Singapore, City of Design

Nominator : DesignSingapore Council

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Singapore is a cosmopolitan Southeast Asian city-state, where design has an important part in its development. The successful plans, strategies, land use, urban landscaping and conservation of built heritage have made Singapore a liveable and lovable home to 5.5 million people, forming a melting pot of communities, ethnicities, religions and languages.

Cultural and international festivals, heritage institutions, world-class performing arts venues, museums and galleries make Singapore a desirable place to live, work and play. In shifting from manufacturing and services to an innovation industry, Singapore is harnessing the creativity of its people to develop an innovative economy.


In 2003, the DesignSingapore Council was established to develop the design sector. Our work focuses on three areas. First, we help organisations and enterprises use design as a strategy for business growth; and for excellent delivery of public services. Second, we nurture industry-ready talents skilled in design and innovation; and engender a design-minded workforce for the future economy. Third, we advance the Singapore brand through raising design appreciation on home-ground; and making emotional connections with people across the world.


In 2013, the National Design Centre was set up as a meeting point for designers and businesses to conduct business, obtain the Council’s assistance; and for the public to learn about design and innovation.

Singapore was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design in December 2015. This designation supports the development of a creative culture and eco-system in Singapore that fully integrates design and creativity into everyday life. It is also an opportunity for Singapore to collaborate internationally with the cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in knowledge and talent exchanges, particularly in design innovation, with the objective of expanding UCCN’s presence and influence in the ASEAN region, and providing access and opportunities for ASEAN creative practitioners and professionals.


The City of Design Office is sited within the DesignSingapore Council to coordinate and implement programmes that contributes towards the UCCN mission.

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