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Here’s What Happened at President’s Design Award 2016

In a first for the President’s Design Award, an individual from the engineering field has been named ‘Designer of the Year’. See which other names and works have received the top honours.

Here’s What Happened at President’s Design Award 2016

Enabling Village, Design of the Year. Photography: Edward Hendriks

This time every year, Singapore’s design industry watches to see which individuals and projects take home the honours at the President’s Design Award (PDA) – one of the country’s most prestigious prizes for design excellence and creative innovation. Not only is the award an opportunity to examine some of the best works and talent on our shores, but it often also offers interesting insight into the local design industry and the progress its making.

The winners of PDA 2016 were announced at the Istana on the evening of 9 December and, for the first time in its history, an individual from the engineering design discipline was named ‘Designer of the Year’.

Dr Hossein Rezai, Director at Web Structures and a chartered engineer in Civil and Structural Engineering, was recognised for applying structural engineering design principles to provide sustainable, productive and optimised solutions in his projects. The two other Designer of the Year winners were Rene Tan, Director at RT+Q Architects, and Raymond Woo, Principal Architect at Raymond Woo & Associates Architects.

“We are happy to celebrate the impressive strides made by our local design sector in our 11th edition. Over the years, we have noticed an increasing number of cross-disciplinary submissions, particularly projects that blend engineering and design. So we decided to introduce Engineering Design as a new design discipline to be considered for the Award. We are happy to have our first Designer of the Year from this discipline,” says Robert Tomlin, Chairman of the President’s Design Award 2016 Steering Committee and DesignSingapore Council.

This year saw a record 140 nominations being entered, with a total of 13 making the final winner’s list. Among the Design of the Year, three are architectural projects: one is a creative re-imagination of an industrial building, while two are public housing projects that focus on multi-generational living and the creation of communal spaces.

Ng Lang, CEO of the Urban Redevelopment Authority says, “I am inspired to see the architectural fraternity continuing to push for visually engaging, forward-looking and liveable spaces that delight and enable social interaction. Our architects play an important role in defining the character and quality of our built environment, and I applaud their dedication to creating attractive places for us to live, work and play.”

The other Design of the Year winner’s include the world’s first contact-activated medical lancet, the creative rejuvenation of a traditional bookbinding brand, an innovative ultrasound scanner designed to assess pregnancy risks early, and an inclusive village that integrates communities and transforms lives without fences.


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