Ministry of Design Steers Clear of Clinical for Singapore Robotics Laboratory
Robots are not taking over the world… yet. But they are making some humans more productive by teaching new skills to those in the workforce facing changing markets. At least that’s the premise behind a laboratory-showroom hybrid in Singapore called RACE, which stands for Robotics Automation Centre of Excellence. “It incentivizes mid-career professionals to embrace new technologies,” Ministry of Design founder and director Colin Seah says of the 2,600-square-foot space that’s dedicated to teaching.
RACE bears little resemblance to the typical clinical, white laboratory. In fact, it’s the opposite. Black epoxy flooring begins at the entry, where it teams with walls painted with a black-and-white anamorphic web, then continues into the project’s main space. Mostly open to accommodate modular robots, it’s a sort of futuristic funhouse, with aluminum tubes and LED strips arranged in stripes on canted panels forming the walls and ceiling. But the panels are all business: They conceal conduits for electricity, data, and the compressed air generators that power the robots, and are demountable.
Three partitioned enclaves can host small groups for hands-on training. Since December 2016, RACE has held over 30 sessions imparting robotics skills to some 500 trainees across the business-government spectrum.
Project Team: Ruth Chong; Richard Herman; Sarah Conceicao; Sandra Goh; Yuping Tiang; Madeline Lim.