Next to the Skin Technology Showcase: The Process

As you may know from our last post, we worked with ETPL (the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore) to develop 10 wearable prototypes for the Next to the Skin Technology Showcase.

What was notable in this program was not just the 10 meaningful wearable solutions, it was also how design was integrated as a strategic activity in the formation of the program, the way it was run, and the value the program offered the business.


We kicked off this Design Led Innovation program with a 3-day Design Thinking Boot Camp where teams of investors, designers, engineers, scientists, technologists and commercialization people got together to create a shared vision of what the future of Wearables could be.

A_STAR Workshop Observation Card

We also got the scientists out of their lab and into the field to observe or speak to humans doing what they do best. We gave the participants one of our Design Thinking Tools, the Observation Card, and showed them how to be amateur ethnographers for a week.


Through this ethnographic activity, we manage to get the scientists and technologists in our teams to shift their thinking from one that is technology driven, to one that is user centered and focused on how their customers would experience the benefits of their technology.


After that, it was a design implementation activity where we worked with the core team, the scientists, and external industry experts to fine-tune the design of the 10 wearable propositions. It was a fully iterative process filled with mad scurrying and sleepless nights. Luckily we had Apples and chips to keep us sane!

Anyways, this short video pretty much documents the process of how we did it. Do have a look and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below?

Can’t see the video above? Check it out here on YouTube.

Stay tuned to our website for the full case study where we will be showcasing the complete project and the deliverables soon.

Next to the Skin : 8 Weeks, 10 Wearable Concept Designs and Everything Else in Between!

Next to the skin-final

I’m super excited to share that tomorrow marks the launch of one of the biggest projects we have led and worked on to date. In partnership with ETPL, we brought to life The Next to the Skin Technology Showcase where in 8 weeks, we worked with multidisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, and members from ETPL (the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore) to visualize the future of wearable solutions from the eyes of the consumer.


The result? 10 functional wearable prototypes that are driven by customer insights and underpinned by patented technology. This is Design Led Innovation at its best.

Kicking off the program with a 3 Day Design Thinking bootcamp, the teams rapidly connected data points created from consumer needs, business opportunities, future trends, and technology building blocks to create meaningful wearable propositions.

From then it was an extremely quick iterative process where our team of industrial designers came in to visualize what these propositions could be. After that, it was a close collaboration with the engineers to bring the designs to life as working prototypes.

The 10 designs will be exhibited at Startup Asia Singapore 2014 from tomorrow. However, the exhibition will be open to the public on the 8th of May 2014 from 3.30pm onwards.

Finally, if you are interested to learn more about the designs, do sign up for the free showcase after the public viewing at 6.45pm.


PS: Do stay tuned for the full case study, videos and possibly daily photo updates!

Design Sojourn Consulting: 3 Years On

About Design Sojourn
Oct 09, 2013


It was just like last year. Sept 27, 2013 came and went while we were knee deep in a room littered with post-it pads of ideas. So much so, that we almost forgot that it’s been 3 years since Design Sojourn became a strategic design consultancy.

Most of the learning we spoke of in our first year still holds true, especially our values and our mission which you see boldly displayed above.

The overall strategy is also still sound and we will continue to follow it. But some of the things have changed, so we will need to tweak the path a little.

Here are some of my reflections and learnings from our 3rd year in business:

1) Running a business is hard. Really hard! It is a non-stop roller coaster ride. As a means to cope, we have decided not to take ourselves too seriously at times. We occasionally even try to laugh at adversity.

At the end of the day, I have concluded that we do not really own our businesses. We are but custodians for a business with a higher purpose to create change for a greater good.

2) We are also very blessed that while we are only in the beginning of the fourth quarter and we have already worked on more projects than our first 2 years combined. Not only that, 45% of our work are with overseas clients. We believe that design can change the world and make people’s lives better, and I am really happy to find clients that feel the same way too.

3) With this huge influx of work, we have welcomed two new members into our team. We are now a four-man strong, highly skilled strategic design team. (Updates to the about page soon.)

4) We have formalized our training and education activities into a new spin-off brand called Methodology. Methodology was conceptualised one evening, over a foot massage and bubble tea in Cebu, to be on the cutting edge of design education and the methodology of doing design.

In Infographics Thinking (31st October to 1st November 2013), our first workshop under our new brand, we have collaborated with creative publishing giant Gestalten, to bring to Singapore Francesco Franchi, a master of information design. In this 2 day workshop participants will learn how to create impactful infographics that can be used in graphic design, visual journalism, and even annual reports. (Sorry, but we are sold out!)

5) After much tugging and pulling we have grudgingly dropped Industrial Design from our range of services and have replaced it with Design Research. It’s not that we don’t do Industrial Design any more; instead we are seeing a greater value in the latter and how it gives rise to presenting design as an ecosystem rather then a series of disciplines. Especially since I worked with the City of Taipei (in Taiwan) to help them re-design one of their streets.

So with these 5 points in tow, it’s now back to “paradise”. But where do we go to next? I do have a plan, but it’s in beta. Interestingly, I think it is this flexibility of being in beta that has really helped us go with the flow and spot these great opportunities when they come sailing by.

Before I sign off, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all our family, friends, partners, readers and clients who have walked this journey with us so far. Please do keep in touch?

Job Opportunity: Design Researcher

About Design Sojourn
Mar 25, 2013

Nestled in sunny Singapore, the vibrant red-dot of Asia, Design Sojourn is one of the world’s most exciting Strategic Design Consultancies. Just only 2.5 years old, this up and coming Design Consultancy has racked up a sizable portfolio of multi-disciplinary clients that span Government Institutions, Healthcare Organizations, Multi-National Companies, Medium-Sized Enterprises and Start-ups. Design Sojourn has earned a reputation for game changing strategies, exciting Design Driven Innovation, and is frequently commissioned for workshop and speaking engagements.

We are currently expanding our team, and are looking for someone to fill the role of: Design Researcher.

Here are the requirements:

1) Be a graduate with a Diploma or Degree in Design of any discipline. (People with non-design backgrounds will be considered, but must have required experience and submit a portfolio with relevant projects.)

2) Have a minimum 2 years of experience. (Exceptional fresh graduates will be considered.)

3) Owns a digital portfolio of projects that shows with a strong design process (with clear research and synthesis activities) that leads to smart, engaging and implementable solutions.

4) Have a positive outlook, flexible with a can-do attitude, articulate and a good communicator (verbal and written).

The responsibilities of a Design Researcher entail:

1) Human-centered research activities that involve both field and desktop research work.

2) Participating and co-facilitating in workshops.

3) Analysis and synthesis of said research work.

4) Designing and implementing solutions that would result from said research work.

5) Sorting, photography, photocopying, filing, writing, blogging, model making, Ctr+V/Ctr+C, walking, running etc. and anything else I can think of. (Just kidding on the last bit, but it may occasionally seem that way.)

Finally all interested applicants must already reside in Singapore, and able to work under the prevailing labor laws. Please send your documents to brian [at] Alternatively, you can to leave your burning questions in the comment section below.

Due to my huge email load, I regret to inform you that only short listed participants will be contacted and/or invited for a coffee chat. Thank you.

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 8

About Design Sojourn
Mar 04, 2013


Our eighth Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop runs again at the end of this month! After our 7th workshop, which was just bursting with our legendary interactive content and hands on activities, we were all fired up to do it again. So if you missed it, and I know many of you emailed to tell us, do sign up now!

Here are the details:

DATE: 27th & 28th March 2013
(Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is a Public Holiday)

TIME: 9 am – 5.30 pm

LOCATION: Singapore Management University

Registration closes at 11.59pm on the 15th of March 2013. Please RSVP to our awesome new Operations Executive Shan at admin (at) As usual spaces are limited, so do sign up or sign your friend up soon.

For more details click on the EDM below:

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 8

What Happens in Berlin, Stays in Berlin…

About Design Sojourn
Mar 02, 2013

In September last year, do you remember I mentioned that I was going to Berlin to co-facilitate a workshop with our partners The Design Thinkers group?

Well after a copious amount of beer with occasional random ranting (and raving), wondering if the tap water is safe to drink in Potsdam, and getting a german chip embedded in my brain (it seems), here is what happened at our workshop The Role of Design in Value Co-Creation and Innovation:

I’m at 1.05mins with my super eagle claw kung-fu move!

If you are interested to see how Design can help you shape, improve and rethink your business, do not hesitate to drop me a email at our contact page for a obligation free design clinic!

Merry Christmas Friends!

About Design Sojourn
Dec 24, 2012


I would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May 2013 be your best year yet!

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 7, Now with Early Bird Discount!

About Design Sojourn
Dec 20, 2012

Our Early Bird discount is officially over. However we are still taking on participants, so do sign up now!


Our 2 day Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 7 will be held on 31th Jan to 1 Feb. Our 7th instalment now comes with an early bird discount!

So if you register now or by 28th of December 2012 you get an additional $50 off our registration fee. As usual, spaces fill up fast (now even faster with the early bird discount) so I would not wait if I were you.

More details in the mailer below. Please click on it for a bigger view.

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 7 EDM

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop 6

About Design Sojourn
Oct 25, 2012

Oh my! Can it be? Yes it is! It’s time for our 6th Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop scheduled to run at the end of November. Is it already version 6.0? It must be, because a) it says so in the title and b) we have graduated 5 batches of happy Design Thinkers!

Here are a few unique highlights of our workshop (the rest will be surprise!):

1) Design Thinking comes with Design Doing so 75% of the workshop focuses on hand-on activities.

2) Tons of real world case studies and videos, to help feed your Design Thinking hunger with a satisfying ahhhh…

So if you think someone you know that might be interested in attending, please do pass this post on!

Here are the dates of the workshop:

DATE: 29 & 30 November (Thursday and Friday)
TIME: 9 am – 5.30 pm
LOCATION: Singapore Management University

Registration closes at 11.59pm on the 16th of Nov 2012. Please RSVP by then. As usual spaces are limited, so do sign up or sign your friend up soon.

For the full details of the workshop, click on the image below for a larger view. If you can’t see it, please let me know and I’ll send over a pdf.

3 Months of Design Thinking Workshops and Seminars!

About Design Sojourn
Oct 03, 2012


The 3rd Quarter (July to September) of 2012 was just an awesome time here at Design Sojourn. We were engaged to run a number of Design Driven Innovation and Design Thinking workshops, and it was a blast.

So I thought I would share some of the excitement here? Well, not exactly in this blog post, but at our Workshop and Seminar Page! Do check it out and let me know what you think?