Singapore Design Week 2022 explored design through three key festival pillars this year: Design Futures, Design Marketplace, and Design Impact.
For Chemistry, we were honoured to participate in SDW on 4 fronts — the most we've ever done!
It was an excellent opportunity to shine a light on what's close to our hearts — putting people and the planet at the centre of our work.
Panel Discussion: Redefining and accelerating the role of design for impact and purpose
It started with our Design Director, Karin Aue, appearing at The Inceptory's panel discussion on design impact.
Karin shared her thoughts to a rapt audience alongside fellow players in the industry — Natalie Seisser (anewkind.studio), Akbar Yunus (Yunora Studios), and Dr Hossein Rezai (Ramboll).
Says Karin,"as designers, we have a huge responsibility around what we design— for whom and how. Doing our best is not enough. Our best has brought us to where we are today. We need new ways of thinking and designing to go further."
Singapore Design Week Learning Journey for Businesses
The following Thursday, Chemistry's shophouse at Jalan Pinang was the second stop on SDW's Learning Journey for Businesses tour.
We were visited by industry leaders who came to learn more about us and our work as a strategic design consultancy across user experience, design, and circularity.
After introducing ourselves and sharing our design philosophies, we roped them into a game of BossUP!. Our innovation readiness card game thoroughly broke the ice as we got to know each other over ingenious schemes and ideation.
A Circular Workspace: Repurposing a Post-Covid Workspace
The main event that our team rallied around was a tour of our shophouse office.
Earlier this year, we embarked on an internal initiative to redefine, redesign and repurpose our shared workspace.
As pandemic restrictions were lifted in Singapore, we started trickling back into the office. Clearly, we had each adapted working styles based on our individual preferences.
As a B Corp, this was important for us to acknowledge. It was an opportunity to prioritise and create an environment that nurtures our team and enables them to thrive.
Thus, we defined a problem statement for us to anchor our spatial design research:
How might we take a space that was built for
personal productivity, and transform it into a space that promotes collaboration and well-being and nurtures the company culture in a post-pandemic world?
Using a human and planet-centred design approach, we started with some research into the working styles of our team to develop some user archetypes.
We then assessed how we could transform different parts of the office to cater to the needs of each archetype while maintaining a sense of modularity and accessibility between each space.
To add to the sense of modularity and nourishing ownership of the space for the team, we developed a multi-function storage stool for each employee.
The stool was designed to be used in multiple ways — additional seating, coffee table, personal storage — in any area of the office's final layout.
A key consideration in the spatial transformation was adhering to circular design principles.
From the storage stools to the sofa, we endeavoured to use up-cycled or repurposed items as much as possible for our fixtures and furnishings.
For the tour, we invited the public to join us across multiple sessions, sharing what we learned in a short talk and then bringing to life our findings with a guided experience of our office space.
Design Think x Happiness: The Emotional Baggage Board Game
Our last day brought us to the National Design Centre, where we showcased a project we've been working on with Pod of Life. Pod of Life is a social learning assembly that promotes well-being and self-mastery of skills that help people lead positive and meaningful lives.
The Emotional Baggage Board Game was designed with Pod of Life's ethos in mind.
The game facilitates a safe space for players to practice vulnerability, respect, empathy, non-judgement, and active listening. Players are taken on a journey where sharing their emotional experiences allows them to achieve milestones and overcome challenges within the game in order to complete it.
All in all,
it was a fruitful year for Chemistry at SDW 2022! Thank you to everyone who came by and indulged us in our love for people and planet-centred design. HUGE shoutout to DesignSingapore Council, The Inceptory, Pod of Life, and all the players who made Singapore Design Week 2022 possible.
That's a wrap!