Future Past


National Design Centre L2
10 December 2020 to 28 February 2021

Presented by
Hans Tan Studio, DesignSingapore Council

It's unlikely that any product presented in this collection was designed by a "designer" as we know it today. 

Instead, each product presented is honed by a history of unforgiving negotiations between producers maximising cost-effectiveness of manufacture, business profitability, and user's expectations of value and utility. With optimisation taken to extreme without the intervention of professional design, outcomes could go awry. Nonetheless, there are occasions where these products "designed" by mitigating factors produce enlightening artefacts that are exceedingly sensible and surprisingly beautiful.

Sourced from the very limited inventories of archaic household goods stores in Singapore by Hans Tan, 24 household products from his personal collection is exhibited with limited quantities sold through a vending machine.

Although they have clearly been around for a long time, many of which have been antiquated through time, they provide an uncanny perspective to the future of democratic design.

Full list of exhibited objects can be found here