We got an opportunity to visit Singapore with Estonian Design Center and other Estonian design agencies. The purpose of the trip was to meet with different local design agencies and organizations to share knowledge, get inspiration and develop business opportunities in that area.
Singapore is almost the same size as Estonian second biggest island Hiiumaa but compared with Estonia; the population is 4,5 times bigger. We were there for six days, and 3 of them were packed with different meetings
An innovation-driven economy and a loveable city through design by 2025
This is the vision for DesignSingapore Council who were the first ones to host us at their offices. They were established in 2003 to help develop the nation’s design sector, help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, and make life better at Singapore.
You can feel the impact of design thinking while walking around the city or using the different services, and it’s not surprising that Singapore was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design in December 2015. It’s an excellent example that when government cooperates with designers, good things will happen that will positively affect people and businesses.
Our work methods are quite similar
Different design agencies like Chemistry, UX Consulting and Fjord, shared their case studies in public and private sector. They all are using the human-centred design approach which means that research plays a huge part in their design process whether you are designing service or product, creating something easy-to-use and useful for users you need to do research. And a lot!
Even-thought Singapore is more than 10 000 km apart from Estonia, and it’s satisfying to see that their design process is very similar to ours. The most significant difference is that it’s continuously warm there, 27 degrees through a year. That’s unfair!
We visited the most attractive employer in the world!
Yes, it’s Google! Close your eyes for 5 seconds and imagine Google office would look like. In reality, it’s even more amazing. We were hosted by Siim Säinas who is Social Insights and Measurement Lead at APAC region. He did an office tour for us, talked about the ups and downs of working at Google and what role he is playing there.
The office itself was inspiring, and you can see that Google cares about its employees.
Fun fact: It’s quite common that you gain weight in the first month working at Google because you don’t have to pay for food.
I felt like I was at Pandora
Have you seen the Avatar? This is what comes on your mind when you visit the Gardens by the Bay. There are many other fantastic tourist attractions to see, and most of them are quite close to each other which is why electric scooter was my favourite way to go around.
Overall Singapore is such a beautiful city that has managed to combine nature with massive skyscrapers perfectly. Because they use so much nature through the town, the air is fresh. Also, the streets are spotless and its probably because of the strict laws they have applied. For example, you are not allowed to feed pigeons, spit on the street and smoke in public.
Thank you, Singapore for being such an unbelievable place to visit and also many thanks for Estonian Design Center for organising the trip.