Want to be impressed by Singapore? In March, we hit the grassroots designer communities at the Market of Artists And Designers (M.A.A.D), Boutique Fairs and The Mox in Katong Point to experience the creativity of Singapore.
We spent 3 full days visiting the M.A.A.D hosted by the Red Dot Museum, perusing the curated biennial Boutique Fairs, and spending the rest of our time in the creative neighborhoods of Singapore.
With two major events in March, along with Singapore Design Week, there was no greater time to explore “the Lion City.” Here’s what we found!
1.You’ll always find something that touches your heart at a local market!
Held in front of the Red Dot Design Museum in the lively Marina Bay area, Market of Artists And Designers (M.A.A.D) is “a grassroots initiative to promote local designers and artists by giving them a platform to showcase and sell their original works to the public”.
“Since 2006, the Red Dot Design Museum has been organizing MAAD. More than 144 MAAD sessions have welcomed over 400,000 visitors and connected with some 1,500 artists, crafters, designers and makers from the creative community. It continues to be the largest, most influential and creative marketplace and platform that can be used to connect with the public.
Many independent creatives participate in this event to present their works to the public, so it’s a must-visit if you’d like to explore the local design vibe in Singapore (plus stroll along the Marina Bay promenade and watch the locals do the same.)
One artist’s beautiful accessories presenting different shapes of the female body caught our attention. The artist told us that many women do not feel confident about their bodies because they are self-conscious and feel their bodies do not fit into the socially constructed standard of beauty.
However, the artist intends to shake this standard of the world by projecting the idea that every body shape should be appreciated equally because there are countless profound and respectable stories behind each body, which is what people should focus on.
Besides coming to get inspired, we also came to MAAD to support some Pinkoi designers!
The MAAD in conjunction with Singapore Design Week spanned two weekends in March. Follow the Facebook page for the next dates!
Include a visit to the Red Dot Design Museum (including its shop, cafe and bar) and make it a day trip.
MRT: East West Line (Green), Tanjong Pagar, Exit E. Walk to Maxwell Road.
2. Check out a community of like-minded brands
Boutique Fairs Singapore can be described as a curated small business shopping experience, held twice a year at the Pit Building event center, featuring a really boutique feel!
▲ Lounge, cafe, shopping!
Charlotte Cain, who started Boutique Fairs, envisioned a shopping platform where designers could showcase their collections, directly interact with their customers, and in turn gain valuable feedback about their work. It features independent, design-led, and socially responsible brands handpicked by Charlotte.
▲ “Know the story behind every product.”
One thing that’s very special about Boutique Fairs is that the brands in the event reflect the mixed, diverse Asian and western cultures in Singapore.
▲ Boutiques Fair provides complimentary booths to local charities and non-profits so they can reach the right people.
▲ “翻tionality” by Graye: the Singaporean menswear brand (also on Pinkoi) is here, too!
The owner of the brands are ready to chat and people dress up a bit. Different from the MAAD’s open air venue, this curated event is an occasion for like-minded creatives to gather, share … and also shop. If you want to experience a variety of design styles and brands in one place, Boutique Fairs is an event you should not miss!
The giant Ferris wheel landmark Singapore Flyer is nearby!
- Public buses 106, 111, and 133.
3. See designers at work in their home environment
The Mox, Katong Point
Designers have their studios all over Singapore, not just in one area. Some of the interesting areas to explore are Tiong Bahru, Kampong Galm and Joo Chiat Road, home to studios, independent shops and some old architecture too.
We particularly enjoyed The Mox in Katong Point, a large mall in the Joo Chiat district.
The Mox is a makers hub that groups local designers in Singapore. In The Mox, you can not only visit designers’ studios and shop for their designs, but also participate in workshops held by the crafters as well! In fact, Teesaurus, one of the designers on Pinkoi with fun Singlish office accessories, also chooses to set up a studio here. Make sure you check out their studio when you visit The Mox!
▲ A cool installation in the Teesaurus studio. Don’t forget to take a selfie with this designful T-rex.
The Mox is at Katong Point, 451 Joo Chiat Road
MRT: Take the orange Circle line to Dakota Station
Recommended Food: Katong Laksa, Toastbox.
As you can see, there is plenty to do in Singapore when looking to discover local craft and creativity. We had a few days, and spent them wisely! What would your itinerary be?
Designs in Singapore
Text: Raffi, Melissa