Singapore’s creative economy is in full bloom

This year’s Innovation by Design conference – organised by the DesignSingapore Council – attracted a diverse line up of international creatives. From left, fashion accessories designer Beatrix Ong; Low Cheaw Hwei, head of design at Philips ASEAN Pacific; Patrick Chia, director of the Design Incubation Centre; and Ernesto Quinteros, chief design officer at Johnson & Johnson; Mauro Porcini, chief design officer at PepsiCo; Ford Motor Co chief designer Chelsia Lau; architect André Fu, founder of AFSO; and Daan Roosegaarde, artist and founder of Studio Roosegaarde. Photography: Jovian Lim

During the past five decades, the Lion City has built a strong reputation as a global business and tourism hub, attracting an ever more discerning and cosmopolitan community of global travellers who seek to immerse themselves in different cultures and build deeper connections with each visit.

Singapore has worked hard to develop a reputation for infrastructure, safety, stability, connectedness and accessibility. It is no wonder it has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design, or as Ernesto Quinteros, chief design officer at Johnson & Johnson likes to call it, ‘a hybrid-vigour epicentre’ for a global talent pool of designers, architects, thinkers, engineers and entrepreneurs, and ‘an East-meets-West intersection of design and technology, fashion and tradition’.

‘Singapore is like entering a parallel dimension, totally projected into the future, conceived and produced by the imagination, the spirit of innovation and the creativity of its people,’ Mauro Porcini, PepsiCo’s chief design officer, told Wallpaper* during Singapore Design Week’s Innovation by Design conference. ‘In the streets of Singapore nature dances with architecture and architecture challenges the laws of nature, creating jazz for your eyes, food for your mind and inspiration for your soul.’

Even more visual music and eye candy is currently under construction at Jewel, a S$1.7bn ten-level development at Changi airport that, when completed in 2019, will feature an ambitious mix of mall, check-in, hotel and transit facilities, complete with a five-storey-high garden and a 40m waterfall.

Jewel is the work of Israel-born architect Moshe Safdie, best known in Singapore for creating the country’s most striking silhouette, the triptych towers of the Marina Bay Sands casino resort. ‘Singapore is probably at the forefront, worldwide, of publicly-initiated urban design, and also in massive and ambitious landscaping of the urban environment,’ says Safdie. ‘I believe this is an extraordinary collective achievement, a massive undertaking which has had a tremendous effect on the lives of its people.’

The enterprising, persevering hybrid vigour spirit is articulated in a new Singapore Tourism Board tagline, ‘Passion Made Possible’, intended to market Singapore on the global stage for both tourism and business. A collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board, Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Communications and Information, the agencies’ first joint brand is a bold move to showcase Singapore’s unique attitude and mindset.

‘With “Passion Made Possible”, STB is presenting a brand that can tell a fuller Singapore story beyond just tourism,’ explains Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board. Designed to build a deeper and more personal connection with Singapore’s millions of visitors, and to serve as a unifying brand for Singapore on the international front, the ‘Passion Made Possible’ brand is aimed at ‘sophisticated tourists who are seeking more aspirational value propositions in their travel’.

‘Singapore is making the shift from being primarily an investment-driven economy to one that will be led by innovation,’ says Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. ‘Singapore and Singaporeans are where we are today because we pushed the limits of what’s possible, and did not allow constraints to hold us back.’

The October issue of Wallpaper* – our landmark 21st birthday edition – includes a Singapore Revealed special supplement, bringing the island city state’s ‘Passion Made Possible’ philosophy alive via a profiles, products and destinations. Edited by Wallpaper* contributor Daven Wu, the project channels the zeitgeist to explore the personalities, activity and industry generated by Art Stage Singapore, the Singapore Biennale and Singapore Design Week – all now well-established events on the calendar.

We discovered that the island’s creative community incorporating into their work issues of ecology, aged care, education and public housing, as well as breaking new ground in new construction techniques. ‘Most intriguingly, from coast to coast, the buzzword we kept coming up against was “innovation”,’ writes Wu. ‘Not innovation for its own sake, but rather innovation in terms of business and design. Remarkably, for a country that’s barely 700 sq km, it looks as if Singapore is showing us all the way.’


IB diploma results improve this year, Mumbai topper scores full points

Mumbai city news

Mumbai students did well in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) exams, which are equivalent to the Class 12 board exams, held in May. The results were declared on Wednesday.

Rahil Bathwal from Jamnabai Narsee International School, Juhu, bagged the perfect score — 45 out of 45 points — the highest in the city. The IBDP results are given in the form of grade points. Pranav Khemka came second with 43 points. Of 103 students, 12 scored above 40 and 32 scored between 35 and 39.

The overall performance in Mumbai schools was much better than last year’s, said principals. At Podar International School in Khar, Ritik Chopra was the topper with 44 points. Last year, their top student scored 43 points. “This year’s results are one of the best in the history of our institution,” said Vandana Lulla, director and principal of the school.

Of 52 exam takers, a majority of the students scored above 40 points, and bagged six and seven points in individual subjects. “We had opted for new subjects such as environmental studies and Spanish, which help drive up scores,” said Lulla.

Similarly, the highest in SVKM’s JV Parekh International School, Vile Parle, this year is 40 points with 65% out of 37 students from the school receiving 33 points. Around 39% of entries scored 6 and 7 grade points.

School principal, Swaminathan said 60% students from the batch received admissions to top universities in Toronto, British Columbia, California, Edinburgh, Illinois Urbana Champagne and King’s College London.



LG names G6 display “Full Vision”

We already told you about the unusual 5.7” QHD+ display LG Display started producing for the LG G6. It has 2,880 x 1,440 resolution and 18:9 ratio, something we haven’t seen yet in a smartphone.

Now this display has an official name and it is “Full Vision”, quite good name actually for a front panel “filled” with screen.

A company teaser from earlier this year already hinted about a bigger display in the same body. In the same time renders are showing an almost bezel-less screen that will probably make LG G6’s visual experience even better.

LG Electronics is trying its best to have proper flagship since LG G5 was the reason the Mobile division of the Korean company announced poor performance in 2016.

The LG G6 will be launched in the beginning of March in South Korea and on April 6 in USA.



Go Full Color with HP LaserJet Pro MFP-M177

laserjet pro mfp-m177

Today, if a technology item does not fit in your hand or come with apps you can play, it does not catch much attention. Printers are not often handheld, although I had a tiny portable printer years ago that was amazing until I fried it on a trip to London with the wrong power converter. Ouch. The new HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP-M177 does not fit in one hand. You’ll need both hands to move it, but it is worth considering for the small business that wants to make a big impression.

I’ve always been a bit of a printer fan because I got my start in business doing desktop publishing work. I have purchased many HP printers as they first hit the market, including some expensive workhorse laser printers. This new color laser from HP is awesome. I try not to “gush” in my reviews, but if you want crisp print – lasers are the way to go – and the LaserJet Pro MFP-M177 does not disappoint.

Let me cut to the chase– street price on this printer is $299. That’s in range for almost any small business that needs a high quality printer that will fit on a desk and runs quietly. It is easy to use; many companies promise “plug and play” but HP really does it. I plugged it into one of my desktops and it quickly set itself up, no driver install/setup needed on Windows.  I don’t own an Apple computer, but the specs show you can print with Apple AirPrint, too.

What I Really Like:

  • It’s fast. Seventeen pages per minute in black and white; 4 pages in color.
  • It has crisp 600 x 600 B&W resolution. For color, you get the ImageREt 2400 resolution (which, as I understand it – means you get the four primary colors in 600 dpi each. 600 times 4).
  • MFP stands for multi-function printer. So, print, scan, fax, copy. Big copier functions so you can even copy both sides of an ID card onto one side of a page.
  • Wireless capabilities so you can print from just about any mobile device.
  • Easy to print envelopes or on smaller photo paper or postcards, one at a time. Yes, lots of printers also can do this.
  • You can scan directly to email.

What I’d Like to See:

  • The cool touchscreen display didn’t offer a button/icon to scan documents. I did the full CD install later and could scan from the desktop software itself. Load the doc, click scan and it worked. But I never had the scan icon show up on the touchscreen.

One of the big concerns on color lasers, not unlike inkjets, is the cost to replace cartridges. The evaluation unit HP loaned me for this review came with a “starter” cartridge set, but the full cartridges run about $57 each and you need three (cyan, yellow, and magenta), plus black.

In the specs it shows you get approximately 1,000 pages per color cartridge and 1,300 for the black one. That might be pricey for you or it might be cheap – to produce short run, custom documents for your marketing and sales efforts. You may be able to get a combo pack from Costco, Sam’s Club or Amazon.

For the HP Color LaserJet MFP- 177fw printer technical specs, head to the official HP page. But you may decide to buy it from one of their many retailers, such as, Staples, Office Depot or Amazon.  I have purchased and tested a number of printers and truly found this new LaserJet to be a winner at $299.