Youths design bank for DBS

From retro themes to Lego brick designs, the winning entries of DBS’s “I-Designed-A-Bank” design competition were diverse and imaginative; showcasing youths’ creative spirit and ability to take charge.

The winners were selected out of over 80 entries in two categories, the Open and Under 26 and announced earlier today at an award ceremony.

dbs*scape winners
Left to right: Wong Yi Mong, Jessica Lim Pei Shan, Tri Hariyanto Mohammad, Kyzer Ong, Melissa Koh, Kenneth Koh, Colin Chew, Luke Ng, Shushannah Lee, and Mah Pei Ying

Letting youths decide and create what they want in a bank, this contest is the first-of-its-kind by DBS and also in collaboration with *SCAPE, a youth hangout spot where the new bank branch will be located.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Mr Jeremy Soo, Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking Group expressed thanks to *SCAPE and the staff involved at DBS as well as the numerous youth participants.

“We are really happy to see a lot of submissions from polytechnics and even the adult group… Personally, I feel that today’s contest will be able to get members of the public to say ‘look, I own a piece of this whole branch, of this design.”

The final design that will be incorporated into the new branch is “DBS Workshop at SCAPE” by Colin Chew and Kenneth Koh, 27-year-old Masters graduates from the School of Design and Environment at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

“We’re very excited especially that DBS is going to realized our dream. As participants, it’s really very satisfying… unlike other competitions. Most of the time, they win, and then there’s no progress after that. So I think DBS and *SCAPE have done a good job, to generate interest in youths,” says Kenneth.

Their functional and innovative design won them 1st prize in the Open category and youths can look forward to a bank that fully makes use of space by introducing Interface and Vortex (above) with a loft and elements like a spiral staircase and light sculptures.

The Interface provides 24/7 banking services like the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) while Vortex is an interactive and transformational space. With standard banking services by day but in the night, the Vortex can even be a library and chill out spot for financial board games.

But those from Under 26 were just as good, with 80% of the contest entries coming from this category.

Melissa Koh, 22, from Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) presented an unconventional design inspired by Lego blocks.

Melissa's lego (dbs*scape)
The design student said, “I just wanted to create a fun environment… because Lego is changeable and youths get bored of things quickly. There are custom-made ATM machines which I made to look like vending machines so they are fun and portray convenience as well.”

Incorporating fun designs in the bank was a priority for Kyzer Ong, 22 as well.

“Basically, teenagers won’t want to stay in a bank too long if it really looks like a bank… so the concept is basically a colourful place with cozy lighting,” said Kyzer, a SIM University undergraduate.

The win was a surprise for the marketing student who came in 2nd with his retro-disco themed design while a team submission from NYP students, Wong Yi Mong, Mah Pei Ying, Shushannah Lee and Jessica Lim won them 3rd place.

The winners from the Open and Under 26 categories not only walked away with $5000, $4000, $3000 cheques for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively but also a great experience from the design competition.

“With more of such showcasing opportunities, and developmental programs and events to be rolled out with our partners like DBS, young people will in turn inspire their peers not to shy away from their aspirations and talents, and realize their fullest potential,” said Evelyn Lau, the General Manager of *SCAPE.

About Yeong Kar Yan

An escapist and a Piscean, Kar Yan can typically be found with her 
nose buried in a book, watching TV, or doodling on lecture notes while 
daydreaming about flying to school like The Powerpuff Girls. She can 
read anytime, anywhere and has fully trained herself to do so even as she is 
walking without banging into walls or tripping while on escalators. The downside of this is she often walks past her friends in school/public unknowingly, much to 
their annoyance. Follow her @kayarocks on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Flickr!
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