SDW Highlights Part II : "Urban Design Festival VIP Preview!"


We are lucky to be living and working in a vibrant environment like Singapore, where the design scene is booming rapidly. Although part of Heist is busy with fieldwork in the Middle East, the rest of the team in Singapore took advantage of the events and workshops happening during Singapore Design Week - this is Part II of the mini-series (Part I can be found here).

Heist was invited to attend the event preview at the Jalan Besar Sports Centre. Even though the preview was said to be at the Sports Centre, the event was not held at one of the sports halls. It was actually situated in levels 4 and 5 of the multistorey carpark!

Opened in 1932, the Jalan Besar Sports Centre is an iconic landmark of Singapore’s urban fabric. The event, conceptualized by LOPELAB, was an intervention to activate underutilized spaces such as a mundane car park and turn it into an attractive mixed-use environment for members of the community to enjoy. Not only was this a seemingly-impossible endeavour, it was also highly original and successful. One of the key features was the electric blue industrial plastic containers (see images below) which can be turned into seating areas, coffee tables, and even plant holders. The customizable layout unified the space and gave the containers a second life.

Several booths were scattered around the space, many of them promoting sustainable products from wood alternatives to diminishing food waste by turning bruised fruits into juices. Various singers and bands were jamming to different tunes on the stage, creating a light-hearted and fun atmosphere.


As the sun began to set, we headed to the rooftop and discovered what is arguably the most memorable and mind-blowing element of the event: the roller disco! Grooving to the beats of the DJ, people ate, danced, socialized — and of course — roller skated! Who knew hanging out in a car park could be so incredible? All in all, by promoting local brands and showcasing local performers, this event, with its incredibly unique placemaking, successfully captured the essence of Singapore’s vibrant energy.