Same Same, But Different

Select, copy and paste—a few taps on the smartphone is all it takes to make a duplicate today. Digital technology has made copying effortless and available to all. Lovely opinion! Copy a quote. Beautiful illustration! Save a copy. Awesome tune and film… make copies for sharing? Despite protests from the creative industries—from publishing to music, film to fashion—that rampant copying would destroy creativity, this prediction has not come to pass. Instead, one could argue that preventing copying has encouraged creators to milk existing works over creating new innovations.

➜ Read the full essay on the website for the Bad Imitation exhibition

Becoming Modern by Design: Modernist graphic design’s nation-building role in Singapore, 1960s–1980s


Singapore’s graphic design has often been described as “international”, “trendy” and “western”. The seeming lack of a distinct visual style is attributed to its small population of 5 million, an economy geared for export and that the former British colony only became independent over 50 years ago.

This lecture challenges such snap judgements that suggest Singapore is a mere follower of trends. By examining more closely the rise of modernist graphic design in Singapore beginning from the 1960s to the 1980s, it outlines how the movement was adopted and adapted as part of a larger nation-building agenda.

The presentation was first conceived in 2019 as a guest lecture for Greg D’Onofrio’s design history class at the School of Visual Arts, New York City. It was further developed over several return lectures and also for design classes taught by Sandra Nuut (Estonian Academy of Arts) and Vikas Kailankaje (LASALLE College of the Arts). This is the December 2021 version.

Illustrating a More ‘Singaporean’ Digital Identity

From a public housing block to an otter, familiar sights and scenes of Singapore help create a delightful user experience in the redesigned Singpass app.

Void decks are a common sight at public housing estates of Singapore where most Singaporeans live in. These ground-level spaces are typically open and empty, except for a few sets of public furniture, to allow for various activities like weddings, funerals or simple hangouts with fellow residents. Now, void decks can also be found in the Singpass app!

➜ Read the full story on GovTech’s National Digital Identity Medium account