Design News: SGF in full bloom after four-year break; SUTD graduating students take on real-world challenges

05 Aug 2022

Straits Times, 5 Aug 2022, Design News: SGF in full bloom after four-year break; SUTD graduating students take on real-world challenges
Floral creations galore at SGF
The eighth Singapore Garden Festival (SGF) returns after four years with a decentralised celebration of garden delights at two locations to reach a larger audience.

The world-class tropical garden and flower event, organised by the National Parks Board (NParks), is ongoing in the heart of Singapore's shopping belt at Ion Orchard mall and Ngee Ann City, as well as in the Botanic Gardens. It showcases the creations of both international and local award-winning garden and floral designers.

A highlight is Floral Fiesta, a competition at Ion Orchard for novices and aspiring florists. They have to create signature works centred on the theme Celebrations, using floral materials provided by NParks. The most outstanding floral pieces will be on display till Aug 7 (Sunday) at Ion Orchard's B4 Event Hall.

Visitors can also view two life-size works by award-winning floral designers Harijanto Setiawan of Boenga Flowers and John Lim of This Humid House at Level 1.

Echoes Of Almeda by Mr Setiawan features a dream-like path with bamboo accents, a fibreglass pond and flowers that evoke a sense of tranquillity. Mr Lim and his team from This Humid House also created a Vessel Garden display, inspired by archaeology and the relationship between vessels and flora, spotlighting vessels that are significant in South-east Asian cultural and anthropological heritage.

Info: SGF runs till Sunday (Aug 7) at Ion Orchard and Ngee Ann City in Orchard Road and till Tuesday (Aug 9) at various locations in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. For more information, go to this website.

SUTD graduating students take on real-world challenges
From creating interactive niches for the elderly in public housing estates to robots that are able to "smell" survivors trapped beneath rubble, the final-year projects of this year's architecture and engineering students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) tackle complex real-world problems.

More than 60 capstone projects, created by students from multiple disciplines in collaboration with industry mentors, will be showcased online from Friday (Aug 12).

A highlight is Cosy Contours, a pavilion constructed by students in the open space next to the void deck of Block 70 in Bedok South Road. It is designed to encourage social interaction and active ageing among the elderly in the Housing Board estate.

The project, mentored by Changi General Hospital, incorporates avant-garde architectural influences and feedback from residents. It comprises a learning and gardening area, and includes furniture integrated into the frame of the structure.

Another solution, Sleek, is a high-tech gadget designed for search-and-rescue missions. Locating victims after a building collapse can be a precarious process due to rubble and tight crevices. The design team identified that current search-and-rescue devices are bulky, provide unreliable data transmissions and are inaccurate in sensing survivors.

It designed Sleek, in collaboration with industry mentor HTX (Home Team Science And Technology Agency), to be a rugged soft robot. HTX is a unit which develops science and technology capabilities for Home Team operations.

The device can crawl through tight spaces and rough terrain, and is equipped with a life-detecting algorithm that uses data from the environment to help rescue personnel optimise their search for survivors. An artificial intelligence-based sensor system mounted on the robot hears, smells and looks for trapped survivors through a microphone, carbon dioxide indicator and an infrared camera.