Having It Made

Featuring

Silvia
Entrepreneur

If you could relive any time in your life, which would it be and why?
I’d be nostalgic and choose the period when I was very young and lived with my grandparents. We were living in the building that our family business was in, and I remember helping out with simple tasks like sweeping the floor, wiping the tables, and preparing food.

What’s something silly or untrue that you used to believe as a child?
There’s plenty! One that stands out is my parents telling us to finish all the food on our plates, otherwise whatever was left over would resemble the face of our future partner. It’s obviously untrue now that I look back on it, but it was also very amusing.

What is one building or place that you wish you’d designed?
There isn’t a particular building that comes to mind, but I’d like to work with Herzog & de Meuron, one of my favourite architecture firms. They designed the Tate Modern, the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, and many other incredible buildings. Architecture is a team effort, so I’d like to experience working alongside them.

Name a product that has changed your life in the past five years:
It’d have to be a Fitbit. I bought one three or four years ago and it’s changed my life since—it keeps me active throughout the day, it tells me when I’m lazy and motivates me to reach my daily goal of a number of steps.

What’s something that isn’t taught in schools, but that you believe everyone should learn?
Abstract thinking. I grew up in Singapore in my teenage years, and a lot of the academic learning we were put through didn’t help me once I was out in the world. I think everyone should be taught abstract thinking, since it’s essential for architecture, design, or any creative pursuit.

What’s something you’d like to be really good at?
I’d like to be able to read Chinese! I can speak Chinese, but I can’t read it, so that’s something I want to pick up.

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