Tag: Design History

Channel NewsAsia Series: Dream Spaces

High-rise housing may dominate Singapore’s skyline, but its homes have traditionally been more grounded. Dream Spaces brings you access to these remarkable properties, retracing their origins and transformation. Each episode explores a housing type and living ideal — the shophouse, the kampong house, the black and white bungalow, historic mansions as well as multi-generational living — to learn how they have been transformed for modern lifestyles, and continue to influence the shape and form of the Singapore house today.

Watch the five-part series on Channel NewsAsia

Becoming Modern by Design

The now-defunct Baharuddin Vocational Institute was Singapore’s first formal school for design. Justin Zhuang looks at how the institute laid the foundation for the design industry here.

➜ Read the full story in BiblioAsia Volume 16 Issue 4

#ADesignLibrary: A New Program for Graphic Design

Graphic design has traditionally been dismissed as “surface”, a subject more concerned with aesthetics more than anything else. Thus, a part of contemporary design education is often devoted to studying the profession’s history and theories to prove its deep connections with the world we live in. “A *New* Program for Graphic Design” by designer David Reinfurt (2019) is a “textbook” that sets out to do just that. Based on a series of three courses originally developed to teach graphic design to liberal arts students at Princeton University, Reinfurt takes us on an alternative path from graphic design as a commercial art to view it as an “interface” where various disciplines meet. He holds up the likes of printer-publisher Benjamin Franklin and designers Bruno Munari, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy and Muriel Cooper, to show how graphic design has also historically been produced at where it meets with printing, photography, art, mathematics, computing and engineering. Abandoning the authoritative air of traditional texts for education, Reinfurt invites students to explore the network of rabbit holes he has personally dug— and to arrive at their own conclusions on what graphic design has become.

#ADesignLibrary spotlights lesser known design books, and invites public access to my personal collection of titles that focuses on Singapore architecture and design, Asian design, everyday design, critical and speculative design as well as design theory and philosophy. I welcome enquiries and physical loans.