The art of gifting: designing with laminates

The act of gifting is as old as human beings. From the tooth of an animal to elaborate vases, gift giving has always been an integral part of human trait and culture.

To explore the art of gifting, 26 second-year students from Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Art majoring in Diploma in Design (Object & Jewellery) were guided by local interdisciplinary design outfit Creativeans to design and exhibit prototypes, using laminates by surface design company ADMIRA.

ADMIRA’s collaboration with NAFA “will definitely show how laminates can be used in ways never imagined before,” said Mr Jake Tan, executive director of ADMIRA.

As a curricular project, students were tasked to investigate and challenge the typology of gift; starting from the material and the recipient, and go on a journey to discover what defines the gift itself. The finale will be a curated display of outcomes and prototypes arising from a seven-week project.

Led by part-time lecturer and managing director of Creativeans Mr Kimming Yap, the students from NAFA will explore the way how people view giving objects to the intended recipients, and use it as an inspiration for possible alternative laminate material usage for the future.

Ms Sabrina Long, dean of the School of Art & Design, said, “NAFA’s curriculum emphasises practice-led learning. We teach students how to apply design thinking and technical skills into the problem-solving process. This project encourages students to react to a real-live client’s needs and requirements, thus enhancing their overall learning experience.”

Gifts have evolved immensely over time and today, we are able to find gifts readily and affordably. However, with the overabundance of commercial gifts, the intrinsic meaning of a gift may have been lost along the way. From material into object, and from object into the hands of the recipient, what stories can we create? 

Learn more about ADMIRA and their laminates here.