Day 3: Singapore’s Design Culture

by cedhausen

Okay, so I didn’t get to visit the Botanic Gardens today because one of the minor gardens is closed on Tuesdays and I didn’t want to miss out on anything when I visit. Thus, I’m postponing that trip to tomorrow. Plus, my host tells me that the nearby Holland Village has much to offer in terms of food, so I’ll most likely drop by for a visit (though a preliminary search on Google tells me the area is more expatriate suburbia than hipster homeland).

Today’s Photo of the Day features the stunning Clifford Pier:


The pier used to be empty, i think, until it was acquired by the Fullerton Bay Hotel (different from the Fullerton Hotel, which is also a beautiful property) and transformed into a gorgeous looking restaurant that’s open freely to the public, unless you intend to dine there of course. The photograph above captures the entrance, but wait till you see the foyer behind me:

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This one was take with my GoPro Hero 3+, hence the fish eye effect. But isn’t this place amazing? I love what they’ve done to it and there are plenty of properties in Singapore that have been transformed similarly. I wish Malaysia had half of the design culture found here… Seriously, Malaysians don’t give Singapore enough credit on how beautiful this island is, and I know plenty of people who unwittingly pass by areas like this without exploring them, which is a real shame.

A solid design identity is important for any nation. A boost in tourism is the obvious endgame here, but architecture and aesthetics also attract potential investors to set up international bases, a boon to trade and economy. It’s a little cyclical, but a beneficial one nonetheless, and an example of how funding for the arts can indirectly feed the economy. It might seem a little farfetched having a facile discussion on the impact of design like this, but there’s a reason why when we want to impress our business clients, we take them to fancy restaurants by the pier, not the hawker centre down the street.

I feel energised when I walk around Singapore because I’m always on the lookout for something to capture with my camera. This isn’t to say I don’t do the same thing back home when I’m exploring Kuala Lumpur, but I actually feel more motivated here for some reason. Maybe it’s because I realise I only have nine days here, and that time limit pushes me to capture the best in everything I see, whereas I feel as if I can afford to take the sights and scenery in Malaysia for granted since, well, I live there. Here are some of the design “elements” that make up Singapore:

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This art deco niche was found outside Clifford Pier, and I jokingly told my friend who was adamant on having his wedding here that he could fill this with an Abercrombie & Fitch model as eye candy during the reception, though that might unnecessarily distract everyone from the happy couple.


This is OUE Bayfront’s facade at night. I only wish that the building was taller so I could exaggerate the lit stripes.

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In a word, sexy. While I still adore wrought iron spiral staircases, this one in Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall deserves a photograph too. By the way, if you know of amazing looking spiral staircases, I’d love to hear about them.

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Another shot from Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. I just liked the contrast in colour, and the simplicity in lines.

Okay, it’s 4AM and I’ll only have two hours of sleep now. Until tomorrow then!