Do you have a favourite building in Singapore?
I have several, but the National Gallery is one of my top favourites—the idea of repurposing a historical building to display artwork that highlights Singapore’s history is a brilliant idea. The overall look and design of the building also makes it a great piece of work.
What’s one stereotype people often have about your line of work?
Especially in Asia, architects might not be perceived as ‘professionals’—we’re seen more as service providers. We’re not seen to be the same level as doctors, lawyers, or engineers, even when our professional training requires the same time and rigour.
When did you first decide to pursue architecture as a full-time occupation?
When I was very young, I had already started being in love with playing with LEGO blocks. While I was doing my art elective in secondary school, I did my final year project on interior design, and that was really when I decided that was what I wanted to do.
How has your occupation as an architect affected your regular life?
I suppose you could say it’s an occupational hazard, but whenever I enter a new building, I almost always know where the bathrooms are. It’s a useful skill especially when you’re travelling (laughs).
Share with us one of your pet peeves.
When people send me Pinterest boards as inspiration (laughs). There’re so many resources available now that people sometimes think they know and understand design, which sometimes might not be the case. Some of my clients look at Pinterest and can easily become influenced, so they might like a bit of everything, which leads to a very unmatched outcome.
If you weren’t an architect, what do you think you’d be working as today?
I might be a chef, actually. I’ve always considered that option—the only catch is that I might not be a good cook, but I’d just make good-looking food. It’s a hard life though.