Design Day Out

Singapore Architecture Week came and went, as did the World Architecture Festival…quietly. Whereas October would be bustling with both locally and internationally organized design events in Singapore, this year seemed to have just fizzled out. And it’s only the second week of the month.

Thankfully, Singapore InDesign (SID) is back after a one-year hiatus (the design day out was held in Hong Kong last year), so design aficionados had something. On the other hand, the well-oiled machine turned up quieter than its past two iterations.

These were the destinations our little band of ex-teammates went to. We started at Xtra, of course, where SID used to begin and end, after breakfast at Kith at Park Mall.
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Next we took the SID shuttle over to Liang Court to see Sand, the children’s furniture collection by Hong Kong-based Italian designer Silvia Marlia, at OM.

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We hopped over to APS Gallery to visit Romanez, which was showing off its Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild collection, and the APS kitchen showroom, which served a custom-designed cocktail by Nuevo Vino, called the Smurf Cocktail.

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We took a breather and lunched at the chi-chi PS Cafe Petit next door to APS before moving on to the Red Dot Museum. The biggest thing to see there was The Tree by laminate company EDL and Formwerkz Architects. Although its steel skeleton was solidly screwed, all the laminate members were attached by a tongue-and-groove design.

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Our favorite stop was Dream Interiors. Maybe because we all wanted the furniture here; maybe because the showroom was just so beautifully put together…we spent the most time just caressing the pieces and photographing the settings here. And also, a shoutout to Shawn and Ivee, who are always warm and welcoming, and helpfully informative. Ivee explained the Charlotte Periand chaise longue inside the EDL-laminate structure as being one of seven limited edition pieces of the iconic piece covered in Louis Vuitton leather, available in Singapore.

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We went to W. Atelier from Dream to see the new Fritz Hansen showroom, Novamobili and Toto. Fritz Hansen had an Egg chair in its finishing stages of hand-stitching. We were told that the master craftsman who accompanied the raw materials from Denmark had only started the stitching that morning. It takes eight hours to hand stitch a fabric Egg chair. This special fabric, for this one of a kind and very special chair, was designed by Raf Simons for Christian Dior. It is the only chair in this fabric hand-stitched in Singapore, and should now be available on auction, starting at S$30,000. The entire amount it ends up raising will go to a charity for children with Down Syndrome.

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We ended our day at the newly opened Janus et Cie showroom. While the furniture on highlight here was the woven-faux wicker resort-style designs, it was the lighting and one-off pieces that I found most interesting. And the kir imperial that they served.

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Diary: Saturday In Design

What a buzz central Singapore was today. I may not have followed the route recommended by the guidebook, but from Tanjong Pagar to Mohamed Sultan to River Valley, then up and down Penang Road to Bencoolen Street, Seah Street and Raffles Hotel, there was that unmistakeable energy that designers and design aficionados have in the air.

We started at the Red Dot Museum, which included (clockwise, from top left) Stylecraft, Korla, Quench and Bode.

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Then we took the Saturday In Design (SID) shuttle to Hansgrohe.
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From there we walked to APS Lifestyle Gallery to look at the Smeg fridges, with color-coded installations inside them…
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…and Romanez, which made these pretty poufs out of Designers Guild fabrics.
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We took the SID shuttle again, to Dream at River Valley. Apart from fun installations by Asylum, Studio Terre and Elixr, there were Ercol chairs embellished by artists Kyuhyung Cho and Jahan Loh.
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Next stop was Park Mall, with the launch of Blackhole lights by Grafunkt…
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And the funnest installations at Xtra.
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(Gotta love these Gervasoni displays they did! Paola Navone, when are you coming to Singapore so I can interview you?)
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Also went up to Boffi Studio and Xtra in Winsland House, before trekking back down to Park Mall to catch the SID shuttle to Space, which had a Moooi highlight.
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Then I hoofed it over to Foundry, and finished up at Chan Hampe Galleries by 6pm. Talk about a Saturday full of design.
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October…fests galore

The October calendar of every design journalist (and design junkie) in Singapore is packed to the brim. I kid you not. Xtra kicks it off with an exclusive preview party on 4th October for their Saturday in Design showcase… At the same time, architects from around the world will be celebrating World Architecture Festival for the first time in Singapore.

The next day (and throughout the weekend), 25 designer-reinterpretations of the humble kopitiam cup make their debut at the Home & Decor Fair (view the cups here). The day after that, it’s Saturday in Design.

Meanwhile, the whole month is Archifest, with activities like Architours and pop-up lectures and parties at the Zero-waste Pavilion designed by Wow Architects (pictured below).

In between all that, we’ve got interviews with visiting designers, design and furniture shops opening or moving-reopening, and – not necessarily design-related – Christmas previews to check out!

Can you say busy, busy, busy? But it’s October…so it will of course be one big party!

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