Cover Photo: Facebook/Design Singapore

Recipients will now be given funding of up to SGD$50,000 for their projects under the Good Design Research Grant component

In an attempt to get more Singapore-based design firms and designers to design for impact through research and experimentation, Designsingapore Council has decided to increase its funding and support for recipients of their Good Design Research (GDR) initiative. 

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Recipients will now be given funding of up to SGD$50,000 for their projects under the Good Design Research Grant component. This is up from SGD$35,000 when the initiative first launched. 

The scope covered under the funding has also been expanded to include non-business operational costs, rental and manpower needs such as employees’ salaries. 

GDR launched in March 2020 in an attempt to cater to the increasing interest in design research. It believes that design backed by deep research can make a true difference and that it can solve challenges faced by societies and cities today.

Since then, it has seen an increasing interest from designers who are attempting to create innovative and impactful solutions to common societal issues. 

They have also received a total of 120 submissions for its three open calls so far. 

“Applied research is fundamental for designers who are seeking to find new approaches and innovative solutions to address the pressing real-world challenges we are facing today. It is a sign of maturity that more Singapore designers are embracing research and coming forward to take up the call to create a better world by design,” said Mark Wee, the executive director of the Designsingapore Council. 

With the conclusion of its third open call, Designsingapore Council has announced that eight projects have been selected with a majority of them focused on urban issues.

The projects include initiatives to create inclusive spatial designs for people with disabilities, the revival of ageing malls as lively and resilient community spaces, the harnessing of biomimicry for building facades, immersive sonic explorations that aim to build a sense of connection to the city and the sustainable growth of ground-up community museums. 

In addition to funding and mentorship, GDR applicants also have the opportunity to take on real-world design for impact projects by three new Challenge Statement Partners. These are digital services giant Grab, non-profit organisation Tsao Foundation and early childhood education provider Busy Bees Asia.

These organisations are looking to work with the design community to create solutions for sustainable packaging in food deliveries, age-friendly environments for the elderly in Whampoa and educational infrastructure and playscapes that integrate and promote sustainability respectively.

There are now a total of 25 GDR projects and there is hope that there will be more designers applying for the Good Design Research Grant which is accepting submissions till January 3, 2022. 

Designers are also free to visit the ongoing GDR showcase at the National Design Centre which features a monthly line-up of projects from GDR’s first two open calls. 

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