Ethics For The Starving Designer

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Ethics For The Starving Designer is a project initiated by David Goh, a 23-year-old student currently doing his final year in Design Communication at LASALLE, College of the Arts. We caught up with David, and he spilled on his inspo for his live, social project, how you can participate, and what’s it like for a 16-year-old to say no to unlimited pornography.

The Project

“Is it right to work for tobacco companies? Do I agree that fashion and cosmetic advertising propels a culture of unrealistic beauty? Is it okay to recommend five forms of media to my client to raise the budget when I know only one will suffice? How do I choose between a beautiful minimalist eight page layout versus a slightly crammed but environmentally friendly four page layout? What do I do when my boss tells me to work on something I don’t agree with? These are just a few of the ethical considerations that have plagued both students and professional designers. And yet, with so many questions to think about, these issues are hardly being discussed in local design institutes. Even if we were to research this topic by our own volition, what we would often encounter are works written by prominent designers in a foreign context.”

Say Whaaaaat?!

“My first experience with ethics in design started when I was 16. Back then, I dabbled a little in building websites and flash banners for foreign clients. This guy approached me to build a website that was uhh… in the business of making people “happy” through adult entertainment. He didn’t offer cash, but instead promised “unlimited access to all the videos I could ever want and shares to the business. I remember asking him if he knew that I was 16 at that time, and all he replied was “Of course. ;)” And of course, I turned him down. Obviously, right? I totally wasn’t swayed by the promise of unlimited pornography. Absolutely. What?”

Help Wanted!

David hopes to promote the dialogue of responsibility and ethics within visual communicators. Ultimately, he wants to reference these conversations to reach a consensus on an ethical code that can be embraced by local Singaporean designers regardless of their professional success.

You too can be part of the project. Just pop by the Participate section on his website and start helping out today.


Street Magic in Singapore At The iPhone Launch

Whilst hundreds of iPhone fanatics last Thursday evening in were locked in deary, snaking queues at the iPhone 4 launch on our little island, one local magician Jack decides to provide a bit of street magic entertainment.

Watch this video yours truly had the luxury to be part of.

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The Substation Love Letters Project

In an effort to woo the hearts of  lovers past and present, The Substation has launched Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? The Substation Love Letters Project.

Curated and edited by acclaimed local poet Cyril Wong, this project invites a familiar cast of local writers/poets -including Zai Kuning, Jason Wee, Tania De Rozario, Ng Yi Sheng, Gaston Ng and many more- to write love letters printed in the form of limited edition postcards.

A new postcard is printed at the beginning of each month and the public is invited to pick them up for free at The Substation.

The Substation hopes to reconnect with its friends and lovers through these tender-hearted literary confessions. Launched this month, the project will run for a full year until June 2011.

Visit The Love Letters website where a new love letter will be uploaded every month.



GRAFFITI ASIA is the first book to examine the spread of graffiti in Asia, concentrating mainly on Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as the Philippines, China and Hong Kong.

Interviews provide an insight into the life of the graffiti artist in countries far removed from the graffiti origins in the US. They discuss the most popular graffiti locations, the attitudes of each country towards the idea of graffiti, and the network of established and emerging artists across the region.

The material in the book was collected first hand by the authors, who traveled around Asia photographing pieces, throw-ups, drip tags and more, as well as interviewing the featured artists.

ARTKORE is throwing a book launch party on 27 May (8pm-10pm) at Paper People, 49 Haji Lane. There is going to be live graffiti, a mini exhib, Graff on Girls and Skope X Paper People Blackbooks. So go grab some food and booze, or get high on xylene fumes. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of the book. It retails at $38. You can also pre-order a copy via


Urban Sketchers (USk) Singapore

Scrapyard by Tia

Don Low

(Top) Scrapyard by Tia. (Bottom) Sketch by Don Low.

Urban Sketchers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.

The site showcases colorful stories behind the scenes, by volunteer correspondents in more than thirty countries around the world. Some are architects and illustrators, others are graphic designers, web developers, painters or educators, all sharing the same passion for drawing on location. They portray everyday life — from commuters on packed rush-hour subways to coffee drinkers at a sidewalk café, all quickly rendered by the sometimes furtive scratching of pen to paper.

Spearheading the Singapore USk site is Architect and Art and Design educator, Tia Boon Sim: “Since April 2007, I have been spending most of my Saturday mornings combing the streets in Singapore. I started a location drawing on Club Street after buying two beautiful sketchbooks and there is no stopping since.”


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