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The Singapore Design Community

For more than 10 years, Chemistry has been involved in the Singapore design community. From workshops to talks, we enjoy presenting our ideas and processes to help organisations find solutions. In recent years, we had helped to transform businesses, empower communities and provide the tools that would help the public shape their future. Check out our most recent speaking engagement at Interact2019, whereby we presented our paper on the digital interface design for Vscan Access.

Karin Aue presenting at Visa

Design in Singapore

Singapore’s corporate and financial sector have always thrived. However in recent years, the city has focused on fostering the local design, art, and architecture scene. Coupled with the emergence of international companies, Singapore’s reputation as a preeminent global destination for design has become more established.

Continuing to develop and unite the design community 

To cultivate Singapore’s artistic growth, many organisations from various well-known institutions have assisted in showcasing the city’s design scene. One of the most influential institutions is the National Design Centre. Located in Bras Basah, it is the hub for Singapore’s maker community. Furthermore, every year, local designers come together during Singapore Design Week. This event has built a respectable reputation within the design community globally. It is a time where designers showcase their works across the city.

Other notable events include: SingaPlural, which promotes Singaporean design talents across various creative industries. The Design Business Summit, a public conference organised by the Design Business Chamber Singapore, brings industry leaders and creators together. The event facilitates open conversations for the industry to share knowledge and identify best practices. Finally, Archifest, a two-week festival celebrating the city’s sustainable architecture and built environment. These and many other design events help foster the community and gain a deeper sense of place by shaping the common goals and vision for a prosperous future in Singapore.

Chemistry + Singapore Design Community 

As a human-centred design consultancy, the core principles of our organisation stems from a synergy of minds. The spirit of collaboration expands beyond our work. It also includes how we engage and educate our clients and their communities. This past year, we ran a workshop at the IMDA entitled: “Design Thinking: Creating a Customer Journey Map”. During this talk, we explored customer journey maps and how it can be used to understand user needs. We also created hands-on process maps to help depict both the current and future state of the customer experience. 

Beyond workshops, we have been invited to give talks about our work at various conferences. This year, we participated in Design Conversations Singapore. It was a great platform that discusses strategies and opportunities on how design can make an impact in the future. We had the privilege of sharing our award-winning design of the Vscan Access. The portable ultrasound device is used to provide better access to prenatal and infant care in less developed nations. It was a great way to show how design-thinking is utilised. From the concept to the prototype, a well-developed design can solve the needs of many across the globe.

vscan access ui design by chemistry team, singapore design ers

To learn more about our project, click here.  

The importance of giving back to the design community 

We believe that contributing to local and global design communities is our responsibility as designers. From mentoring young designers to conducting workshops, our goal is to help garner public awareness regarding the power of the design. As a result, we hope to inspire by leading the change and improve everyday experiences.  

As designers, the tools, products, and solutions that we create can have exponential impact. The power of design is to recognise that there is always a way to improve upon the current state. Consequently, both the successes and struggles are learning opportunities. This is what makes us want to give back to the community. To reach beyond the connections within your local community, you can also publish articles and provide insight into various topics in the industry that might be useful. Platforms such as medium is an excellent place to start. Not only is it a rewarding accomplishment, it also provides the potential to build relationships. 

Sharing knowledge

We share our knowledge with other practitioners and the public to prompt discussions that might prompt deeper relationships. This is done through the form of general articles, presenting at conferences globally, and also helping people to connect to other practitioners.

Creating solutions using Design Thinking 

We use Design Thinking to approach many problems. This means that we look closely at how we are framing the problem and how people are experiencing the problem. We do this by first setting the context and gaining a clear understanding of the users’ needs and challenges. In order to quickly propose and explore concepts that can solve real-world problems, we use various tools such as journey mapping and prototyping. We are not just crunching statistics – we observe behaviour and encourage users to speak their mind.

Implementing design thinking in businesses and the government can help create policies and services that are more user-friendly for citizens. For government design processes and expertise can influence national public policies. Design thinking is a versatile tool that may be applied to the public sector. For example, this could involve influencing a citizens’ behaviour and mindset. In addition, involving citizens in the co-designing of their environments can bring a sense of pride to the communities that they live in.

At Chemistry, we want to help explore solutions by working together with the public and by understanding their pain points. As a result of gaining a shared understanding of the problem, building empathy, and analysing their needs, challenges and opportunities, we are able to synthesise and visualise options to help solve challenges to better the community.

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