D#: Designing for MusicWritten by Yun Quek
Singapore’s music industry may be small but it sure is mighty. Say hello to D#.
What does D# Represent?
Both: D# (pronounced Dee Sharp) represents two important things that we hope to showcase – design and music. A play between a musical note/chord and the imagery of the letter ‘D’ as an abstract expression of Design. We wanted an exhibition title that would represent both of the elements.
D# is a collaboration project unlike anything the industry has seen in awhile. Can you walk us through the planning process and how the idea was brought to life.
Dan: I’ve had this idea for a while and was looking for the right person to collaborate with. When Ziqq got back from London, we discussed the idea with the intention of executing the project in the 3rd quarter of 2017. I think we got a little carried away with that conversation and when we realised that we could hold this event in conjunction with Singapore Design Week in March, so we decided to go ahead.
Ziqq: In all honesty, this is the typical coffee shop idea that was brewed over a tissue napkin. Dan shared his dream for the music industry and raised a unique perspective about how design can actually help an artist develop their brand alongside their music. I was excited hearing this because I’ve been an advocate for design from the day I started. I’ve always been keen to expand design education beyond the design community.
We were pretty focused on wanting to shine the spotlight on the designers and how they’ve played an important role in the musician’s branding. I suggested pushing for an exhibition in the coming Singapore Design Week and we saw ourselves 9 weeks away from exhibiting. Howver, it seemed ambitious but it also seemed like the perfect time.
Designers and artists like Marc Gabriel Loh and The Super System have been honing their own in the local industry for years. What is the biggest motivation for putting them in the spotlight with an all-encompassing exhibition like D#?
Dan: I’m a big fan of both artists and they’ve worked on many music related projects over the past few years. Marc is responsible for many artworks for local musicians and played a part in shaping their identities. Both of them also have powerful voices and experiences to share and we wanted to project these strong suits in hopes of inspiring people and highlighting the role design has in music.
Ziqq: We also hope this platform can get more people to experience their amazing talent and work. Beyond that, we also intended to rope in a mixed selection of creatives who have worked on different mediums; from paintings, to digital work, to illustrations, to live visual and interactions to showcase the breadth of talents we have in the industry.
Indigo Child is acknowledging the musicians and designers in Singapore and playing a big part in putting our both elements of talents on the world map. What’s the most surprising thing the team has discovered about fusing the world of music and design together?
Dan: I think understanding the thought processes from a design perspective has been an eye opener. You begin to realise they’re all creative minds trying to express the same feelings on different mediums.
Followers and avid supporters of Design Says Hello – Hive Life Included – love and appreciate your work and contribution to the design industry not just in Singapore but worldwide. Describe the company’s proudest, most defining moment.
Ziqq: When our first design documentary was released in 2010, it went viral! It made its way into design schools and even got aired on local television. What began as a film has now evolved into a movement – a community of people who believe in the value of design as a catalyst for social change. I have hopes that D# and this film would be the next milestone.
Can you share with us any upcoming plans in the works for both Design Says Hello and Indigo Child.
Dan: Collectively, we’ve had lots of fun working together for this project.There’s a great working dynamic and synergy in this collaboration. We’ve already had discussions on how we can expand on this project and hopefully reach out to more people. Indigo Child as an entity hopes to venture more into artist development related projects other than design.
Ziqq: Yeah we had a lot of fun doing this project! We have big plans and there are a lot of people overseas who are interested in our projects. We don’t want to hype ourselves up too much and get overly excited, but the afterlife of the exhibition seems promising. We will definitely keep you guys in the loop so watch our space!
As fellow musicians and creatives in Singapore, what is the biggest change you hope to see in the next few years?
Dan: Personally, I hope the Singapore music industry can grow to be a more sustainable eco-system.
Ziqq: Change is a big word, but it would be fantastic for us to continue to evolve organically and find meaning and purpose in what we do, and on individual levels to become advocates for the creative scene.
Address: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore, 188969
Tel: +65 6333 3737
D# runs from 6 March – 8 March 2017