Professor Keat Ong, President of SIDS,
Mr Mark Wee, Executive Director of DesignSingapore Council,
Mr Larry Ng, Registrar, Board of Architects,
Mr Brandon Fee, Chairman, 20U45 Organising Committee,
Award Juries and Recipients,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to the inaugural 20 Under 45 Interior Designer (ID) awards ceremony. It is my pleasure to be in the company of so many young and talented designers today.
2. I commend the Society of Interior Designers Singapore, SIDS, for organising this first-ever 20 Under 45 ID Award. Inspired by a similar initiative for young architects, this Award aims to recognise Singapore’s most influential young designers. It also acknowledges their contributions to the interior design industry.
3. Today, Singaporeans are placing more importance on good design, especially after COVID-19. In homes and businesses, there is growing appreciation of what good design does, and the social and economic benefits it brings. Over the years, people have come to understand that it is not just bringing intangible rewards but also very tangible benefits in the social and economic area. In the last 18 months, we have all experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and we have all seen how the work-from-home phenomenon has taken root. Whether we are working from home or working in office, we can all agree that COVID-19 and the work-from-home phenomenon has put a spotlight on the importance of good design on our well-being, mental wellness and how to raise productivity.
Applaud award winners for their hard work and dedication
4. On behalf of MTI, MCCY and also DSG, I extend my heartiest congratulations to the 16 winners! They have the honour of being the first recipients of the Award. They have done the Singapore interior design industry proud by showing exemplary innovation, dedication and professionalism.
5. Their portfolios have made significant impact in one or more of these areas:
i. One, they unlocked economic gains for their clients by weaving into business processes functional, innovative or holistic design.
ii. Two, their projects improved the quality of life of their communities and displayed environmental consciousness.
iii. Three, their publications highlighted or addressed cultural topics centred on community building and encouraging social interactions.
iv. Four, they adopted cutting-edge application of building materials or innovative design that pushed the boundaries of conventional thinking.
v. Five, their projects seamlessly integrated sustainability principles.
6. The judging panel were very impressed by the winners’ passion to inspire the people and the communities they are in, their design consistency as well as their dedication to the design practice.
Future Plans for the Industry
7. This award comes at a really critical juncture of the interior design industry’s transformation journey.
a. Later this year, SIDS will be unveiling details of an accreditation programme that aims to level up and professionalise the interior design practice.
b. In addition to upskilling and reskilling interior designers, this programme will also help customers to make more informed choices in their selection of interior designers.
c. SIDS will provide more details about this later this year.
Rounding up SIDFest 2021
8. This award presentation is one of the sweet finale moments of SIDFest 2021. The festival, which had been disrupted by the pandemic several times, is a worthy showcase of the industry’s resilience.
a. I applaud the SIDS team for navigating the industry through this challenging period. You have pressed on to hold SIDFest at the National Design Centre against all odds. And to that, we want to say thank you to SIDS.
9. SIDFest is an important event as it engages the public to better understand and appreciate the Singapore design fraternity.
a. This year, we saw innovative exhibits like the Design By Numbers and Generation Next showcases.
b. I understand that Design By Numbers is the result of a collaboration between designers and industry stakeholders. Such cooperation is important as the industry continues to navigate its way through the new normal.
c. The winning entries showcased by Generation Next brings us fresh inspiration and hope of the next wave of talents emerging amongst our students and youth. You are 20 under 45 but each and everyone of you, you are a mentor to a student or youth. Each and everyone of you is a beacon of hope to someone younger.
d. SIDFest has also placed important issues like the future of design onto the global stage with the SIDS Symposium and Asia Roundtable.
10. I hope the design fraternity will continue to find opportunities to interact and exchange ideas, and work together to bring the industry to greater heights. Yes, physical interaction brings about a certain energy but in today’s context, we can also do so in a hybrid format to keep the exchange of ideas going.
11. Congratulations once again to the inaugural winners of the 20 Under 45 ID Award. Thank you for your contributions to our society, and to Singapore. You represent the future of the industry. We look forward to more breakthrough work from you that will make a positive impact in Singapre, in the region and in time to come, to the world.
12. Thank you.