Like the creatives featured in the August 2020 issue, the Home and Décor team is a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures – but all of us call Singapore home, and have lived and worked here for many years in the local design scene. Here, we each weigh in on our personal definition of Singapore style.

“The way our cityscape is designed pretty much reflects the Singapore style is – how everything is neatly packed together in a cohesive collage of new and old. We are great at creating futuristic looks, but also good at conserving iconic and historically important structures, and if you dig into the details, you’ll find a mosaic of uniquely-shaped tiles representing all its citizens.”

Young Lim, editor-in-chief

“Singapore architecture has evolved so much from its original colonial influence and developed its own unique style. We can see there’s more
environmental awareness in both architecture and design, and green buildings are gaining popularity, like Park Royal Pickering which I love. Singapore’s definitely emerging as a model for sustainable design in Asia.”

Nonie Chen, senior art director

“When I think of Singapore style, I think of large, common spaces that the public can enjoy, and also being kiasu. The Jewel at Changi is a great example of both — it has the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, an artificial rainforest, and a glass dome that opens up to the sky, all in one place.”

Kristy Quah, art director

“To me, Singapore style wouldn’t be complete without a practical element. Perhaps it’s due to an ingrained awareness of our space and resource constraints, but when I look at most design projects, they’re both functional and beautiful — this applies to architecture, interiors, and products. One of my favourite examples is the upcoming Founder’s Memorial, which provides plenty of flexible space for public use and has an organic shape that looks like it’s rising out of the surrounding natural landscape.”

Melody Bay, writer

“Like its diverse mix of identities and cultures, Singapore design to me is
multi-faceted. There are those which push boundaries and are influenced by current societal issues, while others are rooted in tradition. But if I must define it, I’d say that it is one that nods to our unique heritage and culture while remaining relevant, pragmatic, and which suits our ever-evolving lifestyles. In terms of architecture, rather than a particular building, it is the juxtaposition of traditional, vernacular architecture against its contemporary counterparts that defines the Singaporean design identity.”

Michelle Lee, writer

“Cultivated. That’s one word that comes to my mind when I think about Singapore style, especially in the context of architecture and design. I can’t just pick one thing as an example – it’s a tie between the PCN (Park Connector Network) and HDB blocks, which are both great examples of successfully cultivated designs. Some may think that those are unexciting, but they work so well to create a liveable city.”

Asih Jenie, assistant editor