An A-Z guide to design in Singapore

Mar 13, 2018

Ahead of Singapore Design Week, which is happening this month, our writer brings you an A to Z of the country’s design draws – from state-of-the-art complexes to irreverent souvenirs sprung from nostalgia.

Singapore’s evolution from fishing village to world-class metropolis has always been based on savvy design. Today, vibrant, functional design continues to inspire daily life here, and Singapore Design Week (till March 18) is a toast to that. Now in its fifth edition, the event this year presents new headliners such as Wallpaper* magazine’s Handmade 2018 exhibition – a display of one-off pieces commissioned by the UK design magazine – while bringing back crowd favourites such as design heritage trails and SingaPlural, which celebrates local craftsmanship. Look out, too, for interactive pop-up displays all around town. Prior to this showcase of ingenuity, familiarise yourself with the best of Singapore design, which encompasses sartorial style, street art, molecular mixology and everything in between.

Art Deco

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Resplendent in lively pastels and striking silhouettes, Art Deco architecture can be admired at the refurbished 1930s Capitol Theatre (above) as well as the Tiong Bahru housing estate.

Bars on the rise

tippling club singapore bar

We’ve come a long way from the Singapore Sling, a fruity cocktail created in 1915 at Raffles Hotel to beat the tropical heat. With six bars on the 2017 World’s 50 Best Bars list – including the elegant Manhattan in seventh place – and groundbreaking mixology by molecular technicians at Tippling Club (above), Singapore is as much a drinking destination as one for gastronomy.

SEE ALSO: Interview: Peter Chua, 28 Hongkong Street’s mixologist, on Singapore’s best bars

CYC made to measure

cyc made to measure singapore

One of Singapore’s oldest and most established tailors, CYC Made to Measure dressed the nation’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew in impeccably crisp shirts for more than 50 years – including the one he wore for the country’s first National Day Rally. Since then, the business has modernised, with in-store tablets that customers can use to determine their style.

DP Architects

singapore sports hub

This home-grown architecture firm – the 10th largest in the world – is behind the country’s most recognisable structures of the last 50 years, including People’s Park Complex, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Singapore Sports Hub (above).

Edible garden city

It’s a fish, it’s a crab, it’s 10,000kg of vegetables sprouting from three-storey-high towers! Farmers in land-scarce Singapore are harvesting seafood and greens through high-tech vertical farms, resulting in delicious, pollutant-free produce. To learn more about this ingenious agricultural method, tour urban farm Pocket Greens (above).