Designer profile

Special Report: The people's designer

10 Dec 2013  •  7 min read  •  Special Report: The people's designer (Part 1 of 2)

President’s Design Award 2013 Special Report: The works conferred the Award have exemplary design attributes. In this first of a five-part series, we examine how good design puts the user at the centre of the experience.

Delighting users

When he embarks on a design project, Patrick Chia considers the state of technology, human needs as well as social trends. He is driven to create works that resonate with users. One such work is Roly Poly. Melding technology with design, the devise lets two people communicate in a spontaneously subtle way. 

Patrick’s commercial work, the Objects Around the Tablescape collection, examines the emotive qualities of materials such as weight, texture, translucency and tactility. Yet others delight with the sheer novelty of their properties: 3D-printed nylon bowls of extraordinary lightness and flexibility, yet semi-porous; and serving plates milled from solid stone-filled acrylic, possessing mass yet appearing “weightless” to the eye.

Soft bowls (left) and Monoplates (right).

Satay by the Bay, adjacent to the Marina Bay waterways, offers the public a remarkable dining experience. Linghao Architects and KUU design consultants have created a food pavilion with an outdoor setting, nestled in a landscaped environment and almost always permeating with sea breezes – and of course, the sweet smells of delectable satay!

Observing users

Through observing users and listening to their needs, lead designer Chan Wai Lim and her team have created a product that they desire, the Dell Inspiron 23: All-In-One PC. This mass-produced consumer product is designed for users wanting a PC that occupies minimal desk space; and offered at an attractive price. The touchscreen desktop can be “folded” at various angles to accommodate the preferred scenario for use.

The touchscreen can be “collapsed” to be perfectly horizontal to accommodate two users playing a digital game.

Communicating with users

Lead designer Jeremy Sun and his team from Orcadesign Consultants designed the Initial ‘Signature’ Range of hygiene product. At the same time, they spun a compelling brand story for their client. The products, minimalist in design and intuitive to use, convey subliminally the values of the Initial brand. As the suite of products has the same appearance, the Initial brand is instantly recognizable.

Spatial design fleshed out and enhanced the meaning of the exhibition Being Together: Family & Portraits – and heightened the audience’s overall experience of the photography-cum-multimedia presentation. Creative director Brett Cameron from Kingsmen Exhibits Pte Ltd contrasted light with dark to evoke emotional tension, reflected in the exhibition contents. The free-flowing route in a darkened space allowed the audience to meditate on their own personal experiences.


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