Monthly Archives: April 2012

Jake Dyson and his amazing long-life LED lamp (

So ubiquitous is planned obsolescence that products designed to last for decades seem almost unreal these days. I was staggered to learn that British designer Jake Dyson‘s new LED task light CSYS will shine for 37 years before its LED chips need replacing – even when it’s used for 12 hours per day.

I interviewed Jake recently for at Space Furniture in Singapore, where he was launching CSYS. Read the full story here.

The stars seem to have aligned for Jake in terms of creating the conditions in which he can deeply investigate and push an engineering-led design practice. It’s a good thing. His dedication to sensible innovation has the potential to shake up those with complacent design habits and benefit us all.

Thanks for your time Jake!

New work on the screen:

Meeting and chatting with Berlin-based architects Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton (Sauerbruch Hutton) was a genuinely pleasant experience.

I met them recently on a grey and rainy Singapore afternoon to discuss their new monograph Sauerbruch Hutton: Colour in Architecture.

The thoughtfulness and open-heartedness with which they answered my many questions seemed to me a reflection of the sensitivity at the root of their approach to architectural forms and urban connections. Thanks Matthias and Louisa!

Read about their thoughts, their work, and their new book in my article for

All work, no play?

If only you could buy window grilles like the old one above (Club Street, Singapore)!

Since January I’ve looked fleetingly through my (more tamely grilled) window at the world beyond while my thoughts focused on the many worlds being developed in the multitude of Word documents before me.

To say the least, it has been a busy time. It’s also been an interesting one. I’ve ventured into art and architecture; PR for interior designers; the manufacturing process for an architectural material; fashion branding; human-robot love; and a swathe of interactive digital media projects.

Future posts will explain the projects I’ve been immersed in, but for now here’s a look at work that has hit the shelves and screen during the past couple of months.

For d+a magazine (issue 66), I wrote about two memorable houses. One of them (pictured on the cover) was designed by Studiogoto for a builder. It manifests a rawness that’s not often seen in Singapore, and which I didn’t expect given the owner’s line of work. No marble in this house. Instead, exposed concrete, remnant materials, and reclaimed timber from the house that formerly occupied the site. It’s an exciting direction.

The other was designed by Genome Architects and Design Consultancy with inspiration drawn from parasitic plants. New upper levels were hung over the existing lower ones, with sky-lit voids on either side of the floor plates breathing life into this ‘treehouse’. Read more in d+a!

For Cubes magazine (issue 54, Feb/Mar 2012), I had the pleasure of entering the home studio and the minds of Plystudio‘s Victor Lee and Jacqueline Yeo. The resultant profile explores the rigours of their thinking and design approach – both of which I greatly admire. The article also features a number of their projects. One recent project that particularly struck me was an outlet for The Soup Spoon at Changi City Point mall. Learn more in Cubes or in the abridged version of the article on

For Cubes 54, I also wrote about a house in Japan by Singaporean architectural designer Kevin Lim of Studio SKLIM. Designed with a ‘super pragmatic’ approach, the house offered the opportunity to contemplate exhibitionism and privacy in the realm of (foreign-designed) Japanese residential architecture.

For Singapore Architect (issue 267), I wrote about the Hub-to-Hub public art program of 2011. I had compiled a short blog post on this event last year, but it was great to explore it in greater depth for SA. One hopes that the event will encourage top-down and bottom-up design/engagement with Singaporean public space into the future.