Dragons are everywhere in Singapore these days. As a pin, a door stopper and a toy rocker. On music album cover, a fashion spread and even an elections manifesto. This mythical animal has become a part of the Singapore story—and it all started with Mr Khor Ean Ghee.
Close to four decades ago, he dreamt up a playground shaped as this Asian symbol while working as an interior designer in the Housing and Development Board (HDB). Mr Khor had been tasked by the agency’s then head honcho Liu Thai Ker to design play spaces for a new generation of public housing that would go beyond providing just a roof over Singaporeans heads.
“The thinking then was to have more local identity and themes. We wanted something different, designs that reflect what we see in Singapore,” recalls the designer who joined HDB in 1969.