When The Afternaut first started our work in China in 2017, we wanted to show how design, technology and business could come together to provide solutions for increasingly challenging business problems.

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AR zone for an immersive experience in the Sales Gallery Experience Centre.

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Delivery robot as one of the products that visitors could experience in the sales gallery.

We designed and prototyped a series of stand-out sales galleries in China that reshaped the way traditional sales galleries worked.

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Can you believe this used to be the main floor of a glass factory?

We organised a successful technology festival on the outskirts of Shenzhen in an old glass factory, and one of our first projects was a manless convenience store that helps customers get essentials, and solve problems of manpower shortage.

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Payment using just a thumbs up means no more fiddling with QR codes and thumbprints.

We loved creating things that consumers can enjoy and finding solutions for our clients’ business’ challenges. But with the attention on AI, and our love for all things tech — we started to wonder.

All this technology is good, helpful and fascinating, but what about the physical world around us? We weren’t born from a screen — nature connectedness is something we didn’t want to lose.

The built environment industry is here to stay, and beyond the houses we live in, we have spaces in our neighbourhoods and cities that we love. How can we make sure that these spaces are available to us for years to come? And what about the plants and animals in these spaces?

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A man enjoys nature at Tampines Eco-Green.

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Friendly feathered neighbours drop by for afternoon tea at a home in Singapore.

Thus we felt we wanted to focus more on placemaking. Using our experience in the built environment space, together with our love for technology and desire to ensure that our ecosystem is cared for, we want to create spaces that are meaningful and easily adaptable. Spaces that our future selves will love and be glad that we came up with the idea in the first place.


Designing the future of banking — banking in life, at the OCBC Wisma Atria branch.

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Interactive floor at Seedplaza — a “services-only” mall in China.

We’re still tech bros at heart, but through placemaking in the built environment, we can stay grounded to the physical and natural world, while embracing future technologies and innovations. We’re excited about the possibilities that rewilding can bring to placemaking as well, more on that here.

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Hampstead Wetlands, Singapore.

That’s why Afternaut is passionate about working in the built environment space. Hopefully we can help it innovate, using technology and embracing nature.