For the multi-hyphenate Celine Ng, collaboration and sustainability are the core focus of her studio’s compelling and honest designs. Celine Ng recalls her early years of her career with earnestness that can be seen in many of her innovative and purposeful works.

Fraction Design Studio founded in 2016

The founder of the Fraction design studio reminisces that there were no stones unturned in her search for further education, as she attended many open house tours and hopped around different schools to check out the programmes that they had to offer before settling on a career in the arts discipline.

“I soon discovered that NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) was the place where I belonged,” recalls Celine.

“I loved that it was an institution where creativity is unbounded, and there can be multiple answers to a single question. This formed the foundation of my career, as I was greatly inspired by my lecturers who wore multiple hats, be it adjunct lecturing, starting their own design studios and also serving as design consultants for various companies.”

Inspired by a Multi-Hyphenated Culture

A fresh graduate right out of school, she joined the Singapore Furniture Industry Council that opened the doors to her first commercial opportunity – to design an exhibition booth for the premium design store XTRA for one of the landmark events during Singapore Design Week, Singaplural.

The opportunity became a stepping stone to other projects which allowed Celine to quickly build up her track record and open her own studio just two years after graduating from the NAFA.

The drive behind setting up her own company was underpinned by Celine’s urge to work and collaborate with other creatives.

Improving lives by design collaborations

Influenced by various multi-disciplinary design studios, such as Form Us With Love, a Stockholm-based multi-disciplinary design and interior and architecture studio, she describes that collaboration is at the centre of what those firms do, formulating unconventional yet practical design ideas to solve challenges and improving lives.

“I was inspired by the multitude of opportunities that collaborations bring, and as the name of the studio suggests, we pride ourselves in being communicative partners to our clients to develop wholesome designs based on solving their business needs,” Celine says.

“I believe that design is a tool that can generate results based on the hands that wield it – it could elevate brands, improve wellbeing of users, cut down on waste… the possibilities are endless!”

Celine Ng speaking in a video. (Image: SFIC Facebook)
Image: SFIC Facebook

Fraction Design Studio: A nature-loving team

Celine describes her team as nature-loving, drawing a lot of the creative inspiration for designs from travels, short hikes and nature scenes. She draws parallels between her creative process and the endless ways a stream or a body of water can flow.

“Just like nature, we are organically inspired and do not have a design style that we follow,” Celine states. “This gives us freedom to explore the myriad of paths our clients can take on for their design adventure.”

Design trade shows are epicenters of new ideas

Over the years, Celine and her team shifted their focus to target tradeshows as the main design consultancy offering. She attributes this evolution to moving towards a more consumption-conscious future and refers to tradeshows as the epicenters of new ideas and new paradigms.

And while so, she notes that the aftermath of the pursuit of capturing the imagination of industry players at tradeshows often includes container loads of waste constituting lightly used materials.

Changes should be made at tradeshow levels

“We believe that a change at the tradeshow level can send a shockwave throughout the industry and supply chains that can move the needle towards a more responsible business community,” Celine attests.

Focusing on the future in the similar trajectory as the studio’s current projects, Celine and her team are looking toward more projects with a sustainability narrative at heart.

ASEAN Pavilion at HAWA Expo 2023, Ho Chi Minh

Case in point, she is currently working on the curation and design of the ASEAN pavilion at HAWA Expo 2023, in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Says Celine, “We’re very excited to be harmonising various ASEA with modular sustainable build materials.”

Decor Fan Singapore

Celine cites a challenging design brief received from Decor Fan Singapore for design platform Singaplural 2019 help at the National Design Centre to be the highlight of her career.

She recalls, “The ceiling fan retailer first met me with the brief of a 3 x 3m booth space, and the theme of the fair was “An Unnatural Phenomena”. To bring out the essence of a unique theme within a small space and a revolving object hung above eye level has the most difficult project of my career.”

Decor Fan Singapore’s installation at Singaplural 2019

Celine worked with the client and founder of Decor Fan Singapore to come up with a concept of “Autumn” – a minute-long exhibit which allowed visitors to experience ‘autumn foliage’ with the aid of a set of virtual reality goggles.

By doing a 360-degree turn while lifting their hands and brushing against the pinwheels, visitors experienced a feeling akin to the rustling of leaves.

A product in motion, the exhibition space was enhanced with a waft of maple and cinnamon scents diffused into the air by using Decor Fan’s smart-ready fans. The exhibit was a manifestation of the company’s nature inspired fans coupled with material innovations that offered energy efficiency with aerodynamic contours.

Fraction Design Studio, Celine Ng’s Key Works

The texture of the material is highlighted with the use of light diffusing through the folds of the final Engulf and Bolon artwork.

Engulf XTRA and Bolon Collaboration

Celine Ng collaborated with XTRA on Engulf’s installation, created to demonstrate the visceral beauty of the ocean using tiles from Bolon’s Flow collection.

Bolon’s tile swatches combine to create the look of a shimmering ocean scape at the Engulf installation.

Her installation is a cloud-like formation that enables light to seep through – an interpretation of the glistening and fluidity of an ocean.

Urban Living, Singapore Furniture Industries Council

In September 2022, Celine and her team at Fraction Design Studio designed and curated the Urban Living showcase for Singapore Furniture Industries Council, with sustainability at the heart of the build, using modular cardboard pieces as the main material.

Urban Living showcase at Singapore Furniture Industries Council

The shape of the cardboard has been prototyped to reduce wear and tear of corners, and the design can be purposed as a cave, or as a backdrop in the future. The cardboard modules are also grooved to fold inwards for structural stability.

The cardboard cave configuration allowed the team to create niches within the large 100 sqm space to have distinct zones for each brand.

Also featured in the showcase are Fraction Design Studio’s cardboard stools and rostrum to finish up a whole ecosystem of complementary sustainable furniture.