Research Outline

Singapore Design in Southeast Asia


Determine the demand for various design services in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Discuss how and why the demand has evolved and is expected to change, where and how design services are prevalent, what the design services talent pool in each country looks like and how it is developing, and the competitive advantage associated with this market in each country. This information will be used to better understand the opportunity for different design services and potential competition in each region.

Early Findings

  • Malaysia is considered to be a primary competitor in the global "modest fashion" industry due to its large population of secular Muslims.
  • Some of the more traditional, classical versions of design that Vietnam is known for include hand embroidery, silk paintings, and lanterns.
  • In 2018, Thailand government set forth on a new transformation plan called Thailand 4.0, which aims to increase economic growth by integrating and digitizing business nationwide. Thailand 4.0 places an emphasis on digital entrepreneurs and designers via the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) to develop new smart cities that will encourage tourism and increase GDP.
  • The Philippines is a popular designation for skill outsourcing, especially considering the country has one of the top 15 largest, most proficient non-native English speakers.
  • According to Andini Endah Pratiwi, the CEO of Designer Hubton Indonesia, there is a vast population of freelance graphic and website designers in Indonesia that makes it a great opportunity for global development and outsourcing.
  • Jen Clark Design, a company from Australia that worked with Hubton Indonesia, suggests that the Indonesian government ought to prioritize increasing consumer knowledge about graphic design and the role it plays in society, so as to increase the demand for local businesses in this sector.

Summary of Early Findings

Within our first hour of research, we were very briefly able to identify a few key insights about the design market in each of the five countries of interest — Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. Our initial searches were succinct so that additional time could be spent on the suggested follow-up research below. However, our early findings do indicate that each country has a unique design market to offer the global community, and it does appear as though local government are prioritizing the design talent pool. It is also clear that data on this topic is available and widespread, indicating that further research can yield fruitful results and data. Based on these early findings, we are confident that the proposal suggested below can offer a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the demand, growth, and evolution of design services in each of the countries specified.