Swapping Designs and Cultures

WebLiving up to its studio name, Foreign Policy Design Group, is helping promote Singapore graphic design by holding an exhibition exchange with design studios from around the world.

The first edition of The Swap Show will see the Singapore studio play host to the works of four design studios from Barcelona. Foreign Policy’s creative director Yu Yah-Leng had stumbled upon the works of Hey Studio, Mucho, LoSiento and TwoPoints.Net online, and was impressed enough by their work to approach them to do an exhibition exchange on a visit to Barcelona last year.

“Most these studios are not super super well-known, but they have wonderful body of works. We thought it’d be a good idea to let people know about them and their works, and not just by looking at them online but seeing the real piece of work up close,” she said in an e-mail interview.

Attendees who pay $15 (on sale for $10 until 1 March) for this month-long exhibition held in the offices of Foreign Policy can expect to see a variety of posters, publications, brand identity, packaging and typographical works from these studios. Yah-Leng says the exhibition, which is part of The Design Society Festival 2013, is not only about celebrating good works, but also a way for Singaporeans to see how design can be culturally, geographically or ideologically influenced.

Besides exhibiting the works of overseas studios, Yah-Leng was also interested in promoting Singapore graphic design to the world. So as part of the exchange, the works of Foreign Policy as well as fellow Singapore design studios Roots, Bureau and Anonymous will travel to Barcelona to be exhibited in June.

Explaining this policy, she said, “We’d think it should benefit both sides and for both cities to see what the other graphic designers’ works are. It’s not just a one-to-one but many-to-many concept.”

The Swap Show is just one programme that reflects the studio’s belief in staying connected with the rest of the world. In the middle of this year, Foreign Policy will swap designers with a studio in Oslo, Norway as part of its Design Diplomacy programme. This is to expose their staff to working in a foreign environment for a period of time and also a chance for Foreign Policy to work with overseas designers.

Said Yah-Leng, “We’d like to think it’s always great to be exposed to things new and alien, that which will open our eyes more, push us to think more/ think deeper/think wider, inspire us and elevate us to high grounds in the cognitive factor.”

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