SIDS announces launch of new incubation centre to help new interior design firms
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Singapore – The Society of Interior Designers Singapore (SIDS) is setting up an Interior Design Incubation Centre to nurture local talent and help start-ups establish a firm foundation when they enter the interior design industry.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and National Development Ms Indranee Rajah announced this at SIDS’ annual Singapore Interior Design Awards (SIDA) at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, on 23 September 2022.

New centre to help provide opportunities for industry entrants 
The 8,500 square feet centre, which will be located at Grantral Mall @ Macpherson, is a collaboration between SIDS and property developer Elegant Group. It hopes to provide better opportunities and more shared resources for those entering the interior design industry. It is expected to be ready in May 2023.

The centre, which is estimated to cost about $2 million, will function as both a co-working space as well as a resource and research and development centre. It will allow interior designers to access shared resources like building material libraries, R&D test labs, meeting rooms and computer labs. Interior designers will have to join SIDS as members.

SIDS newly-elected president Tung Ching Yew will be personally spearheading the project. 

Mr Tung is the founder and managing director of the Singapore-based design firm SODA, which has won numerous awards both locally and internationally. 

“This centre will help those like my then 23-year-old self better navigate the obstacles one may face as a start-up. The centre will allow for the sharing of both resources and expertise and considerably cut both cost and bandwidth for start-ups,” said Mr Tung Ching Yew.

More than half of the centre’s space will be set aside for training and workshop purposes. SIDS will curate training courses, seminars and mentorship programmes to support ID start-ups.

Said Mr Goh Boon Peng, Group MD of Elegant Group: “We are honoured to be part of this meaningful initiative. We share SIDS vision to grow the expertise and professionalism of the interior design sector. This centre will set the bar for what is expected for new interior design firms.”

The centre follows SIDS’ push to get Singapore’s IDs to place more emphasis on certification and embracing a life-long learning mentality. 

The Singapore Interior Design Accreditation Scheme, announced last year, was developed to elevate the Singapore interior design profession through defining core skill sets and competencies to bridge the gap between education and practice. It aims to ensure high standards and professionalism in the local interior design industry and validate the industry at the global stage.

The scheme places interior designers in three categories based on their expertise and qualifications. Under the scheme, designers can also pick up new skills and certification to move up in their classification.

Over 400 entries for SIDA 2022
The evening saw winners chosen from over 400 entries for this year’s SIDA, including the prestigious Best Design Firm and Best of the Best awards.

SIDA is one of the most prestigious design awards in the region with this year’s award drawing over 400 entries from 10 countries. 

Singapore designer Mike Lim was the big winner of the night, picking up the Best of the Best and Lifetime Achievement Award 2022.

Works like his Ruffled Ice installation at i Light Singapore 2022 and the 8 Tampines Grande Office Lobby earned Lim, the Principal Designer of DP Design the Best of the Best gong. 

Ruffled Ice draws attention to the excessive use of plastic packaging in today’s society. The installation turns trash into visualisations of melting icebergs and ice caverns by using plastic waste sculpted from redundant packaging materials.
Mr Lim’s amazing body of work, in a career that spanned over 30 years, earned him the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. 

His projects include: the retail component of Changi Airport Terminal 2, Paragon Shopping Centre, Our Tampines Hub, The Dubai Mall (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Emaar Square Mall (Istanbul, Turkey), Perennial International Specialist Medical Centre (Chengdu, China), Project Keiko (Kobe, Japan) and Cinemaxx Junior (Jakarta, Indonesia). 

The Dulux Colour Award went to Geila Daughtrey of Rockett Studio for work at Bedrock Origin, a restaurant at Oasia Resort Sentosa.

The beautifully restored heritage building that houses the restaurant was once Southeast Asia’s first Malay artillery barracks and dates back to 1940.

Ms Daughtrey and her team wanted to create a restaurant that felt bright, fresh and breezy, to celebrate the resort’s island location, and to evoke the feeling of dining outside in the shade of the veranda.

They chose a dusty seagrass tone as the main colour for the restaurant, to create a calm and serene environment. They then selected earthy timbers and buttery-soft leathers to curate a palette of materials that worked in harmony together and that did not steal attention away from the building’s original colonial architecture.

Singapore-based 932 Design took the Best Design Firm Award 2022. The firm has won numerous awards all over the world, including Europe and the United States. 

It bases its design principle on an admiration for delicately complex craftsmanship, behind what looks deceptively simple, yet luxurious.

It was lauded for its work on projects at Highline Residences and Balmoral Tower.