2018 Hong Kong Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Building Memories Pop Up Kit


Project Overview

Ever imagine yourself as an architect who has the capability to re-construct the demolished National Theatre, one of the oldest and most iconic buildings in Singapore’s history? Now you can!

The “Building Memories” pop-up kit lets you do exactly that.

The “Building Memories” kit was conceptualized with the hope that a 3D pop-up kit allows recipients to immerse themselves in the glory of the old building as well as experience the hands-on process of constructing the model rather than looking at plain photographs.

The key element and centerpiece of the kit is the do-it-yourself 3D mock-up of the National Theatre. This interactive feature allows the recipients to re-construct the building and at the same time deepen their understanding of its heritage and the underlying rationale behind the architecture design.


Achates 360 Pte Ltd

Project Brief

The “Building Memories” kit was designed with the National Theatre of Singapore in mind. It serves as a reminder to the younger generation of how this iconic building housed diverse ethnicities together under one roof to appreciate various world renowned multi-cultural performances on stage before the building was demolished in 1986.

The “Building Memories” pop-up kit comprises three elements:

1. The outer envelope
The envelope is a mock-up theatrical performance entrance ticket with the National Theatre’s construction and demolition dates stamped on it, a reminder of its existence era. The name of the building is depicted in the 3 major languages used in Singapore – English, Chinese and Tamil. This is to reflect the intention of the building - cultivating inter-cultural relationships and racial harmony across diverse ethnicities.

2. The folder
The folder is the educational pillar of the pop-up kit as it takes the recipient on a journey through the building’s heritage, how funds were raised to construct it and the rationale behind each unique structural element of the building. The brief write-ups were supported with actual photographs of the building so that the younger generation can “re-live” the building’s memories.

3. The pop up centerpiece
This centerpiece is the integral and interactive part of the kit. It has clearly labelled perforated sections for the recipients to tear out and assemble the building mock-up.

Project Innovation/Need

The envelope of the kit is designed so that recipients have to rip open the tear strip, which then reveals the words “For what had been torn shall not be mended.”, symbolizing the irreversible process of demolishing the National Theatre building.

Pop-up kits are mostly pre-designed and produced by the designers, no effort nor participation are on the part of the recipients. The designer wanted to involve and engage the recipients, hence the idea of letting the recipients construct the 3D pop-up structure was conceived.

Taking into consideration that social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives, the designer deliberately included a hashtag so that like-minded people could share their creative output on social media platforms upon completion of the 3D building mock-up.

Design Challenge

Pop-up was once popular in the 70s era but is now seen as a dying form of handicraft. The challenge is to revive this ‘dying’ handicraft method and entice recipients to have hands-on experience in building the 3D pop-up structure.

The designer overcome this challenge by presenting the pop-up kit in an easily receptive format. A simple and easy-to-follow instruction video guide was incorporated. Perforation, coupled with clearly labelled parts of the building, make it easier to assemble the mock-up.

Extra attention was paid to the intricate details, such as the diamond shaped side walls and roof truss, ensuring that the pop-up kit remains true to the original building during the design stage. Extensive research was also conducted by a renowned historian to ensure accuracy in the write up.


A 2 hour pop-up kit workshop was conducted in which 20 people attended. The recipients feedback that the workshop was enjoyable and fun. They felt a sense of accomplishment upon completing the pop-up and mentioned that they learnt more on the building's history.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design in traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages used in packaging. Consideration given to: 

  • clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience; 
  • the approach, including marketing and branding concerns, the dynamics of the retail environment, environmental considerations, and legal requirements; 
  • the component parts of packaging graphics such as colour rationalisation, information layout, feel and tone of illustration and photography, and finishes, and how they are used in isolation and in relation to each other; and 
  • the relationship to the anatomy of the structural design.

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