Millenia Walk Presents: A Trail of Delicious Design
Uncovering the unexpected, yet everyday relationships we share with design, starting with one of our favourite topics: food.
Have you ever thought about how simultaneously easy and difficult it is to enjoy a perfect meal? In Singapore, for example, ordering a humble bowl of bak chor mee (minced meat noodles) involves rattling off a set of personal preferences, from the type and amount of noodles, to the level of spice desired—second nature to the local diner, but a whole new world to navigate for everyone else. Each of these elements can be customised to your idea of perfection, in essence allowing us to design our own versions of the ideal meal.
Maybe it seems a bit odd to tag design to the act of choosing what to eat. Too mundane an activity for such a sophisticated word, you might say. Yet design at its most basic level involves purpose and planning for an action, fact or object; a process we may well unknowingly engage in numerous times a day. It is this notion of unexpected combinations—between design and food, and various other aspects of our everyday lives—that has come to be celebrated at Millenia Walk.
In conjunction with this year’s Singapore Design Week, Millenia Walk hosts A Trail of Delicious Design, its first ever Design Week initiative. It brings together a range of food-inspired activities that speak to the ever-hungry Singaporean and our guests. Through installations, workshops and exhibitions, our wonderfully diverse and eclectic culinary culture is married with some of our city’s best creatives and designers, turning the indoor street into a tasteful gathering of the most well-loved parts of our local culture.
It brings together a range of food-inspired activities that speak to the ever-hungry Singaporean and our guests.
Referencing local favourites like nasi lemak and rojak, the series of four installations taking residence in the centre of the ground floor is hard to miss. Novel Lemak, a carefully furnished space by Grafunkt, takes cues from the rich green of the banana leaf, and the distinctive aroma of fragrant coconut rice. This is translated into furniture pieces coloured in all tints of the bold shade. Flourishing Chili Crab is a nod to the iconic dish, interpreted through the floral creations of Triceratops. The space plays on the warm tones of the dish’s fiery sambal and tomato gravy, expressed as a visual explosion of buds hanging atop the exhibition frame.
If the energy of the first two installations are reminiscent of the ordered chaos of seafood restaurants and hawker centres, then the third—Restful Kuehs by Desinere—is a lazy afternoon spent at grandma’s, eating freshly prepared slices of sweet treats off pastel metal plates. Presented in the form of a rainbow coloured lounge, the space is one of respite, both for the imaginary palate and weary feet alike. The final installation, LAANK’s Lucky Rojak, is an ode to the ingredients that get tossed together in the rojak dish—a fitting tribute, perhaps, to the mish mash of flavours that have come to define our food culture.
The four installations are but a few examples of how the worlds of food and design can collide in our everyday lives, and bring a spot of delight to the simplest choices and decisions we make. So the next time you place your usual order of fishball noodles with extra chilli and kuay teow, give yourself a pat on the back for taking heed of your stylistic choices; you’ve just designed a culinary experience.
Millenia Walk Presents is a salute to good design, expressed through a series of collaborative programmes and showcases honouring our homegrown creatives and their crafts. First in the series is A Trail of Delicious Design, which runs from 7 March to 29 April 2018.