Clever, cool and collaborative: My week in Singapore

by Charlie Butterfield at October 12, 2017

After spending a week in our Singapore office, I took a little time out of my 14-hour flight home to think back on the experience and see what influence I can take home to the UK. When you overdose on a culture in a week, it’s really hard to distil all the eye-openers into a single page, but in the name of simplicity I’ve attempted to narrow it down to my top three key take-aways (pun intended).

Don’t fake it, feel it.

Singapore is cool as hell. But not in that naff, try-hard way, like when your uncle buys a Ramones t-shirt from Primark, or your local pub serves chips in a flat cap. No, Singapore is cool because it doesn’t try at all. On the plane home I read an interview with Annie Clark of St Vincent, where she said “cool is the by-product of being uniquely yourself” and that’s exactly what Singapore is. It’s unique because it’s an eclectic melting pot of culture, design, fashion and food and belongs as much to one as it does the other – they co-exist naturally and beautifully.

Co-exist

Collaboration is on my mind a lot at the moment and sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re doing it right, but Singapore confirmed all that I believed in. When collaboration is pure, heartfelt and honest it becomes incredibly powerful. When I was up a skyscraper, next to a temple and overlooking a mosque, it dawned on me that this is the way of the future. A little bit of everything, combining to make something larger than itself and all to be enjoyed under the same hot, sticky, sky.

Everybody do the dodo

At times Singapore feels extremely progressive. Not in a Ballard-meets-Ex-Machina kind of way, where robots run amok among us and there’s nothing left for humans to do, but in a ‘press a nice neat button and something happens’ way. It’s actually extremely satisfying. I’ve heard a lot about Artificial Intelligence over the last week and while I’m fairly confident that my microwave isn’t eyeing up my missus, there’s no doubt that technology is getting smarter. However, if there’s one thing that being in a city that champions tech has taught me, it’s that everything just f*****g works and there’s absolutely no need to be scared of it.

So there you go. My very brief round up of the learnings that will stay with me from Singapore. It’s an incredible city and one of few in which I could see myself living – and it’s all credit to the people. To every one of you who made my trip bearable, wearable and totally enjoyable, I thank you dearly. (Not biased but a special shout out goes to Team fst Singapore!).