Intelligent Design

It calls itself “The Dream Factory” and true enough, this renowned Italian kitchenware maker has been at the forefront of innovative and inspired product design since 1921. The store carries a good collection of products from all three divisions of Alessi (A di Alessi, Alessi, and Officina Alessi) with particular emphasis on pieces that highlight the commitment to design innovation.
Hot Picks: Designer teapots, flatware and other eclectic household knickknacks are housed in the kitchenware master’s Singaporean outpost. Pieces like the whimsical Miriam Mirri cat bowl ($175), Philippe Starck aluminum citrus juicer ($175) or a Karim Rashid watch ($168) are particularly good value, considering that they’re all designed by renowned names like Starck and Rashid. If you’re looking for head turners for your home, try the Blow Up Bamboo range of furniture by the Campana Brothers (from $198) or classic kitchenware like Andrea Branzi’s Scoiattolo nutcracker ($243).
#04-22/23 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, 6509-8117.
Made For SAM
A big black block of rubber that “swallows up” your pencil, a canvas tote emblazoned with a photo print of rocks and a ruler that measures 71 square centimeters—1/100,000,000,000 the area of Singapore. Art exhibition gone mad or a bunch of artists and designers taking the Mickey out of the things we’re familiar with? Well, it’s a bit of both. At the Singapore Art Museum’s newest exhibit-slash-design store called Made For SAM, everyday objects like pencil cases, rulers, greeting cards and tote bags take center stage, all available for sale. The idea was conceptualized and curated by art and design collective FARM and independent designer Hans Tan. More than 40 local designers and artists were drafted in to create the works, with prices ranging from $5-108.
Hot Picks: From cheeky takes on everyday objects (diamond shaped erasers by Casey Chen; a “bag of gold” coin bank by Yong Jieyu) to more high brow pieces (Ash Yeo’s chrysanthemum ruler), the art/design objects make perfect conversation pieces for your home.
Inner Lobby, Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Rd., 6332-3222.
Red Dot Design Museum Shop
When the Red Dot Design Museum opened its doors back in 2005, it was an altar of good design; showcasing works that merged functionality and practicality. Like the main museum in Essen, Germany, the Singapore branch—also housed in a restored building—provides an apt exhibition space to showcase the winners of its annual Red Dot Design Awards show. But what’s been missing until now is the opportunity for you to bring a piece of award-winning design home.
Hot Picks: Peruse their racks and shelves for a wide range of goodies, including an umbrella that stands upright, salt and pepper shakers on wheels, a hairy pencil (it shows how everyday mundane objects can interact and illicit positive emotions in people) as well as lamps that you can simply stick on walls (or even the floor) with the use of adhesive tape.
28 Maxwell Rd., 6534-7194.
Things couldn’t get any stranger than the wares you find here. In case you’re wondering, the name is borrowed from particle physics; “strangelets” are theorized cosmological objects composed of an exotic form of matter known as strange matter. Hmmm, Big Bang Theory’s Dr. Sheldon Cooper we are not; but the shop is still a rather hip depository of beautifully designed curios worth checking out. The brainchild of Ong Ker-Shing and Joshua Comaroff from architectural practice Lekker Design along with two other partners, it stocks a number of mind-boggling creations sourced from their travels and research trips abroad.
Hot Picks: If you’re looking for the chic, stylish and yes, downright weird, for your home, look no further. Strictly following their manifesto of “militant craftsmanship” and anti-mass production, the owners have amassed an eclectic collection which includes artisanal soaps, hand-made pendant lamps made from hedge plants, travel-inspired paper stationery and leather cases by Postalco, as well as various quirky home furnishing objects.
87 Amoy St., 6222-1456.