Hong Kong Student Takes Top Prize in International Street Furniture Design Contest for VivoCity

Design commissioned for production and display at Singapore's largest multi-experiential retail, lifestyle destination


03 April 2006, Singapore - Rony Chan, a 22-year-old undergraduate design student at the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has been awarded the Gold Prize in the VivoCity Student Design Contest for innovative and interactive street furniture. Her winning design, entitled "Raindrop", will be produced to a budget of S0,000 and displayed at VivoCity alongside works of renowned international artists and designers.

VivoCity, which is designed by world-renowned and award winning architect, Toyo Ito, will be Singapore's largest multi-experiential retail and lifestyle destination when it opens to the public in October 2006.

Organised by leading Singapore real estate company, Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, the developer of VivoCity, and DesignSingapore Council, the inaugural VivoCity Student Design Contest is a worldwide competition that aims to nurture the artistic talent of students and promote design excellence.

Ms Chan's design topped more than 350 submissions received from around the world. Designs of street furniture for the contest expressed the theme of "Fluidity", which is also the creative theme of VivoCity's distinctive architecture.

She was one of four finalists who were given a three-day, fully paid-for trip to Japan to study under Toyo Ito in January 2006. During this trip, Toyo Ito gave the students advice and guidance to help them improve their designs. He also showed them architectural and design works in Roponggi Hills, and shared insights to his own works - acclaimed architectural projects such as Mikimoto Ginza 2, Tod's Omotesando Building and Sendai Mediatheque.

Using what they had seen and learnt with Toyo Ito's help during the trip to Japan, the four students then made improvements and submitted their designs for the final judging on 27 March 2006.

For her achievement, Ms Chan receives S,000 in prize-money, with another S,000 being awarded to her school.

"I am excited to have my work produced and displayed at an iconic landmark like VivoCity, which is designed by a world-class architect," says Chan, "My design 'Raindrop' is inspired by the fluidity of VivoCity's architecture and the relaxing yet stimulating environment that Toyo Ito has designed for visitors."

"In addition to the valuable exposure, the contest was an excellent opportunity for the students to meet a world-famous architect like Toyo Ito face-to-face and learn from him," says Dr. Michael Siu, Associate Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Chan's project supervisor, "The VivoCity Student Design Contest is a unique design initiative that will develop young creative and artistic talents like Rony and help groom them for the international design circuit."

Jan Sappert from the Design und Median Hannover in Germany was awarded the silver prize with 'ComeFused' while Kenneth Koh from the National University of Singapore was awarded the bronze prize with 'Island'. Jeffrey Wongso from Singapore's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts was awarded the Merit prize (please see attached details of these four designs).

"VivoCity is not just about shopping. Here, art is an integral part of the total lifestyle experience, one that touches people, and adds character and soul to their environment," says Edmund Cheng, Chairman of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, developer of VivoCity, "We were impressed by Rony's design as it not only enhances VivoCity's iconic status, but also its fun and interactive design adds to the multi-dimensional experiences that will constantly surprise and stimulate visitors to VivoCity. In addition, Rony stood out from the other finalists by demonstrating a strong potential to develop as a professional designer.

"Singapore is committed to becoming a regional and international hub of design excellence," adds Mr Cheng, who is also Chairman of DesignSingapore Council. "Adorned with works from the student and professional art and design fraternities to complement its organic, fluid design, VivoCity itself will become Singapore's most striking demonstration of that commitment to design excellence."

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