Hans Tan: “Design can be a cultural driver for Singapore”

Hans Tan has just been crowned Singapore Designer of the Year 2018 (Product & Industrial design) at this year's President's Design Awards. He was already the recipient of two Design of the Year awards, in 2015 for his Pour table and in 2012, for the now famous Spotted Nyonya series.  Having studied design in both Singapore and the Netherlands, where he graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, his works show a balanced combination of finely tuned industrial processes and knowledgeable artistic references, that is still too rarely seen in the Singapore design scene. Early on in his career (with the meaningful Petrified Victoria series in 2008, for instance, and probably earlier while studying at DAE), Hans Tan started using the most recent, refined technologies to write modern stories that can be read, each in a different way, as a testament to a rich, multi-layered cultural heritage (past, present and future). Observed carefully, his designs also reveal intricate tales of social evolution. In an interesting interview with the Business Times, Tan discusses the delicate topic of design as a thing of beauty and culture, as opposed to the general Singaporean view of design : "The DesignSingapore Council has played a tremendous role in improving the design scene, with scholarships and businesses opportunities. However, there is one thing I feel that can be improved. We tend to see design as an economic driver. In many other countries, design is a part of art. One way to push Singapore design further is to start seeing design as a cultural driver rather than an economic one. If we can get design to be more culturally driven, we can get people to appreciate their culture more. Perhaps we could have a design museum. When we display design outside of a shopfront, we will see design differently, and not just an item to be sold. It's the same with stamps; have them in a museum and we see them as part of history and culture." Words of wisdom...

Fishing for compliments: the halieutic design of Lucile Viaud awarded

The halieutic segment (fish farming, aquaculture) is currently one of the fastest-growing food markets. It could also open many doors to designers... It's no surprise to learn that French designer Lucile Viaud's marine glass project has just received a "Observer" label, and is shortlisted for the "stars" awarded each year by the Observeur du Design. Recently launched through a crowdfunding campaign, she had first imagined the concept of this series, made out of fish and aquaculture products (halieutic design) such as oyster shells, while studying at the prestigious Ecole Boulle in Paris in 2015. 

Let’s Party: Kids only, with Liu Bolin and Studio GGSV

You might regret not being 10 years old anymore... One of the most iconic contemporary art museums in the world, the Centre Pompidou, A.K.A. Beaubourg, is celebrating its 40th birthday. Acclaimed designers Gaëlle Gabillet and Stéphane Villard (Studio GGSV) have been invited, on this occasion, to imagine an entirely new kind of event for the Children's Gallery. « Galerie Party », a story in three acts, takes place in a fantasy garden, where a strange house has been erected. The second act has just been unveiled. Brace yourselves (and get your kids ready): from September 9, 2017 to January 8, 2018, Chinese artist Liu Bolin, « The Invisible Man » himself, will hide – wearing his hand-panted costume matching the background, as usual- in the disruptive decor created by Studio GGSV at the crossroads of architecture and design. On the inaugural night, Liu Bolin will perform in front of the public one of his emblematic photographs-performances which allows him to camouflage himself by mimicry within the environment, thanks to his hand-painted outfit that will become the starting point of games, fancy dressing- the highlight of this very special birthday party. Children will chose among an array of costumes whether enabling them to hide in Liu Bolin's photographs collection or stand out by wearing the garden-inspired prints. « Our work ranges from concrete proposals to manifestos. We are looking for forms that offer different interpretations. Matter is at the heart of our concerns. Our production tackles a contradiction . . . We imagine more objects to make less objects. »

Cherry blossoms in Finland

It took four years to craft, but it was worth the wait. The design industry is cooing over this new collection, the love child of two design icons: Japanese fashion company Issey Miyake and Finnish home design brand Iittala's collaboration flaunts perfect organic shapes and delicate colors, mixing technologically innovative and traditional materials. Jeremiah Tesolin, Creative Director at Iittala, has lifted the veil for The LuxPad: "The topic of Iittala and Miyake Design Studio sharing the same values and mutual respect towards each other came up in the discussions between Iittala Design Director Harri Koskinen and Miyake Design Studio. We admire the work of Miyake Design Studio very much and we were thrilled when we got the response that the feeling and the willingness to collaborate was mutual. The discussions and the product development started from there and now, after four years, the collection is ready and launching."