President’s Design Award 2020
by Wei Ying October 28, 2021
“Remember when Jewel Changi Airport first opened?
I bet you do because of your flooded Instagram feed filled with pictures of your female friends posing with the HSBC Rain Vortex.”
HSBC Rain Vortex at Jewel Changi Airport
Next up, we have the Pinnacle @ Duxton, which in my opinion puts other Housing Development Board (HDB) flats to shame. That magnificent looking architecture feat still has many of us craning our necks just to get a glimpse of it.
Pinnacle@Duxton — Singapore’s first 50-storey public housing development
So, what’s their X factor! Why are we so attracted to them? Most importantly, are they truly worth the hype?
Well, your female friends were onto something because the above mentioned projects have snagged up awards for the President*s Design Award (P*DA) 2020 .
President’s Design Award 2020 exhibit at National Design Centre
In short, the President’s Design Award is Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines. It credits designers for their outstanding design works, which have enhanced the lives of Singaporeans and the global community.
The President’s Design Award 2020 honoured two Designers Of The Year and nine projects for Designs Of The Year. All have added economic, cultural, and community transformational value to society with their revolutionary accomplishments in design.
You can find all award recipients and their works in an exhibition held at National Design Centre from 1 to 31st October 2021.
Here are my 3 favourites from the President’s Design Award 2020,
#1 — Designs of the Year 2020— “EyeYah!”
EyeYah! magazines and books on display at National Design Centre
If the exclamation mark did not give it away, “EyeYah!” is bold, loud, and highly appealing! It is an educational platform designed by Singapore-based designers, Steve Lawler and Tanya Wilson.
Bright and colourful graphics are utilised to convey meaningful messages such as climate change, fake news, etc to the perfect audience — young children!
“When else better to educate the leaders of tomorrow than from young?”
As a kid, could you sit still?
Indeed, the designers had thought about this too. Therefore, “EyeYah!” is available in various multimedia formats, from magazines, an iPad app to interactive augmented reality (AR) experiences.
Yes, we all had THIS much energy once
To all the kiasu parents out there, chill! Rest assured that only quality content is being conveyed. All thanks to the thorough research and consultations from experts, educators and even, the toughest critics — parents.
A huge shoutout to Steve and Tanya for educating the little ones oh so thoughtfully!
#2 — Designs of the Year 2020— “Goodlife! Makan”
As a typical Singaporean, did your eyes light up the moment you saw the word “makan”? However, there is a little more than just food here.
We have all heard that food is a universal language.
Architect Seah Chee Huang of DP Architects in 2015 along with social service agency Montfort Care took that notion and brought it to an entirely new level.
Model of the prototype community kitchen — “Goodlife! Makan”
The successful prototype of community reintegration, “Goodlife! Makan” has transformed a void deck at Marine Terrace into a community kitchen for stay-alone seniors who are isolated from society. This kitchen encourages them to step out and forge social bonds with others.
(Photo courtesy — DesignSingapore Council)
If you ask me, Chee Huang and his partners are giving these lonely seniors a new lease of life.
Moreover, humans are social creatures; Although we might not regard companionship as necessary, we still desire it at the end of the day. Furthermore, a simple act of dining with others can do wonders to one’s endorphin system!
Cheers to confident and empowered seniors!
#3 — Designer of the Year 2020— “Architects Khoo Peng Beng and Belinda Huang”
Architects Khoo Peng Beng and Belinda Huang, a husband-and-wife duo (Photo courtesy: The Straits Times)
Lastly, here’s introducing Singapore’s very own power couple! It is none other than the dynamic husband-and-wife team of Ar. Khoo Peng Beng and Ar. Belinda Huang. Both founders and directors of ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism Pte Ltd. Move aside Victoria and David Beckam!
In fact, this invincible duo is quite literally scaling new heights. Their application for Pinnacle@Duxton stood out among the 200 global ones received. Thus, Singapore’s first 50-storey public housing development was born.
With an increasing population size coupled with limited space, life in Singapore has transitioned from “high-rise” to “sky-rise.” The Pinnacle@Duxton exhibits just how high-density vertical living can still be just as attractive.
Various models on display depicting the duo’s many concepts
In addition, their extensive portfolio of built works extends into regional areas across functionalities ranging from commercial buildings to private homes. All conceived with an admirable and worth purpose — to better the urbanscape by promoting sustainability.
Although I might be a rookie when it comes to architecture, I do appreciate those that are beneficial to the environment, nature, and people. If you are lucky, your next flat might just be designed by Belinda and Peng Beng!
So Singapore, what is design to you?
Hopefully, you are walking away with a deepened knowledge of the design industry, that consists of various disciplines such as architecture, visual communications, advertising design, engineering design, and so on. Design is certainly not just about funky graphics and bold fonts!
If you are feeling inspired and keen on learning more, we do have several design courses that will help jumpstart your design journey.
After all, you never know what the future holds. Little do you know that you might be one of the future award recipients of the President’s Design Award.