02 October 2019

6:30 pm


The Executive Centre, Fraser's Tower, Level 17, 182 Cecil Street, Singapore

Event Description

This last decade has been possibly one of the best periods that the Eastern World has ever economically experienced. According to the World Economic Forum, the Asian middle-class is expected to jump from 500 million people in 2010 to 1.75 billion by 2020, and Asia will add 1.5 times the entire population of the West to the global middle-class population in just one decade.


Of an estimated $30 trillion growth in spending by the middle-class from 2015 to 2030, only $1 trillion is expected to come from today’s Western economies. The remaining expenditure will come from Asia.


Of such economies, China has been at the forefront of growth and is not expected to slow down. According to IMF statistics, in 1980. America’s share of global GDP was 25% power purchasing parity (PPP) in comparison to China at 2.2%. By 2016, America’s global GDP was only 15.5%, and China’s had exponentially risen to almost 18%.


As we continue on the verge of exciting changes across the globe, and there is no better time to be in Asia. But, how do we design for the Eastern market? Do the same design principles from the West apply to the East?


At Designing for the East, our panel of economists, tech gurus, and designers will explore:

  • Design trends to watch in the East, now and into the future
  • The biggest economic trends driving change in the East
  • Which Eastern countries will see the fastest development in the near future
  • How design differs in the East, as compared to the West



Sebastian Mueller | Co-founder @ MING Labs

Sebastian is a business leader at MING Labs, investor in early-stage startups, mentor to ambitious entrepreneurs, advisor to C-Suite executives, as well as author and speaker on topics around corporate innovation, digital transformation, ethics and philosophy in technology, future of work, societal impact of technology, innovation in China and surrounding areas of interest and impact.

Norman Teh | Regional Design Manager @ Grab

Norman is a Regional Design Manager at Grab, moderator and design writer based in Singapore.

He has 12 years of experience working at agencies, MNCs and startups; having designed customer-centric experiences for BMW, Grab, MSD, Nike, Sephora, Tiffany and Wealth-X.

Norman’s practice focuses on behavioural economics, human centred design, mapping ecosystems and understanding the psychology of customers. Fascinated by how things are built (or broken); why people make bold choices and what makes them pursue them.

Sharina Khan | Experience Design Consultant @ ThoughtWorks

Sharina Khan is an Experience Design Consultant at Thoughtworks, a global software consultancy. Prior to that, she served as a Programme Development Director for C-Academy, the educational arm of a design consultancy Creativeans, which she co-founded. She has accumulated 10 years of experience working with global brands such as IKEA, MoMA and RWS on numerous projects individually and in teams, designing products, services & experiences.

Sharina has organised various design events and actively creates and conducts workshops in the area of Creativity & Design, aimed at professionals and organisations. Most recently, her article on the Double Matrix was published in the Service Design Network Touchpoint Journal.

Sharina holds a Bachelor of Arts (Product Design) from University of Arts London (Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design) and was awarded with a sponsorship to pursue her Ph.D in Design by University of Canberra, Australia.

Dates and fees


02 October 2019

6:30 pm



The Executive Centre,
Fraser's Tower,
Level 17,
182 Cecil Street,

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