13 May 2017

Uncovering the trends on Orchard Road

I went for a Jane's Walk titled Trend Safari: Innovations in Your Backyard in Singapore this year. Hosted by TrendWatching's Nathania Christy, Insight & Community Lead, APAC, the walk was a abbreviated version of an actual activity that TrendWatching organises for clients to identify trends and inspire businesses to adopt new ideas for themselves.

The group meandered around parts of key shopping belt Orchard Road to discover new societal, retail and commercial trends which are taking root in the country and economy, beginning with the site of a recent pop-up booth outside the Crate & Barrel.

Pop-ups are a recent trend, and appeal to Millennials because of their temporary nature, Christy said. They also offer brands the leeway to do something different from what they are known for. The pop-up in question was by Tiger Beer, and is the only Asian venue for the company showcasing works of art made out of Air-Ink, an ink created from the particles gathered from air pollution.

The Impact Hub co-working space illustrates the rise of shared-space workplaces.Co-working spaces such as Impact Hub, which has a branch in the Cuppage area, are springing up to house startups and social enterprises which want to be part of a flexible open working space, Christy said. At co-working spaces subscribers can choose to sit anywhere and make use of shared facilities. The environment may change every day, providing a dynamic setting for co-workers to discuss ideas and collaborate with people working in other companies who may have very different perspectives from themselves.

View of bookshelves at Library@Orchard. One of two specialised public libraries was sited in the heart of Orchard Road as it is targeted at Millennials who are more likely to frequent the area. The library focuses on lifestyle, design and applied arts as opposed to offering something for everyone as happens with neighbourhood libraries. The only other specialist library is Library@Esplanade, which focuses on the performing arts.

We walked from the library through various malls, all connected underground for easy access, and stopped by an OCBC bank to watch an unusual ad from OCBC's Stay True campaign, which speaks to Millennials' demand for transparency. In the video, an OCBC executive takes a lie detector test to prove that OCBC's advertising and communications are genuine, without the fine print. 

Graffiti theme for DBS at Scape. The walk ended at Scape, which is a space at Orchard Road dedicated to youth activities. The DBS bank here has a graffiti theme for its ATM area, a marked departure from its plain red decor at other branches.

Jane's Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by journalist, author, and activist Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours. The walks organised for Jane's Walk weekend are always around Jacobs' birthday of May 4.

Hashtags: #JanesWalk, #UNCAGEIDEAS


Check for Jane's Walks on Peatix every May in Singapore and via the global page

Browse the WorkSmart Asia blog post on Jane's Walk 2017 in Singapore

Watch the video introducing Air-Ink

Watch the OCBC lie detector ad 

Read the WorkSmart Asia blog posts about coworking spaces by CoffeeminERC and The Collective Works