I wrote this passage for the inauguration of the Singapore President’s Design Awards in 2006:
“Celebration is central to design and creativity. This is because a large part of creativity is necessarily played out in the public realm. Creativity is ultimately not determined by individuals, no matter how personally talented, but by their peers and the community that they relate to. This celebration forges this important relationship, and establishes a bond and a partnership for us as a community to face new challenges, and to prospect new opportunities with greater confidence.
“Creativity is about going beyond the limits of established conventions and the status quo. Important though these are for us to maintain an even keel in everyday life, creativity is crucial for us to adapt to the constant changes around us. Whether through incremental innovation or disruptive shifts of paradigms and new value creation, creative acts offer alternatives, and stake out new possibilities; invite the realignment of our priorities, influence our choices, and even challenge our understanding of the world around us. The markers and milestones of creative achievements — such as those represented by this inaugural President’s Design Awards — in new uncharted territories are therefore crucial for designers as well as for the rest of us to know where we are and what are ahead.
“We celebrate the achievements of our creative designers and their works, and look to this Award to help us chart the course of our design future, and plumb the depths of design possibilities.”