Since the 1980s, the Singapore Government has facilitated the development of design sector, and has promoted design as one of the strategic capabilities for internationalising Singapore-based companies. While design has been promoted as part of Singapore’s trade and industry, and mainly as a business tool, there was a need for a comprehensive and integrated national strategy that adopted a systemic approach for understanding design as an extension of creativity and culture. This meant promoting and developing the design industries as a creative cluster, nurturing world-class design capabilities, fostering greater design consciousness and building international alliances.
Creative Industries Development Strategy for the Arts & Culture, Design and Media
In 2002, the Government put in place the Creative Industries Development Strategy for the Arts & Culture, Design and Media sectors
DesignSingapore Council recognises the importance of having strong professional associations to help develop their respective design sectors in architecture, landscape design, urban planning, interior design, visual communications, advertising, fashion, furniture and product and industrial design. DesignSingapore offers grants and incentive schemes to support industry-led programmes that develop design and business capabilities, raise the standard of design practices, and promote Singaporean design on international platforms. There is a grant for associations’ programmes and a grant for accreditation framework to raise the professional standards of practitioners.
The Ministry of Communications and Information forms the Industry Development Panel (IDP) comprising nine design associations, to facilitate public-private sector collaboration. IDP members work on multi-disciplinary projects to develop their designers’ capabilities as well as foster a creative culture. DesignSingapore and IDP have regular meetings to enable collective effort in industry development and mutual understanding. The National Design Centre supports the associations’ programmes with venue support.
Mr Ernie Koh, president of Singapore Furniture Industry Council, said: "Promoting Singapore design must be a concerted, integrated approach. The long-term goal is to enable more enterprises to transform and improve by integrating design into their business strategy. Through the years, we have witnessed DesignSingapore’s unwavering commitment to promote design excellence, and this is reflected in the strong support it provides to the associations."