Singapore (6th March 2013) – Lawrence Chong, CEO of Consulus was interviewed on 938live alongside industry leaders from the design sector. He was asked to share his views on design strategy and the importance of changing the business models of design firms. The interview was conducted to promote Singaplural during the programme “Need to Know”, which seeks to glean insights from experts and business leaders.

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During the 30 minute interview conducted by Janice Koh, Lawrence shared 3 trends confronting the industry in Singapore:

1) The Design Industry is in transition

In the earlier years of the Singapore economy, local design firms were good contractors supporting the growth of major brands. But in the last 10 years, we have been unable to compete on that alone. We had to move from being competent contractors towards being design innovators to create new experiences, models and products. As our clients have also evolved, they are in the midst of transforming their business models. Also, increasingly, people are looking at Singapore as a hub of ideas. From Gardens by the Bay to how we manage our water resources and public housing, people are really interested to learn about the Singapore experience. Therefore as an industry, many of our design firms have evolved and become innovators and partners of creativity with Asian firms.

2) Need to Change Mindsets about Design

To take this leap forward, there is a need to engage with the users of design to let them know that design is not just about a product. It is about strategy and it is about creating a vision for a new Singapore. It is important to let people know that within the industry we have been collaborating with one another across different design disciplines (e.g. Architecture, Branding, Interior Design, Industrial Design, New Media, etcetera). The lines between design disciplines are blurring but the principle remains the same. That is, to look at a challenge from a variety of perspectives and create something extraordinary and innovative.

3) Need to Build Internal Process to Benefit from any Design Strategy
It is no longer about simply getting a designer to provide a solution for the clients. These days, it is about building internal processes and setting up the right team to ensure that companies can monetise the use of design assets and innovate. This is a critical step to building strong Asian companies with the capacity to shape the future.
The interview will be broadcast again on 938live at 5pm on 10th of March 2013.

Lawrence is currently serving as President of Design Business Chamber Singapore. Established since 1985, DBCS is Singapore’s premiere multidisciplinary design chamber.