Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Metabolist Regeneration of a Dementia Nation

Metabolist Regeneration of a Dementia Nation nominated for the Red Dot: Luminary in the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2020

Metabolist Regeneration of a Dementia Nation from the Architecture category, designed by Jerome Ng Xin Hao from Singapore, has been nominated for the highest achievement in the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2020 – the Red Dot: Luminary. The top accolade serves as an inspiration to aspire towards. The design concept is a film that speculates on an alternative vision of the Golden Mile Complex, an important icon of Metabolist urbanism, which is facing demolition in Singapore. Red Dot interviewed the designer, who is a practising architect and visual communicator, Jerome Ng Xin Hao.

What do you mean by "Dementia Nation” in the design concept?
This project was sparked off by my interest in conservation and residential housing. My project focuses on the Golden Mile Complex as during a time there were a huge debate on whether to conserve or demolish this monument. Some of landmarks like the Golden Mile Complex played a significant role in that moment of Singapore’s history which defined the architecture and building style of a time past. They embody the ambition and aspiration of a newly independent nation and demolishing them would leave people with only photos and memories of the buildings. Therefore, metaphorically I see Singapore as a dementia nation as Singaporeans continue to see their own identity being erased bit by bit, forgetting the significant landmarks that have made an impact in the development of this tiny island.

What is the difference and similarity between an architect and a designer?
The architect in me invents and constructs spatial sequences to be experienced through the juxtaposition of carefully composed space and forms while the designer in me supports and speculates the potential solutions for problems of the building I design and aid in conveying information that engage people’s imagination. I would also include film-making in design as these fields co-exist to render another layer or perspective of reality that presents itself as a carrier of concepts and imagined narratives which allow the architectural space to speak and impact viewers in the project.  

How can design serve the world and make it better?
Design allows me to expand awareness and creative thinking in many social topics and projects, as well as the vigour to tackle issues I feel passionately about, therefore helping me to serve the world better. As a creative, I feel that this is what every creative should strive towards: providing a voice for the minority and those in need, thereby contributing to the wider community with designs that make real, tangible differences in their lives.

What does winning a Red Dot and being the nominee for the top prize mean to you?
It really meant a lot to me as a creative as it affirms my approach and as a nominee for the Red Dot: Luminary, it helped to provide me with a platform to inform people of not just Singapore, but the world that the existence of landmarks are crucial and plays an important role in giving us a better understanding of where we are and our identities. I believe that everyone has this responsibility to safeguard the precious old buildings together with the urban planners, architects, conservationists and policy makers. 

Red Dot Award: Design Concept celebrates winners on 6 and 7 October

The winners of Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2020 will be honoured for their design accomplishments. Their celebratory and winning moments filled with glitters and confetti will be presented online during the Online Award Celebration from 6 October 2020. The highest level of distinction accorded at the award, the Red Dot: Luminary, will be revealed online on 7 October 2020 at 6 p.m. Singapore Standard Time.