MEDIA RELEASE: Singapore designated UNESCO Creative City of Design

Dec 11, 2015


Singapore one of the first two ASEAN cities to be named UNESCO Creative City of Design

Singapore, 11 December 2015 – Singapore has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design. It is one of the first two ASEAN cities to get the designation. Singapore, together with Bandung (Indonesia), Budapest (Hungary), Detroit (United States of America), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Puebla (Mexico) will now join 16 existing member Cities of Design in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

The designation of UNESCO Creative City will widen Singapore’s global design network and create more opportunities for collaborations between the Singapore design industry and other member cities. The international cooperation and knowledge exchange will contribute towards capability development of our design industry and also help Singapore keep abreast with the latest international design developments, best practices and international benchmark.

“We are glad to receive this affirmation from UNESCO and I am delighted to share this joyous news with all Singaporeans. As a UNESCO Creative City of Design, Singapore will continue to use design to improve the lives of Singaporeans and make Singapore a more liveable and lovable city. We will also work towards helping businesses be more innovative through design. The designation will spur us on in building a pervasive design and innovative culture that involves everyone - designers, communities and the public.” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.

The UCCN was created in 2004 to foster international cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for viable development. “UNESCO plays an important global role in promoting the culture and creativity of cities around the world. It is wonderful that Singapore has been declared a UNESCO Creative City of Design in the year of our Golden Jubilee. This is significant following the inscription of Singapore Botanic Gardens as our first UNESCO World Heritage Site in July this year. With both accolades on Singapore’s 50th year as a young nation, we receive international recognition as a cultural city of excellence which honours the past through preserving our heritage, while preparing for a bright future through being creative and innovative. We hope to learn from others while sharing our experiences by participating in UNESCO’s networks and activities,” said Mrs Rosa Daniel, Secretary-General of the Singapore National Commission for UNESCO.

“We are elated to receive this good news. The designation will support the development of a creative eco-system where the National Design Centre (NDC), plays a key role in Singapore’s contribution to the UCCN,” said DesignSingapore Council Executive Director, Mr Jeffrey Ho.

Led by the DesignSingapore Council, a division under the Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore submitted its application for the designation of UNESCO Creative City of Design in July this year. The application is supported by the Singapore Government at the highest level and the design community including various design associations and institutions of higher learning.

As part of our contributions to achieving UCCN’s objectives, Singapore will continue to promote and develop the design industry with specialised design programmes and international collaborations, enable businesses in other sectors to innovate through design, as well as make design activities accessible to the public. DesignSingapore Council will also double its role as the City of Design Office, in addition to playing host to the annual UCCN Conference within the next four years.

Including this year’s new designations, there are 116 member cities in the UCCN. They are organised into seven creative fields. namely crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.

For more details on the UCCN and Singapore’s design development, please refer to Annex A and Annex B. More information on the UCCN can also be found in

*UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation



11 DECEMBER 2015

Media Contacts

Carol Lum
Corporate Communication & International Relations
DesignSingapore Council
D +65 6837 9343
Frances Kong
Corporate Communication & International Relations
DesignSingapore Council
D +65 6837 9314

About the DesignSingapore Council

The vision of the DesignSingapore Council is for design to differentiate Singapore from global competition. As the national agency for design, the Council’s mission is to develop the design sector, and to help Singapore use design for innovation and growth, as well as to make life better. The DesignSingapore Council is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information.

The DesignSingapore Council also oversees the programming of the National Design Centre (NDC). The NDC supports the Council’s efforts to enhance the vibrancy of the design ecosystem as well as catalyse industry collaborations and business opportunities for innovation and growth.

More information about the DesignSingapore Council and the National Design Centre is available at

Written on : 11 Dec 2015

Media Room