Singapore’s National Design Centre (NDC) is a hub for all things design in Singapore.
Essentially a space for design businesses, the rotating exhibitions will be of interest to design-savvy travellers (check if there’s anything on first). The handy location in the Bugis and Bras Basah area occupies the restored art deco premises of the former St Anthony’s Convent.
Aside from the exhibitions, a couple of resources we found interesting were Materials Design Lab by Chris Lefteri Design, and Prototyping Lab by Onemaker Group. The Materials Design Lab features an extensive collection of different and often innovative material types including polymers, glass, ceramics, natural materials, textiles, metals and smart materials. Basically, as a resource for designers and engineers, the nerd in us found it fascinating. Touchy-feely museum-like displays mean you can pick up and prod the materials and there’s attached information on possible uses. The Prototyping Lab is probably more of interest to someone who has a bit more time in Singapore, or during their travels has come up with a million-dollar idea and are hankering to make a prototype. Bring your files — they have a laser cutter, router and 3D printer.
Design-loving shoppers won’t miss out here either, as Hong Kong-based retail design outlet Kapok (www.ka-pok.com) has a branch here too. Along with tasteful fashion and design, you’ll find quirky knick-knacks and “Singapore” souvenirs featuring the country in wacky ways. The Kapok store has a cafe to recharge for another bout of sightseeing.
How to get there
MRT: Bugis or Bras Basah
By Sally Arnold
Last updated on 27th May, 2016.