The latest Singapore prize is a new book award that hopes to encourage the reading and writing of local fiction and non-fiction. The inaugural Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize is worth $30,000, the richest pot for a singapore prize, and was launched on April 18. The prize seeks to recognise publications that champion mindsets and values important to the shaping of the city-state, including diversity, religious harmony and meritocracy.
The third edition of the global environmental prize founded by Britain’s Prince William will be held in Singapore this month, with five winners to be announced on November 7. The Earthshot Prize was launched in 2020 to inspire optimism around urgent climate change challenges and to celebrate people and organisations who are creating solutions.
This year’s prize finalists will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in the city-state, hosted by Prince William and his wife Kate, with performances from world-renowned musicians and artists. The winning organisations will receive a share of the US$1 million (S$1.67 million) prize pool to scale their environmental projects.
In addition to the main prizes, there are also special awards for young entrepreneurs and community heroes, as well as a public choice vote. The winner of the public choice vote will receive a special stipend to support their project.
The shortlist for the Singapore prize includes historical tomes such as Seven Hundred Years: A History Of Singapore (2019, available here) by Kwa Chong Guan, Tan Tai Yong, Peter Borschberg and Derek Heng, as well as works with a personal slant. One of those is Kamaladevi Aravindan’s Sembawang (2020, available here), which looks at life in a suburban estate over the course of decades. Another is Jeremy Tiang’s State Of Emergency (2017, available here), which follows a family through leftist political movements and detentions in both Singapore and Malaysia.
In the design category, there are two buildings vying for the prize – CapitaSpring and the Singapore National Museum of Art, Culture and Heritage building, which is a new addition to the nation’s cultural landscape. Both are designed to be high-performance green skyscrapers that offer an enhanced experience for their occupants, and harness the restorative power of nature in a dense urban environment. CapitaSpring, by Carlo Ratti Associati and Bjarke Ingels Group, will feature a new social realm for offices, residences and recreation that will allow the building’s occupants to connect with nature and with each other. The Singapore National Museum of Art, Culture and Heritage, meanwhile, will feature a series of immersive exhibitions that will help the public better understand the significance of the collection to the city-state’s identity.