To what extent is design important in your society?

YES: Singaporean society rightly values design across a broad range of individual and societal endeavors, recognizing its integral role to developing an advanced and progressive society.

  1. Public buildings and national icons, such as the School of The Arts at Sophie Road, are carefully designed and built by city planners and architects with both functionality and aesthetic appeal in mind.

  2. Government policies governing building codes and design specifications are constantly reviewed to ensure that the construction of housing and offices comply with the highest standards of safety and ease of movement by residents and visitors.

  3. Professionals and practitioners of various artistic pursuits such as fashion and photography increasingly stress the primacy of the design process as the basis of their creative endeavors, ensuring high quality in their final products.

  4. A variety of industries, such as furniture and landscaping works, compete vigorously for the consumer dollar, leading to many products that are well--designed and expertly manufactured.

  5. Relevant props and stage-sets at national events, such as the National Day Parade and the Chingay Festival, are carefully conceived and deliberated by planners, synthesizing key components including audience profile, performance aesthetics and event themes into the overall design.

NO: Singaporean society has mostly failed to proper recognize the role and value design plays in many individual and societal endeavors, thereby undermining its attempts to develop an advanced and progressive society.

  1. Some historical and heritage buildings with unique architecture have been thoughtlessly renovated by the authorities or even removed in the interest of commercial development, thereby excising an important aspect of Singapore’s design history from national memory.   

  2. Despite strict building codes and design specifications to ensure safety and ease of movement, many commercial and residential buildings continue to be built by profit-maximizing contractors who cut corners in the construction process, leading to poorly designed infrastructure.

  3. Some art-related activities and endeavors at the national level, such as the dresses worn by Singapore’s representatives at the Miss Singapore UniversePageants in various years, are mediocre in quality and aesthetically unappealing as designers failed to apply their full dedication and creativity to the project. 

  4. Producers of many consumer items in Singapore aim to maximize sales volumes by selling to the masses, compromising on design quality and functionality of their products.