Due to the cancellation of trade fairs, fashion weeks and any other physical industry event for that matter, brands and manufacturers have felt a greater urge than ever to enter – and capitalize on – the ever-expanding virtual sphere. Reporting on the unprecedented growth of digitally generated artefacts and environments, the September/October issue of Frame explores exhibitions held in cyberspace and the work of a 3D animation artist. Meanwhile, in Frame Lab, we outline why renegotiating the relationship between indoors and out is central to making our future cities more liveable.

Reporting From

Justin Zhuang asks Singapore architects to bridge the divide with the migrant workforce that constructs their designs, making the city more liveable for all. And Emmanuel Oni writes an unsolicited letter to the mainstream architecture and spatial design industries and academia.

Business of Design

Why the car may soon become a key consumer channel. How livestreaming will impact the design of luxury retail spaces. What Sidewalk Labs’ setback means for the smart city. How the gap between the virtual and live fan experience is disappearing. And: Why, post-pandemic, the office will be distributed – not dead.

In Practice

Bjarke Ingels talks about how he was destined to be a graphic novelist, designing his own curriculum, get-rich-quick schemes, the importance of partnerships and why 150 is a magic number. % Arabica CEO Kenneth Shoji explains how to simultaneously go hyper-local and global, why he collaborates on the design of every store and what he and his team are doing to prepare for coffee’s next pandemic-induced wave. 3D artist Santi Zoraidez talks about the unlimited possibilities of computer-generated imagery, why it’s important to find a balance between the real and the surreal, and how digital channels can transform product presentation. And the foursome behind MLKK discuss balancing commercial aspirations with social responsibilities, resurrecting elements from their Hong Kong heritage, and what it means to be designers in today’s crisis-plagued climate.


Semiotics agency Axis Mundi looks at how a typology of spaces offer clarity and sanctuary from the heated distortions of the world outside. What’s more, we explore what the rise of gender-neutral beauty mean for the design of salons, why exhibitions head to cyberspace, how the public can play a role in prototyping the future museum and why lab-like interiors are newly relevant in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Streetscape Lab

Frame may deal almost exclusively with the indoors, but that’s one place in which most of us have spent far too much time over the past months. As lockdowns lift in many areas, heading out into the city streets has exposed fundamental flaws in the structures beyond our front doors – cramped pedestrian areas and a lack of green space among them. Now, we’re faced with the rare opportunity to renegotiate the relationship between indoors and out, turning the latter into an extension of the former.

The Challenge: The Liveable Street

In the lead-up to each issue, we challenge emerging designers to respond to the Frame Lab theme with a forward-looking concept. In the early phases of lockdowns being lifted, we saw a variety of usually indoor activities extend and transition outdoors – from dining to exercising. Simultaneously, city councils and governments have been encouraging a more local lifestyle that eliminates the need for constant commutes and lowers the risk of spreading the virus. Public streets are suddenly in high demand. Their layout and facilities may need to change drastically. So how can we transform street life to meet our ‘new normal’? We asked three creatives to share their ideas.

Get your copy of Frame 136 here.