Category: Design

Drawing Out Architecture

They define the shape of a city. They contain its people and their multitudes of lives too. Buildings are the ubiquitous fabric of our urban condition, yet they somehow remain in the background of the minds of many city dwellers.

Perhaps it is their towering silhouettes that overshadow questions of how they came about. Or their immutable forms that make them seem like a natural phenomenon. But no building is simply a heap of materials, be it stone, concrete, steel or glass. They are assemblies of intentions, resources and beliefs—expressed in a language known as “architecture”.

Architecture may not be able to speak for itself, but the people who created it can. This is how I learned about the buildings by W Architects. As the editor of this exhibition catalogue and the studio’s first-ever monograph published in 2020, I have been privileged to spend hours listening to managing director Mok Wei Wei as he patiently walked me through four decades of the studio’s projects. These recollections at W Architects were frequently interrupted by an excuse to retrieve a drawing, a document, a magazine or newspaper cut-out and even a book from his office to vividly bring home a point.

➜ Read the full essay in To Draw an Idea: Retracing the Designs of William Lim Associates – W Architects

[FEATURED] Writer Justin Zhuang Documents Design, and Design in Culture

In Singapore, there are just a handful of people known for writing dedicatedly about design. DesignSingapore Scholar Justin Zhuang is one of them. His pathway to thinking critically about design developed naturally as a by-product of his curiosity about history and culture. Now playing his own part in documenting the history of Singapore’s design, he is helping us understand our designed present and future.

➜ Read the full profile at DesignSingapore Council

Hawker Colours: The Book

They refer not to the green of chendol or the red of mee goreng but the riot of colourful melamine plates and bowls in which many hawker dishes in Singapore are served today. Red, green, yellow, purple, pink, and more!

These colours defy conventional aesthetic sensibilities, and yet they have become entrenched in local hawker centres and coffee shops. Hawker Colours retraces their origins and mass adoption, and asks what value they still hold as the trade adapts to the changing needs of the city-state.

The book is now available for sale here. Read a feature about the book by The Straits Times.