Without a doubt, Singapore is a futuristic city. With the sky-high buildings, the enormous sky bridges, it is easy to call Singapore a megacity. If nothing else, you can admire the architectural designs of the buildings in Singapore. The buildings are very modern, to say the least. The tourist attraction spots like Garden by the Bay, Marina Sands Bay Hotel, and all the other features and services of Singapore look amazing. Now the question is, where are these designed? The answer to that question is the Singapore National Design Center.
Singapore National Design Center
The National Design Centre (NDC) is the hub for everything related to design. The National Design Center is located in the arts, culture, learning, and entertainment district in the Bras Basah-Bugis area. This is where individuals, designers, and businesses come to discuss ideas, do business, use the center’s facilities and gain assistance from the DesignSingapore Council. DesignSinapore Council is the national agency for design. In 2003, the DesignSingapore Council was established. The purpose of this national agency was to help in developing the nation’s design sector. This was the Economic Review Committee reported the creative industry as one of the areas for economic growth.
Developing a design sector as a part of the creative industry was very important. The creation of the design sector can help enhance the country’s value proposition. Furthermore, this will contribute to the country’s overall economic growth and unprecedented progress.
The National Design Centre is situated on 111 Middle Road. From 1879-1994, the current building was the former St Anthony’s Covenant. Later from 1995 to 2004, the building was under Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Furthermore, the building was a part of the Chinese Opera Institute from 1995 to 2009. Later on, in 2011, a design was proposed to make that building the current National Design Centre.
Through restoration and adaptive re-use of the additional buildings, the National Design Building came to be. The building contains a pre-war art decoration block along with the post-war modern block. These blocks have been gazetted for conservation.
The new main design contains four cantilevering and overlapping boxes. These boxes are translucent. The boxes revolve around a central atrium. The metal boxes spread across the gallery to the meeting spaces. The boxes create an environment for collaboration, innovation, meeting, and discussion. The boxes aren’t connected with the external structure. This creates a three stories high ceiling. This design gives the building visual interest. The new design of the atrium and the entrance enhances the existing internal space. This also provides a new dimension to what was previously a closed space. The unique design makes it friendlier for public engagement. This design also inspires the public to collaborate with the educational institute and arts and cultural institute, which are situated in the Bras Basah Bugis area.
The ground floor is for the public with attractions like gallery spaces, café, design stores, and marketplace. At night, the boxes mixed with the rooftop create a gorgeous design.
You will find some exhibitions going on here. These exhibitions revolve around design. It’s easy to say that the models are Singapore inspired. You will also find many design companies on the upper floors. The Ling Wu store is worth checking out. The store sells premium leather and skin products. You will also find Kapok. Kapok is a Hong Kong culture base lifestyle store. The store sells a curated lifestyle, design, and fashion products. You will find Kapok’s outpost on the first floor.
On the 1st floor, you will find the exhibitions—the present exhibition of people who are behind some of the fantastic architectures in Singapore. You will also find the latest fashion technology over there. These exhibitions are very informative, and if you read the articles in the designs, you can learn a great deal about them.
On the ground floor besides Kapok, you will find Maison Kitsune, APC Paris, Common Projects, Freitag Bags, and other shops for leather products and jewelry. On the building, you will find a lab that can be accessed through registration. People usually go there to work on their ideas.
You can get tours in the National Design Centre. The guided tours are available on Monday and Tuesday from 10 am to 2 pm. You can go on a guided tour only if you book and confirm in advance.
Part of the guided tour is touring the National Design Centre. Through this, you will know about the history and heritage of the building and how it came to be. You will also learn what’s the purpose and vision of the National Design Centre, the various programs that take place, and the community that lives here. Another part of the tour is to visit the “Fifty Years of Singapore Design Exhibition.” In this exhibition, you will discover how Singapore’s design has transformed and how it affects the economy and development. You will find more than two hundred iconic installments. These installments include popular designs of Singapore in visual communications, product design, industrial design, fashion and accessories design, and lastly, environmental design.
You will also find yourself focused in the design event and exhibitions that take place here. The presentations take place in the central Atrium space and the design gallery one. The performances take place throughout the year. Also, you can learn about prototypes, the process of making a prototype, and what the future holds for the makers at maker space.
The last part of the tour is the most fun. You get to take part in an interactive, hands-on activity. This will help unleash your creative potentials. The National Design Centre is open from 9 am to 9 pm daily.
The Singapore National Design Center is where ideas come together and transform into reality. Whether you’re excited to know more about the current and future designs, or you’re a student of architecture, you should visit the National Design Centre. Your creative mind will surely start running once you visit there.