcoming all of you back to our home, the National Design Centre, when it reopens again. Meanwhile, stay safe and keep well.
 
Yours sincerely,

Mark Wee
Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council

 


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