Architect, designer, artist, and educator Mark Wee, who serves as executive director of the DesignSingapore Council, spoke Wednesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm Design conference in Singapore about the virtues of the conference—and the city-state hosting it.
“This conference is a truly unique platform, the only one of its kind, where the very best minds in design congregate on our little island to discuss how designers can transform businesses, communities, and our lives,” he said. “Given the craziness in the world today, it’s the perfect time to discuss the value of design.”
On Monday, Wee’s organization kicked off the sixth run of Singapore Design Week, established to teach people about the far-reaching effects of design—beyond mere aesthetics. This year there are more than 180 curated events in four categories: transforming business; empowerment in the community; inspiring every day; and re-imagining the future. Singapore Design Week runs until Saturday, March 16, 2019.
“Singapore has a unique place as a global leader in design innovation,” Wee said onstage at Brainstorm Design. “We are the gateway between East and West, and we have a history of collaborating, which makes it an exciting ground for new possibilities.”
The nation has encouraged global organizations such as, Dyson, Visa, PayPal, and Johnson & Johnson to establish their headquarters and innovation centers in Singapore. “For us, the Singapore story has always been one of flux, constant design, and redesign,” Wee said, “and these companies make up our burgeoning innovation and design ecosystem.”
Wee argued that Singapore is the best location in the Asia Pacific region for international businesses to set up their regional headquarters and explore new business strategies and ideas. “We will listen to any idea you may have,” he said. “No idea is a bad one; we are always looking for moonshots here. Do get in touch with the DesignSingapore Council to explore any possibilities of collaboration.”
His parting shot? A challenge to the creative minds assembled before him. Said Wee: “Let’s think about how design can make the world a better place.”
For more coverage of Fortune’s Brainstorm Design conference, click here.