Dsg opens Good Design Research program to help mitigate COVID-19, other global issues

March 20, 2020



Denny Mata

Besides the widespread reach of the novel coronavirus, innovations in communication, design, technology, and systems have consistently boosted the fight to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. In Southeast Asian countries affected, like Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, COVID-19 test kits, sanitation tents, and PPEs have also been locally developed and produced.

The DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) saw the importance of design innovation in tackling global crises like the COVID-19. Hence, the Dsg announced today, 20 March, an open call to designers and design enterprises in Singapore for its Good Design Research program. The Good Design Research is an initiative that provides an opportunity for designers and design enterprises keen on tackling critical global issues through design innovation.

BluPrint Good Design Research Dsg
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) is a 761-bed general and acute care hospital in northern Singapore opened in June 2010.

The program is open to any type of design projects that address global issues such as climate change, diversity, national identity, and even an aging population. Dsg is also looking to support exploratory projects in areas such as identity and culture, systems and processes, and new technologies. Dsg cited these exploratory projects as examples: the Wellness Kampung designed by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, the “Pay per lux” intelligent lighting model designed by architect Thomas Rau and Philips, and combining emerging technologies with experimental fabrication processes.

For accepted projects with an overall cost of $50,000 or less, the Dsg sponsors “up to 70% of the qualifying costs for activities essential to deliver the ‘proof of concept’ over a maximum duration of 12 months.” Meanwhile, projects that exceed $50,000 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Interested and eligible applicants for the Good Design Research program must be:

  • Practicing designers with three years of working experience or more at the time of application;
  • Design enterprises that have been incorporated for three years or more at the time of application;
  • The lead applicant must be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
BluPrint Good Design Research Dsg
At the Nagami Robot Factory where full-scale building components were printed using a large 6-axis industrial robot with custom large-scale 3D printer nozzle. Photo credit: Norman Foster Foundation.

Applicants are assessed based on the following set of criteria:

  1. Strength and feasibility of the proposal;
  2. Clarity of commercialization/publicity plan;
  3. Depth of research and approach in addressing a global issue and impact outcomes in any of the following areas:
    • Enabling economic transformation;
    • Raising the quality of life;
    • Advancing Singapore’s brand and culture; and
    • Achieving ground-breaking design achievements
  4. Clarity on how the project strengthens the unique value proposition

For more information, download the Good Design Research Open Call Information Kit and the Application Form. Applications for the Open Call closes on Thursday, 30 April 2020 (5 pm). Please email [email protected] for queries.

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Images from National Design Centre Singapore (Dsg)

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