First held in 2005, the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is an annual celebration of the performing and visual arts created and presented by Singaporean and international artists. The Festival aims to bring the best of contemporary, cutting-edge and socially engaged works to a Singapore audience. The 2007 festival theme was Art and Disability.
The Helen Hamlyn Centre was invited to organise a 48 Hour Inclusive Design Challenge to launch the festival and extend its remit to include design. Eight teams made up of student and professional designers competed for the prize.
The Challenge was won by the Singapore office of the international advertising agency Grey for their design of lingerie that combined functionality with desirability for women who find conventional underwear impossible to put on and the special needs variety deeply unattractive. In two days the team produced a prototype, communications campaign and a six-minute film documenting their project.
The projects were the subject of the opening exhibition of the Festival at Vivo City, Singapore's newest mall designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito and the event opened by Dr Amy Kor Lean Suan, Mayor of South-West District and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.