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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

President*s Design Award celebrates architects addressing global challenges

Voted for by an international jury panel, the prestigious President*s Design Award celebrates designers and architects that address global challenges from ageing to sustainability while creating positive impact and meaningful change.

The President*s Design Award (P*DA) will be presented to 11 recipients this year for creating human-centric solutions that address global issues such as ageing societies, under-served communities, climate change and sustainability.

The biennial award, presented by President Halimah Yacob, recognises outstanding designers and designs that have contributed to economic, cultural and community transformation, raised quality of life, made ground-breaking design achievements and elevated Singapore on the world stage.

Jointly organised by the DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the award ceremony was held on 30th June, and live-streamed from The Istana.

A total of 129 submissions across various disciplines — including architecture, interior design, visual communications, user interface, UX/UI design, educational and spatial design, engineering design and more were received, reflecting the critical role of design in shaping how we can better live, learn, work, and play.

Voted for by a global jury panel, the award has two categories: Designer of the Year — awarded to one recipient from design, and one from architecture (two recipients) for their body of work — and multidisciplinary award, Design of the Year (nine recipients).


The Designer of the Year award went to a Singapore designer and an architect duo who have spent their careers focused on making a difference to their industry, community and country:

• Kelley Cheng, Creative Director of The Press Room, was recognised by the Jury for her outstanding body of work spanning visual communications, publishing and exhibition design; and for tirelessly working to champion and nurture Singapore’s creative community.

Kelley Cheng, Creative Director of The Press Room

• Husband-and-wife architect team, Khoo Peng Beng and Belinda Huang, Directors of ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism Pte Ltd, were lauded for their outstanding contributions in mentoring and developing young and aspiring architects as well as actively developing socially meaningful, community-focused projects. One such example is the multi award-winning Pinnacle@Duxton, which features the world’s two longest sky gardens ever built on skyscrapers, at 500 metres each.

Husband-and-wife architect team, Khoo Peng Beng and Belinda Huang, Directors of ARC Studio


Nine projects received the Design of the Year award for demonstrating design’s ability to transform and touch the lives of people from all walks of life, in Singapore and beyond:

• For the young, Sparkletots Large Preschool at Punggol, led by Ho Tzu Yin and. Matthew Yeo from LAUD Architects Pte Ltd, creates a safe and inclusive space to learn and play by reinventing the conventional notion of a childcare facility.

Sparkletots Preschool

• Kampung Admiralty, led by Wong Mun Summ and Pearl Chee from WOHA Architects Pte Ltd and Goodlife! Makan, led by Seah Chee Huang from DP Architects Pte Ltd, create spaces that reintegrate our silver generation into the community, and revitalise their golden years.

Kampung Admiralty

• Cloister House, led by Alan Tay and Seetoh Kum Loon from Formwerkz Architects, reinterprets the cluster house typology to provide a functional yet stunning living space in the tropics.

Cloister house

• Etania Green School, by Prasoon Kumar and Robert Verrijt from Billion Bricks Ltd, is a source for experiential learning as well as a place of pride and dignity for the stateless children and community in Sabah, Malaysia.

Etania Green School

• EYEYAH! by Steve Lawler and Tanya Wilson empowers children with creative and problem-solving skills through visual communications not just in Singapore, but in the United Kingdom and the United States.


• The [Not-So] Convenience Store, led by Astri Nursalim from Kinetic Singapore, is a tongue-in-cheek exhibition, which has sparked necessary discussions around the cost of our culture of convenience on the environment.

The team: from L-R_ Jennifer, Steven, Cat Phua, Astri, Fely, Pann, Gian

• Jewel Changi Airport, led by Moshe Safdie from Safdie Architects as well as RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd, is an architectural feat which has propelled Singapore to the world stage by redefining the notion of an air transit hub.

Jewel Changi Airport, led by Moshe Safdie from Safdie Architects as well as RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd

• AirMesh Pavilion, led by Professor Carlos Bañón from the Architectural Intelligence Research Lab (AIRLAB) @ Singapore University of Technology and Design, realises the future of construction by pushing the boundaries of 3D printing.

Airmesh Pavilion

Of this year’s awards, President Halimah Yacob said, “The common thread that runs through good design is the [MH1] improvement it brings to our quality of life. All of this year’s award recipients have accomplished this through their creative, thoughtful and empathetic designs. Each award-winning project is a unique testimony to how design can be used to empower lives, uplift communities, and propel innovation.”

Mark Wee, Executive Director of Dsg, added, “This cycle of the P*DA takes place amidst an unusually trying time when societies and economies are in flux. The turbulent changes are a stark reminder that as designers, we can serve a higher purpose by seeking to solve societal challenges to create a better world. This year’s P*DA recipients exemplify design’s ability to transform, improve and touch the lives of people from all walks of life. We hope others will be inspired by these projects and see how good design can create a brighter, better future.”

Yap Lay Bee, Group Director (Architecture & Urban Design), URA said, “The P*DA 2020 recipients and projects have demonstrated responsiveness to environmental and community outcomes. This is testament to the pertinent role that architects play in creating places that inspire the community, drive connections and break social barriers. This results in well-designed buildings and spaces that aren’t just attractive, but also sustainable and beneficial for generations to come.”

The award-winning works will be featured in a travelling exhibition across the island, slated to commence at The URA Centre after the award ceremony before moving to selected venues including National Design Centre, library@orchard, Temasek Shophouse and Singapore University of Technology and Design. More venues will be confirmed closer to date. For the well-being of all visitors, visitation arrangements will adhere strictly to prevailing safe management measures.


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