Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the FIND Design Fair Asia 2022

Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the FIND Design Fair Asia 2022

Ideas to Design Our Future”

Excellency Mario Vattani, Ambassador of Italy to Singapore

Mr. Chris Hudson, President, DMG Events

Mr. Luca Palermo, Group CEO, Fiera Milano

Industry Partners and Government Officials


Ladies and Gentlemen


Good Morning


1. I am delighted to join you at the opening of the Furniture, INteriors, and Design (or FIND) Design Fair Asia today.


2. A very special welcome to all our overseas exhibitors and visitors from Asia and different parts of the world.


Biggest in Asia


3. This inaugural event with an expected 10000 attendees over three days is Asia’s largest furniture and interiors fair. Anchoring the Singapore Design Week 2022, FIND Design Fair Asia brings together top interior brands, architects, designers and design-savvy consumers from the East and the West to connect and exchange ideas on the latest trends and innovations in design.


a. FIND Design Fair Asia is also a testament to the resilience of the design industry and designers from around Asia and the world since Covid-19. For some of you here, this may be the first time in the last few years that you’re attending in-person a global design event in Southeast Asia. I am glad to also note that, despite the pandemic, the design community has continued to create and bring fresh concepts and solutions to the fore.


Best of East West Talents


4. We’re delighted to welcome some of the best talents and brands from the East and West at FIND Design Fair Asia. The EMERGE@FIND showcase will feature up-and-coming design talents from Southeast Asia.


5. One unique addition this year is the Italian Design Future Capsule a special showcase that celebrates creativity, craftsmanship, and design thinking from Italy. Within the capsule, there are over 20 Italian exhibitors showcasing the latest and most exquisite pieces ranging from furniture to design.


6. I trust that you will discover and be inspired by the many exciting concepts at the fair.


7. As creators and designers, many of you would appreciate the importance of ideas, and the quest to bring them to life. Allow me to share with you three key “I”s that mark Singapore’s journey toward design excellence and the potential for greater East-West collaborations from this city-state.


a. The first “I” is for “Imagine”;


b. The second “I” is for “Innovate”; and


c. The third “I” is to foster “International connections”.


Imagine: A Nation by Design


8. The genesis of design starts with imagination.


9. Our founding fathers dared to imagine a future worthy of building and striving for.


a. From public housing to water sufficiency and rapid economic transformation – we’re a nation by design and driven by dreams to achieve beyond what we can see. Singapore design is characterised by our “can-do” spirit of turning the odds into fresh possibilities.


b. Today, we keep that flame of imagination burning. We continue to be guided by design and how it can improve our lives and the future.


10. In 2003, the Government set up DesignSingapore Council (or Dsg) to champion the design industry. Since then, Dsg has driven greater innovation and growth for businesses through the use of design.


a. In 2015, Singapore was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Design. This recognises our efforts in prioritising creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.


11. Looking forward, we imagine a future empowered by design as we work toward our Design 2025 Masterplan vision – where a thriving innovation-driven city-state pulsates with creativity and ideas.


Innovate: Transformation for Growth


12. Through innovation, we can turn ideas and imagination into reality.


13. The growth and transformation of our furniture industry is a telling one.


a. There are opportunities across Southeast Asia with the regional furniture sector projected to reach US$18 billion in 2022 with an annual growth rate of around 15%, reaching US$27 billion by 2025.


b. In the past, Singapore’s furniture industry was dominated by original equipment manufacturers (or OEMs) and the big players.


c. Now, many Singapore furniture companies have built their own brands and created original designs with distinctive innovations.


i. One example is Sam & Sara Holdings Pte Ltd which uses unique materials to create handcrafted furniture that are luxurious yet accessible.  Its iconic Peranakan bone-inlay furniture was featured in the popular film, “Crazy Rich Asians”.


d. Many companies have also gone beyond our shores to expand and plant their footprints globally.


i. In the case of ipse ipsa ipsum, Sam & Sara Holdings, with the support of EnterpriseSG, joined hands with Singapore Airlines on a joint upcycling project that repurposed retired parts of aircraft into unique and exclusive pieces of furniture. The collection was very well-received by consumers there are plans to launch the collection line internationally, starting with Paris in 2023.


14. Today’s Urban Living Showcase at FIND by SFIC (Singapore Furniture Industries Council) will spotlight some of our local innovations and global partnerships. This year, there are 30 collaborations involving both local and global firms which are working together on clever designs for urban lifestyles around the world.


15. I hope you will have a chance to check out the fascinating showcase. For instance, look out for the Singapore-Japanese KERNEL+ collection that meets the growing work-from-home demand and need for flexible furniture in small spaces.


16. Collaborations like these are key to sparking innovations in design and promoting the exchange of ideas among designers in Singapore, Asia and beyond. Singapore’s open economy and thriving marketplace are attractive factors for companies seeking to do business in Asia.


a. We welcome businesses, designers and entrepreneurs to establish their presence here and to plug into our growing design ecosystem and community.


17. Having a presence in Singapore at the heart of Asia will enable companies to leverage our close ties and strong connectivity to the region and access the growing Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific markets.


International Connections


18. As a design nexus, Singapore welcomes a vibrant flow of designers and businesses from all over the world to our island and Asia.


a. We are delighted that Fiera Milano and dmg Events have chosen Singapore to debut the inaugural FIND Design Fair Asia, which will be Asia’s largest interiors and furniture show.


b. The premier design event is convening in Singapore a gathering of thought leaders, top designers and practitioners to explore the role of design and creative businesses in exciting areas - from sustainable development, wellness and post-pandemic hospitality, to the biophilic design movement and designing of the metaverse.


19. I hope that you will have ample opportunities to connect, network and capture emerging opportunities at FIND Design Fair Asia. As an interconnected global city for design, we look forward to catalysing fresh paradigms and sparking new business possibilities for the design community in Asia and globally.


Design SG


20. Designers and businesses here are well-placed to seize the initiative and engage global audiences with their designs and innovations.


a. Internationalisation is an important pathway for Singapore designers to gain global access and grow their potential.


b. Events like FIND open doors to business and networking opportunities, and offer a valuable platform to engage, exchange ideas and expand beyond the borders of Singapore, into Asia and other parts of the world.


c. The Government continues to work closely with the design community, as well as Trade Associations and Chambers in Singapore to enhance the competitiveness and capabilities of Singapore enterprises and our design industry. Besides support provided through grants and support schemes, we are also focused on nurturing an ideal and conducive environment for design and designers to flourish.


The Future of Design


21. I trust that the success of the FIND Design Asia Fair as an iconic event on the global design circuit will invigorate the world of design, both in the East and in the West. We look forward to new possibilities and paradigms that will emerge from here. Keep imagining. Keep innovating. Keep fostering international connections.


22. I wish you every success at FIND Design Fair Asia. May you be inspired to design a brighter future for our world.


23. Thank you.


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