Design Trust Futures Studio 2019 recently hosted a series of research meetings in Singapore that explored the crossing between cultures, linking cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies. Designer-mentees, part of the programme visited Haw Par Villa, Haw Par Corporation, Baba House to National Gallery Singapore on a transformative learning journey to better understand the essence of “heritage is innovation” theme.
Along with Lead curator Marisa Yiu and DTFS mentor Professor Ho Puay-peng, Head of Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, DTFS 2019 team visited Haw Par Villa. Formerly known as Tiger Balms Garden in 1937, the site is home to over 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas. The villa’s vibrant colours and culture mixing serve as the fount of designers’ installation ideas for September exhibition at Haw Par Mansion in Hong Kong.
The designers continued their journey under the guidance of NUS Baba House docent Donald-Eric Lim. NUS Baba House built in 1895, architecture had inspiring detour on the laundry blue paint, furniture custom-made in China and bricks imported from Fujian. This Peranakan Chinese house reflects the cultural hybridity of Singapore.
One of Lion City’s most visionary companies is Haw Par Corporation. Executive Director Mr. A.K. Han’s leadership shared with DTFS 2019 team on the corporation’s innovations for tiger balm graphic design. Tiger Balm’s iconic tiger gradually evolved from a sleeping to leaping position, which parallels with the brand’s growth from a local ointment into a global establishment.
Designers explored the National Gallery Singapore together with its Chief Architect Jean Francois Milou. As Jean utilised light to connect the new and the old, he transformed the former Supreme Court and City Hall Buildings into National Gallery Singapore. By incorporating the modern needs of a museum into the historic structures.
Special thanks to the support from National Gallery of Singapore, Baba House, Haw Par Corporation, National Library, National Archives Singapore, Studio Milou and Professor Ho Puay-peng.