12 November 2005, Singapore - Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd and Design Singapore Council have announced the selection of four finalists for the VivoCity Student Design Contest - a worldwide competition that aims to nurture the artistic talent of students and promote design excellence.
These four finalists were chosen out of the top 20 semifinalists at the inauguration of the VivoCity Student Design Contest exhibition at the HarbourFront Centre.
Jeffrey Wongso from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Kenneth Koh from the National University of Singapore won the honours for Singapore, along with Rony Chan from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Jan Sappert from Germany's Design und Median Hannover. All four students will attend a mentorship programme in Tokyo with VivoCity's architect, Toyo Ito in January 2006. The top (or gold prize winner) selected from these four finalists will have his or her work produced and displayed at VivoCity, alongside works of acclaimed international artists.
The judging panel included some of the big names in design and architecture - Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman, Mapletree; Mr Toyo Ito, architect of VivoCity; Mrs Koh-Lim Wen Gin, Chief Planner and Deputy CEO, Urban Redevelopment Authority; Mr Fumio Nanjo, Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2006; Dr Milton Tan, Director of DesignSingapore Council, and Mr Syddal Wee, General Manager of SPACE Furniture.
Speaking at the judging ceremony, Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman, Mapletree said, "The VivoCity Student Design Contest reflects our commitment to encourage local design skills and also contribute to putting Singapore on the world map for design excellence. In pairing young designers with esteemed, established designers, we have created a unique forum that will encourage and develop student creativity and innovation.
" In addition to the valuable exposure and mentorship with one of the world's pre-eminent architects, Toyo Ito, the gold prize winner will receive S$ 10,000 and another S$ 10,000 for the school; the silver prize winner will receive S$ 5,000 and S$ 5,000 for the school; and the bronze prize winner will receive S$ 3,000 and S$ 3,000 for the school.
In the inaugural contest, which was incorporated as part of the Singapore Design Festival 2005, 20 shortlisted students from an initial field of 370 entries from Singapore and around the world had their prototype designs of innovative street furniture displayed at HarbourFront Centre from 10 to 20 November 2005.
With over 1 million square feet of lettable floor space attracting a diverse mix of over 350 retailers, large event space, including a 1000-seat amphitheatre and a 300m harbour front boardwalk, VivoCity is set to become Singapore's largest and most diverse retail and lifestyle destination when it opens to the public in the fourth quarter of 2006. Designed by world-renowned architect, Toyo Ito, VivoCity will be the centre-piece of Singapore's newest lifestyle hub at the HarbourFront, which also includes Sentosa, Mt Faber, the Singapore Cruise Centre and the St James Power Station.
About Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Mapletree, the developer of VivoCity, is a leading real estate company with an asset base of approximately S.6 billion, comprising office, retail/lifestyle logistics/industrial, and high-tech industrial properties. It is committed to shaping new ways to deliver value to its stakeholders from multiple real estate investments and services. With its significant expertise, diverse skill sets and intimate knowledge of the property industry in Singapore and Asia, Mapletree is well-positioned to be an ideal strategic real estate partner in providing innovative real estate solutions and investment products. Mapletree is focused on delivering quality real estate-related services, while at the same time, developing its capital management business in Singapore and the region. It continually seeks new avenues to deliver optimal returns on investments in real estate, providing a source of shared value for its business partners and stakeholders.
VivoCity Student Design Contest Finalists
Name: Jeffrey Wongso
School: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore
"Floop" is a powder-coated stainless steel outdoor sculpture that features a low-seating structure. It is constructed with two tubular pipes, one of which is bolted to the ground and the other bolted and hidden within an artificial lake. The design is meant to create a sense of tension and imaginary aerial division between the water and the ground. A Chinese Indonesian, Jeffrey has been studying and living in Singapore since he was in Secondary One. He has been an avid artist from young and picked up an interest in interior design from his father, who is a contractor. He is currently pursuing a diploma in Interior Design. Jeffrey counts playing the guitar, soccer and other sports and watching movies among his many interests.
Name: Kenneth Koh Qibao
School: National University of Singapore, Singapore
"Island" is a sculpture that changes over time, and introduces the idea of the public adding to and being part of the artwork. Its designer, Kenneth Koh, suggests that artificial plants can be fastened on to the main body of "Island", and be changed over time to more matured versions, so as to simulate growth. The types of plants can also be dependent on the time of the year. For example, desert-like plants could sprout from January to March, and Christmassy plants could be introduced in December. Kenneth has always been intrigued by toys that come in modular pieces and allow the user to construct something from them by a simple reconfiguration of these pieces. What also fascinate him is the Japanese phenomenon of the "kawaii" (cute) obsession and the idea of a mascot that promotes a product. If people take to human or anthropomorphic characters, why not have a bulbous plant as a mascot instead, he often muses, hence the birth of "Island". An architecture undergraduate, Kenneth plays the clarinet and keyboard, as well as sings in a cappella group, during his free time.
Name: Chan Hoi Nap, Rony
School: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Rony Chan is a nature-lover, and is inspired by one of nature's most beautiful creations - rain. She believes that the form of a raindrop gives one the feeling of fluidity. Her design, "Raindrop" is testimony to that. When installed in a shopping mall, the structure will help passers-by relax and let them shop in a more natural environment. The sculpture's stainless steel surface distorts one's reflection when they walk pass it or when they climb through it. By distorting their reflections, it makes them feel as though they are part of the "fluid" environment too. Besides architecture, Rony is passionate about music and plays the piano to relax. She loves traveling and shopping in different destinations. If she wins the gold prize of S$ 10,000, she will spend some of it on her final year design project and the rest on shopping. After completing the course, Rony hopes to establish herself as a professional architect in a reputed firm.
Name: Jan Sappert
School: Design und Median Hannover, Germany
"ComeFused" was designed to interact with people. The stark contrast between the exterior of the graphic cube and the illuminated organic forms inside commands attention and the constantly changing colour of the core helps to break the monotony. The viscous surface of "ComeFused" 'pulls' one towards it and makes them feel as if they are fusing with the sculpture itself. The public can also walk through the sculpture, take funny photos in it or just relax by it. A nature lover, Jan enjoys photography and bird watching. Many of his works are inspired by nature, where he believes one can find the most beautiful forms and colours. His hobbies include golfing and car racing with his friends. He hopes to found his own architectural agency in future.