Millennials Design a Bank Branch for Themselves

DBS pays Gen-Y for crowdsourced branch concepts

DBS Bank in Singapore has announced the winners of its “I-Designed-A-Bank” branch concept contest. The bank received over 80 design entries. The contest was open to people of all ages, although 80% of the entries submitted came from those under 26. The youngest person to submit a design entry was 10 years old.

The contest attracted a healthy Facebook following, with over 2,100 fans on a dedicated “I-Designed-A-Bank Branch” page.

“The benefit of crowd sourcing is that we could actually engage the target segment in their native social media space,” said Christopher Peng Guan Ng, VP of digital strategy and communications at DBS, in an interview with The Financial Brand. “The medium allowed us to very quickly disseminate information and clarifications — including interactive ones such as videos.”

“We hope to cater to the evolving banking needs of the young as the new DBS youth branch will be a purpose built branch, based on the winning entry,” said Jeremy Soo, Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking.

DBS will be opening its new 1,000 square-foot youth branch in the first half of 2011.

A two-and-a-half minute video about the bank’s branch concept crowdsourcing contest.

The winning designs

Kenneth Koh and Colin Chew, both 27-year-old Masters graduates and aspiring architectural designers, captured the top prize of US $3,500. In their words, their design, “recasts the banking environment as a vibrant round-the-clock enclave for youth.”

Tri Hariyanto Mohammad took second and around US $2,850. Another professional designer, Luke Ng, took third along with US $2,125. In the “Under-26” category, Melissa Koh, 22, a third-year design student, took first place with her bright and unconventional Lego block design concept.

The judging panel included representatives from DBS and the design industry. You can review the contest’s creative brief and entry guidelines in this PDF.

Note: None of these designs include a teller counter.

FIRST PLACE – “WORKSHOP” — The winning design consists of two major elements: “Interface,” where one can enjoy 24-hour banking services while interacting with information and advertising surfaces, and “Vortex,” a dynamic space that transforms from a banking lounge in the day into a youth hangout at night.

SECOND PLACE – “DIGITAL PLAYGROUND — The design engages the young consumer with its interactive banking services and the use of multi-sensory displays.

THIRD PLACE – “INTERACTIVE EDUCATION” — An interactive meeting place to educate youth on how banking can be customized to help them achieve their goals.

UNDER 26 1ST – “LEGO BLOCKS” — Inspired by Lego blocks, this design encourages youth to transform the branch into an extension of their self expression. Using locker services as a wall façade, the design also caters to the storage needs of youths as they take part in the social activities around the local area.

UNDER 26 2ND – “RETRO DISCO” — A retro-disco feeling that would attract youths’ attention. ATM services would be housed in phone booths, and youths could choose contemporary music selections from a jukebox. An interactive table gives the bank a tech edge.”


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