DLA Blooms in Singapore Garden Festival 2022


The Landscape Design Challenge 2022 was organized by National Parks Board as part of the Singapore Garden Festival 2022.  The challenge was given to 10 participating teams from various Institutes of Higher Learning with the theme: Botanical Fantasy.  The teams were given a 3m X 3m plot to make their concept come alive through the use of creative concept and plant display.

Lecturer, Sonny Saculo led two teams comprising of three students per team represented Singapore Polytechnic (SP). Second Year students studying the Diploma in Landscape Architecture (DLA) displayed their creative skills in the event which was held on 30 July 2022.  One of the teams, Avant Garde was able to win the bronze medal for their entry Nature’s Boutique. The wonderful creations were displayed in Singapore Botanic Gardens from 30 Jul 2022 to 10 Aug 2022 for all to enjoy.

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Nature’s Boutique showcases the abundant resources of Mother Nature that people use to create fashion, designed and created by Jun Wei, Sandy and Zoe.

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Blooming Treasures is an adventurous design aspiring to spread the message that Nature is not to be exploited, designed and created by Layla, Olivia and Lynette.

The whole process of the challenge entails an on-line briefing with the student participants elaborating this year’s theme and parameters.  The teams selected their partner plant nurseries and were able to have workshop for the selection of plant materials to be used on the actual day of competition.

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Mentored by Lecturer, Sonny Saculo, DLA students managed to conduct productive discussions with partner nursery on the concept and plant materials to be used on the day of competition.

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On competition day, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, Mr Desmond Lee came by to witness the progress of the students with Lecturer, Sonny Saculo cheering students on.

The event was attended by Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Gan Kim Yong and Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, Mr Desmond Lee.  Each minister visited all students’ plots and had short and motivating conversations with the students.

When asked what they have learnt and what was their favourite moment during the competition, the DLA student participants responded:

“I have a better understanding of plant selection and budgeting. My team was given a fixed budget for the selection of plants and hardscape materials. It was a challenge to get flowering plants that are aesthetically pleasing and require low maintenance. However, during the plant nursery trip, I learned to strategize and select the right amount of plants. I am happy to be able to apply what I have learnt in DLA to this competition and also familiarize myself with plant selection.

My favourite moment would be the four hours competition period. I enjoyed working with my classmates in transforming the empty plot into our design. I am pleased that we practised leadership, teamwork, and camaraderie in a short duration of time. I believe that has attributed to us being in the top three. It was also a great time to network with others in the same industry and field of study.” - Jun Wei

“I learnt a lot of how to manifest designs into reality. One important thing I took away from this was to be spontaneous and quick thinking during the competition. I appreciate that this competition gave me the opportunity to spend more time going outside and building things by hand while getting to bond with my classmates. Going to the nursery was a good experience as I learnt more of how to deal with and quantify plants, while also gaining a more tangible view of the plants we were working with.

One of my favourite moments was going back to maintain the display on the days following the actual event, I overheard many people visiting my team’s display; they gave compliments and pointed out all the things they found interesting about it. Even though we didn’t win any ranking for the competition, people were still able to enjoy our design which was very fulfilling.” - Layla

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Images from top: Gratified DLA students with their displays after completing their designs in four hours; third prize medal and gift presentations to the winning team and student participants; group picture of all student participants with judging panel. (Photo credits: NParks)
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