Residents of Chip Bee Gardens to chip in for Singapore Design Week
10 empty terrace houses in Chip Bee Gardens will become interactive design space
Next month, the residential district of Chip Bee Gardens in Holland Village will be transformed into an interactive design space.
Ten empty terrace houses in the area will undergo a makeover to feature food, fashion, lifestyle products, services and workshops from homegrown creative brands and businesses.
Organised by creative agency Hjgher, the initiative is one of the district activation projects of next month's Singapore Design Week (SDW) and will kick off with a block party in Jalan Kelabu Asap, featuring events such as a treasure hunt, book-swapping and food stands planned by residents.
Mr Justin Long, creative director of Hjgher and a resident of Chip Bee Gardens for 12 years, said: "I was apprehensive at first, but when I approached my neighbours to let them know what we were planning, they were all really enthusiastic and giving ideas on what they want to do."
This is the first time a residential area has been transformed into an interactive design space on such a scale in Singapore, one of many firsts for SDW 2018.
The annual design festival, titled A March of Design, will run from March 5 to 18.
It is organised by DesignSingapore Council (Dsg).
This year's event is a first for Dsg as it moves away from fully commissioning the programmes to outsourcing the ownership of key events to industry players through calling for proposals from the ground.
Apart from Chip Bee Gardens, various sites in and around Tanjong Pagar, such as Neil Road and Keong Saik Road and Queen Street in Bras Basah, will add buzz in the form of the Singapore Urban Design Festival and Bras Basah.Bugis Arts Sprawl respectively.
Visitors can enjoy installations, workshops, summits and performances, among other activities.
Fans of Design Trails, in its fifth year, will be happy to hear that its organiser - placemaking studio Shophouse & Co - will be introducing a new format.
Done as a hop-on, hop-off free tour previously, it will now be rebranded. The City Ramble Design Trails and separated into three tracks offering different experiences at different prices - from a free walking trail with the purchase of an urban guide for $12 to a $70 ticketed trail.
Ms Stella Gwee, director of Shophouse & Co, said: "Last year, we had an unprecedented 4,000 visitors over two days. Imagine opening your house or hotel to so many people.
"So it became an issue of how to grow this idea - we still want people to be able to ask questions and have an intimate experience, so we changed the format a little bit."
This year will also see the inaugural Brainstorm Design conference, which brings leaders in business, design and public policy together to discuss how design improves and alters lives.
Big names such as Ms Elizabeth Laraki, director of product design at Facebook and Ms Kristina Blahnik, CEO of luxury shoe brand Manolo Blahnik will be speaking at the event.
Other highlights include the Market of Artists And Designers at i Light Marina Bay showcasing 50 makers from around Asia and offering workshops.
Those looking for the latest in furniture design can head for the International Furniture Fair Singapore.
Ms Agnes Kwek, executive director of Dsg said: "We're loving how our new way of working with industry partners has yielded many more creative ideas and hope that SDW will become the launch pad for more of these creative businesses."