A museum showcasing luggage, iPod stereos, and thermal underwear? The Red Dot Design Museum’s collection may seem oddly mundane, but if you’re familiar with the award of the same name it makes a lot more sense.
Established in 1955, a prestigious German design centre awards the “Red Dot” to everyday products with trendsetting or exceptional design. There are only two Red Dot Design museums in the world (the original is in Germany), so you’ll certainly want to add it to your Singapore itinerary if you’re a fan of contemporary design.
Singapore’s Red Dot Design Museum is housed in a red brick building on the outskirts of Chinatown. The lay-out is very minimalist with a large central room that doubles as an event space and hallways projecting off it where the winning products are displayed. There are a number of categories, and products may have been chosen for their aesthetics, innovation, environmental friendliness, or social good.
Some of my favourites were shoes that convert into rain boots, a pregnancy test for blind women, and the “1+1 Pill” – a single serving of water and medicine for distribution in places without clean drinking water. If you look at all the products and read all the accompanying information it should take about one hour to go through the gallery.
If you’re curious to see what Red Dot is all about but hesitant to pay, the museum extends free admission during their monthly Night designer bazaar, MAAD (Market for Artists And Designers). MAAD takes place on either the 1st or 2nd Friday of each month, from 5 pm to 12 midnight and features hand-made jewellery, bags, clothing, and stationery.
The Red Dot Design Museum is on Maxwell Road (you can’t miss it) a short five minute walk from the URA Singapore City Gallery — if you have an interest in design you’ll most likely enjoy both spots so it makes sense to visit them together — grab a feed at Maxwell Food Centre afterwards. The closest SMRT to the Red Dot Design Museum is Tanjong Pagar about a ten minute walk away.
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