The best interactive events to check out when Singapore Design Week returns

It’s no secret that this island is obsessed with placemaking and pop-up events. Something about turning an under-appreciated space into a temporary hub of merrymaking really seems to get us; the more fleeting the event, the more in-demand.

Well, sometimes the government gives the people what they want. Returning from Mar 4-17, the sixth edition of Singapore Design Week is packed with pop-up activities and one-night-only events. Fusing design, business and community engagement, the annual festival organised by DesignSingapore Council hopes to continue its mission of engaging the public to think about their city and the spaces they inhabit—particularly after last year’s successful public activations.

, The best interactive events to check out when Singapore Design Week returns
Street of Clans

By now you should have already bookmarked Street of Clans (Mar 8-10), an installation-focused festival along Bukit Pasoh Road that will pay tribute to the rich heritage of clan houses there. As the neighbourhood’s F&B establishments and vendors spring into action, get a rare look inside four existing clan houses, which will be home to exclusive artist-collaboration works just for the weekend.

The weekend after, head on over to the second edition of Urban Design Festival (Mar 14-17), which will be taking over an underutilised multi-storey carpark in Jalan Besar. The ticketed event by Lopelab is creating its own festival village of sorts—complete with urban design innovation talks from distinguished panelists, urban farming and sustainable living workshops, fitness classes, and of course, glorious food and drinks. It’s a never-ending party over the three days, with a steady stream of DJs, drag queens and local acts (think rapper Masia One, singer Joie Tan, and newcomer Yao) dominating the stage. But a definite highlight has to be the ’80s-style rooftop roller disco, where you can rent quad skates for free and zip around the carpark in total bliss. They see you rollin’; they hatin’.

, The best interactive events to check out when Singapore Design Week returns
Photo credit: Lopelab

There are the more traditional exhibitions happening too. Returning to the festival are SingaPlural (Mar 4-17) and Wallpaper* Handmade (Mar 7-31), which you can fully appreciate without having to strap on a pair of roller skates. This year’s SingaPlural responds to the theme ‘Unnatural Phenomena’, and curates unconventionally beautiful objects to explore the origin and evolution of cross-disciplinary design. And for the exhibition by Wallpaper*, poke your nose into the masterpieces of the eight local designers showcased, who were commissioned to create unique and one-off luxury items of furniture, fashion, food and more.

And if you’re simply killing time around the city, feel free to wander down to Urban Interventions (Mar 4-Aug 31)—a set-up of three design-intervention installations submitted by various architects and design firms through an open call. Lining the Bras Basah.Bugis district, they were selected to enliven urban spaces from day to night; so you can probably expect a little i Light-type action.

, The best interactive events to check out when Singapore Design Week returns
Tree Harp at Urban Interventions

In addition, over 70 collaborators have hopped onboard to host studio open houses, workshops, exhibitions and tours throughout Singapore Design Week. Whether you’re a nerd in the trade or just a curious spectator, you’d be sorry to miss out.

Singapore Design Week 2019 will run Mar 4-17 at the National Design Centre and various locations. More information here.