Hans Tan by The Alchemist, Singapore Design
‘The Alchemists’ is a nod to the Italian movement of the 1970s, Studio Alchimia, whose members’ experimental design pieces resulted in a design language and creativity that challenged the status quo. It was a radical design movement that pushed the boundaries of design, and changed the global design landscape for the future. The title also aims to convey a seemingly magical element, or role, that exists in the act of designing or making. The alchemist of yesteryear dedicated their life to the transformation of materials, from the ordinary to the precious, most commonly from metal into gold. The starting point for ‘The Alchemists’ project was ‘the designer as alchemist: what can be designed by applying the process of transmutation?’ ‘The Alchemists’ is curated by Italian editor, writer and designer Stefano Casciani, and co-curated by designer Patrick Chia, who is also the founding director of Singapore’s Design Incubation Centre. A new generation of designers from Singapore embarked on a creative investigation through design – of language, mythologies, and philosophies. Various materials were explored, fr
om nylon laser sintering to resin pouring, from liquid colouring of ceramics to acrylic textiles moulding. However, ‘the intent of the show is not to simply exhibit new production technologies, but to develop along with them, a more contemporary attitude for designing in the global context’, mentions Casciani, Italian curator for the show. ‘By selecting designers that vary in age and experience, the showcase hopes to reflect on the current state of design from a Singapore perspective. More importantly, this project hopes to serve both as a converging and a departure point for more dialogue and collaboration among this group of designers, as well as future generations of designers to come’, says Chia. ‘The Alchemists’ showcase is the result of a lecture and workshop series. These design prototypes will be shown in a 5 day exhibition at the Triennale di Milano in April 2015. This project is organised by Industry+ and supported by the DesignSingapore Council.