Creative Weekly: Stickers, Dormitories and Mosquitoes

Written by Darryl on
Creative Weekly: Stickers, Dormitories and Mosquitoes

Welcome to Creative Weekly, a series which puts a design spin on recent local news stories. While news media delivers the hard news, this series explores different creative perspectives behind them which could make you rethink what happened this week.

Here are 3 notable stories for the first week of June.

Sayonara Stickers

LTA safe distancing stickers remove

As we emerge from the lockdown that was the “circuit breaker”, it would be almost impossible to observe safe distancing on public transport during peak hours. LTA’s decision to remove safe-distancing stickers, which were pasted less than 2 months ago, caused some to question if it was too early to do so.

Here is a reminder of what the stickers looked like: an overload of unnecessary information.

LTA safe distancing stickers design
A hashtag? Really?(Source)

For those who were fortunate enough not to see these stickers in real life, let us hope it stays that way. Some stickers were found to be quite clingy.

LTA safe distancing stickers stuck

Nonetheless, Singapore still has its coronavirus visual oddities in the form of tape-mania.

Architects Propose Foriegn Worker Dormitory Designs

RT+Q Architects Rene Tan foreign worker dormitory design

Many of us have seen it online - the grim conditions of foreign worker dormitories which should have no place in a wealthy country. This week, the Government announced that new dormitories would have to meet better living standards.

Rene Tan, co-founder of RT+Q Architects, suggested building worker ‘villages’ instead of dormitories, which reimagines rooms as living spaces rather than just a place to sleep in. Think mega co-living rooms with better ventilation and indoor plants, instead of the current army-style bunks.

RT+Q Architects Rene Tan foreign worker dormitory design room

The pictures are as inspiring as they are depressing. This is definitely not the first time an architect suggested a radical design idea for a foreign worker dormitory. How many of these previous plans failed to be implemented?

Whether dormitory operators are willing to abandon conventional designs (and possibly forgo profits) in favour of ethical and livable changes remains to be seen.

Dengue Ads: Where’s the Bite?

NEA dengue campaign 2020 mark lee michelle chia

NEA is warning that Singapore might experience a record number of dengue infections this year, surpassing the peak set in 2013 of 22,170 cases. This fierce battle began earlier in the year when NEA brought forward its annual dengue campaign to March in light of increased infections then.

Here are some of this year’s dengue campaign advertisements, which teaches and reminds audiences how to do the 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout.

Unfortunately, they seem to get lost in the already crowded field of celebrities-talking-to-the-camera videos. Perhaps a more forceful jolt is needed to better inform us of the urgency to fight against dengue.

In 2013, when Singapore had the highest number of dengue cases, this was the TV ad:

It scared me into constantly inspecting my home for potential breeding spots. Even now, I squirm at the scene where squishy sounds are dubbed over mosquito larvae.

Instructional-style public service announcements certainly work, but we have been fed that so many times this year that they almost seem to cancel each other out because of their genricness.

While I understand the ethical issues of using fear in these troubling times, if dengue cases continue to climb as a result of human negligence, maybe it is time to rethink the marketing strategy.

Bonus: Bourgeois Backgrounds

binary style virtual background zoom

This story is not from this week, but I wanted to end this post on a lighter note. If you use Zoom for video calling, consider setting your background to a fancy print by homegrown fashion brand Binary Style. There are 18 designs to choose from, all unapologetically local, but also unapologetically cringe-free.


Creative Weekly is a roundup of local news stories from a design angle. Explore Singapore’s design scene with us on Facebook and Instagram.