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The Deep Value of Mentorship: Launch Pad Asia Workshop and Live Judging Recap

There’s nothing better than seizing a rare opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills. For a cohort of emerging Singapore-based designers, a morning of Launch Pad activities was the chance to do just that.

The Deep Value of Mentorship: Launch Pad Asia Workshop and Live Judging Recap

Launch Pad Asia 2018 jury: (from left) Dario Reicherl, Hunn Wai, Gabriel Tan, Priscilla Lui, Anton Schiavello, Ken Koo

The Indesign Media Asia and Schiavello Singapore teams had a bright and early start on the morning of Friday 18 May, with the hosting of a mentoring breakfast workshop and live judging for the Launch Pad Asia 2018 program. The early 8am start was certainly worth it, with new networks forged and learning opportunities aplenty.

We were joined by the bright faces of a cohort of Singapore-based emerging designers, each keen to fuel the development of their design careers with rare access to insights from a cast of expert figures from the design industry and beyond.


Launch Pad Asia Mentoring Workshop speakers (from left) Leow Jiamin, Narelle Yabuka and Jarrod Lim with workshop participants at the Schiavello Singapore showroom


The morning began with a trio of speakers sharing insights into some critical topics: shaping and developing your creative business, intellectual property, and liaising with the media. Jarrod Lim, founder of Jarrod Lim Design, kicked things off with a discussion about the development of his own design career in Australia, Europe and Singapore.

Lim’s journey through a great variety of studios – including that of Patricia Urquiola in Milan – armed him with diverse skills and a multi-layered perspective on design practice. Finally basing himself in Singapore, he revealed, came with its own set of constraints and opportunities, chiefly related to manufacture. The difficulty of sourcing appropriate manufacturers here saw him seek them out in Indonesia, where he now produces products ranging from consumer items (under his Hinika brand) to contract furniture.

Lawyer Leow Jiamin, an Associate at Rajah & Tann Singapore, shared need-to-know information about trademarks, patents, designs and copyright – what they protect, for how long, and in what locations. Too often, designers and manufacturers leave it too late to register their designs for IP protection, or fail to do so in all the locations relevant to their business (including the countries where they manufacture), said Leow. She made her point clear by referring to the types of scenarios that people can face when they wish to challenge a competitor who has copied a design. and Cubes Editor Narelle Yabuka shared insights into the breadth of today’s media landscape and the opportunities it holds for designers, before sharing advice on how to approach the media, what the design media is looking for in potential content, and nitty gritty insights on the elements of a killer media release that will capture the attention of editors. She strongly emphasised the value of networking, which unfolded at the close of the morning’s proceedings with much chatter over brunch.



The second half of the morning was dedicated to the all-important live judging of the designs and prototypes of the Launch Pad Asia 2018 finalists. Our incredible jury – consisting of Anton Schiavello (Schiavello), Ken Koo (red dot design award), Priscilla Lui (Studio Juju), Dario Reicherl (Republic of Fritz Hansen), Gabriel Tan (Gabriel Tan Studio) and Hunn Wai (Lanzavecchia + Wai) – was impressed with the quality of the presentations by the five finalists, who spared no effort in the production of full-scale prototypes to test their design concepts.

After all, incredible prizes are at stake – including a year’s mentorship, a $10,000 manufacturing grant, and a media package with Indesign Media!


Juror Gabriel Tan tests a prototype of Charlotte Ho Ying’s outdoor swinging chair Solace


The lucky finalists who braved the jury’s critique were:

Jon Chan Hao and Kevin Chiam Yong Sheng with the light Jupiter; Yeo Yiliang with the coin holder Empathy; Huw McConachy with the AD Chair; Charlotte Ho Ying with the outdoor swinging chair Solace; and Anthony Yu with the transformable coffee table-shelf MoMo. Read more about the concepts here. 


Launch Pad Asia 2018 finalists: (from left) Huw McConachy, Kevin Chiam Yong Sheng, Jon Chan Hao, Charlotte Ho Ying, Yeo Yiliang and Anthony Yu


The jury was entirely on point with their questions and observations, generating useful discussions with each finalist on the strengths, weaknesses, and manufacturing and marketing potentials of their designs. New trains of thought were racing around the room and we look forward to seeing how the finalists will take the seasoned advice on board as they progress ahead in their careers. 

Who has won the Asia heat of Launch Pad 2018? Will they take out the top honour of Ultimate Winner for the entire Asia Pacific region? All will be revealed at the INDE.Awards Gala here in Singapore on 22 June 2018.


Don’t miss the INDE.Awards 2018 Gala! Get your tickets now! 

Our special thanks to all our speakers and judges for sharing their insight with our up-and-coming new generation of industrial designers. 

Want to know more about the Launch Pad program? Visit the website! 

Schiavello is the Principal Partner of the Launch Pad program in Asia and Australia, and a passionate supporter of emerging design talent in the APAC region. Our special thanks to Schiavello for hosting the mentoring workshop and live judging in their Singapore showroom.

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