Aug 07, 2008

Design Sojourn was founded in 2005 by Brian Ling to exist virtually on the confluence of Design and the Internet by publishing forward-thinking articles on strategies for good design and creating clever products.

As a result of these online publishing activities, Design Sojourn has become a leading authority on topics such as industrial design, design strategy, design management and design thinking.

At the end of September 2010, Design Sojourn evolved into a design consultancy that focuses on helping organizations leverage on design driven innovation to make people’s lives better through creating next generation business solutions that range from products, services, systems and processes.

Design Sojourn is based in Singapore and is supported by strategic partners from Singapore and around the world.

Our services include:

1) Holistic design strategies that range from best in class service experience models, commercial design languages that fulfill business needs, manufacturing viable and resolved industrial (product) designs, to marketing communications, and new media solutions.

2) Realistic user centered insights underpinned by ethnographic design research.

3) Delivering highly engaging design thinking programs and workshops created on a passion of building creative and design thinking environments and improving organizations through training and education.

Design Sojourn has collaborated and worked with a broad range of companies ranging from the Singapore Tourism Board, National Population and Talent Division from the Prime Minister’s Office, Dell Electronics, Fairchild Semiconductor, MOS Burger, AIS Thailand, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*Star), SingHealth Academy, NTUC’s e2i, Design Singapore Council, World Kitchen, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Flagship EcoSystems, and Philips Design.

Design Sojourn is a recognized leader in Design Thinking know-how, and part of the vanguard of its development internationally. We have conducted talks and workshops for organizations such as the Design Thinking and Innovation Academy, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, University of New South Wales, FZD School of Design, the MOE’s Design and Technology Teachers Association, Design for Enterprises workshops, Design Engage Seminars and SingHealth Academy. We have also developed a Design Thinking program that was backed by NTUC’s e2i workforce continual education and development agency.

Design Sojourn is an official facilitator for the Design Engage Program. Design Engage is a National program that aims to use strategic Design Thinking methodologies to help Businesses unlock opportunities for growth.

Some of Design Sojourn’s experimental and entrepreneurial products (iPoor, The Un-p3 Project, and Expandable Sketchbook) have been featured and exhibited in the Sydney Morning Herald, Home and Decor Magazine, NotCot, Mocoloco, IDAsia.org, Yanko Design, Engadget, and the Singapore Design Festival.

Design Sojourn is a Partner with the Design Thinkers Group.

About the Team

Brian Ling

Founder and Design Director | Design Strategy and Industrial Design
[ Linkedin | Personal Portfolio ]

Brian is a multidisciplinary Design Leader with more than 18 years of experience leading strategic design programs that drives successful Brands and Fortune 500 businesses such as GE, Philips, Nakamichi, Flextronics, Ericsson, Hannspree, and HP. His passion is in helping organisations leverage on Design Driven Innovation to make people’s lives better.

His designs, or those by the teams he has led, have been recognized with prestigious awards such as: The Singapore Design Award – Silver (2010), 2 Red Dots in Product Design (2010 for HTS8160B, 2005), Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award (2007), 2 CES Innovations Award Honorees (2007), Red Dot Concept Award (2006), and a “Merit” in the Young Professional Designers Award (2002).

These designs have been featured in T3 (Lumos, HTS9520, HTS9140), Wired Magazine, Home and Décor, Engadget China, Yanko Design, and exhibited at Singapore Design Festival (2007) and 20/20 Product Design (2004).

He was formally a Senior Design Manager at Philips Design leading their global portfolio of home cinema/entertainment products and Head of Industrial Design at Nakamichi. He founded and currently runs Design Sojourn, a strategic design consultancy.


Wee Kiat Tan

Design Manager | Design Research and Industrial Design

Graduated from NUS with a Bachelor in Industrial Design, Wee Kiat embarked on his Product Design career shaping a wide category of products and usage experiences ranging from home electronics, computers & IT to medical products, for a diverse clientele including Sennheiser, Nakamichi and WelchAllyn.

Believing that awesome and meaningful innovations start with a deep empathy for people, Wee Kiat ventured into the specialty of Design Research at Singapore’s ASUS Design Center. Leading a team of design researchers, he helped the giant Taiwanese IT hardware manufacturer to gain in-depth understanding of consumers, often delivered in the form of stories and workshops to inspire product managers and multi-disciplinary design teams.

Prior to joining Design Sojourn, Wee Kiat served at the Institute of Technical Education as a lecturer and conducted many Design Thinking courses for students and working adults.

Jackson Tan

Creative Director | Branding and Communications
[ Black Design | Partner ]

Jackson Tan is a Singaporean artist, designer and curator. He is a a co-founder of :phunk studio, a multi-disciplinary art & design collective. He is also the creative director of Black Design, a creative communications agency.

He has worked with clients such as MTV, DesignSingapore Council, Discovery Channel, Peranakan Museum and Nike. His works have won recognition in international award shows such as the British D&AD, American Center of Design 100 Show, Promax Asia, Asia Media Design Awards and The Creative Circle Award.

As a curator, he has curated a number of landmark exhibitions, including “20/20” (2004; London Design Festival 2006), an ongoing showcase that charts the paradigm shift occurring in Singapore’s creative landscape; “Utterubbish! A collection of UseLess Ideas” (Singapore Design Festival 2007), an exhibition featuring sustainable design by over 30 international design presentations; and “New Wave – Singapore’s Contemporary Design Culture” (Center for Creative Communications, Japan, 2008).

What can I do from Here?

If you would like to work with us please do not hesistate to email brian[at] designsojourn.com. Or hit up the Contact button for a no obligation chat?

Alternatively, if you are just getting started on Design Sojourn or would like to get to know me better, there is a selected list of my best articles in the Resource Articles section.

Finally, if you are interested to keep track of my adventures, do sign up for our free newsletter and get convenient updates sent right to your inbox.

Subscribe to The Design Sojourn Newsletter, for free, and get the latest content delivered right to your inbox with our 110% NO-SPAM Policy!

You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook as well.


May 24, 06 – 9:37 am

Hi there.

I stumbled upon your site whilst reading the Core77 discussions this morning. Good stuff.
From your posts, i presume that you are working in Singapore?
How do you keep that passion for design going?


Design Translator
May 25, 06 – 11:00 am

I write blogs! Nah just kidding! Its actually just one of the things I love to do. But I find my love and passion for design keeps going with work and interests in areas both related and non-related to design. The smallest thing inspires me. The trick is to keep your mind active and open to ideas, a rolling stone gathers no moss as they say.

Here are some of my other activities found online:

Founder of the Asian Industrial Designers Forums: IDAsia.org

May 29, 06 – 11:10 am

is that your kid? he’s pretty adorable!!!
how do you find all that time to do all that stuff.
actually, my time after work is taken up by sports. so yea. LOL.

btw, what do you think of the industrial design scene in Singapore?
good? bad? won’t last? still being led by manufacturing?

Design Translator
May 29, 06 – 12:06 pm

Thats the thing I have no time! But I personally like things varied, as it keeps my brain juices flowing in all directions. Actually I have become a much more effective and efficient designer with a variety of interests and pursuits.

The industrial design scene here in Singapore is just at the cusp of its next big move. There are signs that its slowly evolving. However the majority of products designed are still led by a manufacturing mindset, but its starting to move in the right direction slowly but surely.

Singapore is sort of at the stage when Japan crossed the threshold into an innovation mindset when it realised that it can’t cost down or copy and improve anymore. There is a huge push for innovation in products designed in Singapore for the global market. Unfortunatly the road has been very bumpy and still long in terms of a change in mindset.

May 29, 06 – 12:29 pm

being fairly new to the ID scene in Siingapore, i feel as if its stuck in the mud at this point.And i’m at the cusp of really wanting to leave the industry even though i’m just starting out. lol.

if Singapore really wants to become a design hub so to speak, shouldn’t it really focus on improving the quality of life through Id rather than bringing in BIG names to promote various design events? no doubt Singaporeans need that exposure and its been pretty good so far. but how can we say that we want to turn SG into a design hub when even the most basic levelof public transport (eg buses) are not decked out to be disabled friendly ?

Design Translator
May 29, 06 – 6:09 pm

Hahaha, thats where bureaucracy comes. Its pretty difficult as Design Singapore Council has no control over these other aspects.

As you are new in the field, I suggest to give it a chance, and email me if you have any more questions!

Ralf Beuker
Jun 01, 06 – 5:49 pm

Hi DT,

great to see another blogger dedicated to push the design profession to a more business and therefore (street) customer focus! Your insights are highly appreciated.

If you should be interested what some 30.000 visitors/month find useful on my blog on >Design Management

Ralf Beuker
Jun 01, 06 – 5:56 pm

… seems the message has been garbled somehow ;-( Actually the link to my blog is: http://www.design-management.de (written in English :-)

Cheers, Ralf.

Jimmy MacDonald
Oct 09, 06 – 5:24 pm

Thank you very much for your excellent coverage of 100% East. Many of the images are fantastic and we were wondering if we could use them with your permission. Full credit will be given to DS for images used.

I tried emailing you with no success. If you could forward me your Tel/Mob no. I would like to give you a call.

Kind regards,

Jimmy MacDonald
Event Director & Co-founder, 100% East

Tel +44(0)20 7739 5561
Mob +44(0)78 5550 1471

christopher moses
Apr 19, 11 – 12:41 pm

I love your work and would believe there’s so much to learn from you. i would like your articles and publications sent to email address provided above.


[…] together with my partner Jackson Tan (of :Phunk Studio and Black Design fame), this workshop perfect for anyone looking to improve their […]

Una finestra sul DESIGN | FERO blog
Oct 26, 11 – 12:28 am

[…] tanti articoli presenti, una sola tra le tante sfaccettature di questo poliedrico mondo, nonchè di questo sito, fondato nel 2005 dal designer Brian Ling. Vi lascio, come di consueto all’informazione […]

Filipe Lucena « ESTUDOS de DESIGN
Apr 24, 12 – 6:08 pm

[…] . DESIGN SOJOURN (http://www.designsojourn.com/about/) […]

[…] an excellent post by Brian Ling suggesting design freedom + designer responsibility. He makes a strong point with the […]

Alex M
Dec 16, 14 – 7:14 am

Hi Design Sojourn :)

I have a few ideas that i would love to see realized!

I have futuristic ideas as well, but it’s highly unlikely that i can do them!

Like Flying Motorcycles! I dont have any rendering software or skills!

Just dont ask me to pay! :)

I would love to work with you and come up with new ideas, together!



A note about commenting: We value your comments as they provide different perspectives that we can learn from and/or improve our products as we see this blog as a platform for interaction and exchange with our friends. However, whilst we welcome constructive criticism, we do not tolerate offensive and disrespectful comments. Postings deemed inappropriate will be removed.

Finally, to avoid auto deletion from spam filtering, we kindly ask that you use your personal name or initials instead of your business name. Thank you and I hope you enjoy being part of the design conversation!