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Thread: Woha's top honchos are Designers of the Year

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    Default Woha's top honchos are Designers of the Year

    December 2, 2008 Tuesday

    Woha's top honchos are Designers of the Year

    Founding directors hailed for vast body of cutting-edge works

    By Tay Suan Chiang

    LOCAL architecture firm Woha is on a roll. Its founding directors, Messrs Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, have been named Designers of the Year at this year's President's Design Award.

    This is the third straight year the duo have won an award at the annual ceremony since the DesignSingapore Council and Urban Redevelopment Authority started it in 2006.

    Their first win as Designers of the Year in the architecture and urban design category recognises their vast body of cutting-edge, yet sustainable, works. These include the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Changi Airport Terminal 3, the Gilstead Brooks residential project and the upcoming Bras Basah MRT station, which will have a water-covered glass roof.

    President S R Nathan handed out this year's awards at the Lasalle College of the Arts last night.

    Messrs Wong and Hassell had won in the Design of the Year category for the past two years.

    At the award ceremony, Dr Lee Boon Yang, the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, said DesignSingapore would earmark $10 million over the next two years to help the design sector ride through the downturn.

    The money will be used to help designers, design practices and design industry associations by providing grants and co-funding for mentorship, overseas promotion, participation in competitions, and awards, scholarships and other capability development schemes.

    The design sector has been growing well and contributes 1.2 per cent to gross domestic product, he said.

    The President's Design Award recognises innovative local designs across all disciplines that have contributed to Singapore's economy, environment and culture.

    The other two Designers of the Year this year are industrial designer Nathan Yong of Air Division and graphic designer Edmund Wee of Epigram.

    Woha's Mr Wong said there was 'no extra pressure' on him and Mr Hassell to continue their winning streak, but they would 'keep trying to be innovative'.

    Mr Yong's Air Division furniture design firm, started in 1999, is known for its quirky ideas, such as the Break stool, which looks broken at the centre.

    As for those who dismiss annual corporate reports as boring literature, Epigram's Mr Wee begs to differ. His 18-year-old company is known for producing creative annual reports.

    President Nathan also handed out awards for Design of the Year.

    This year's winners include a house at Jalan Elok off Mount Elizabeth, the Lasalle College of the Arts, the National Museum of Singapore, Naumi Hotel in Seah Street and the front lawn of the New Majestic Hotel in Bukit Pasoh Road.

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    Winning designers
    Woha founding directors Wong Mun Summ, 46, and Richard Hassell, 42.
    Woha designed the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Changi Airport. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
    Winning duo Richard Hassell and Wong Mun Summ
    the sky gardens at the 36-storey Newton Suites suit the tropical weather. A familiar name in the local architecture industry, Woha was formed in 1994 by Singaporean Wong and Australian Hassell.
    Their buildings in Singapore include the award-winning Newton Suites; Stadium MRT Station; the upcoming Ilumna, an entertainment centre in Bugis; and the School of the Arts in Selegie.
    The firm is known for its innovative and yet sustainable design, especially in high-rise tropical housing.
    This is their third President's Design Award. Their previous two wins were for Design of the Year, for the modern-looking Church of St Mary of the Angels in Bukit Batok and 1 Moulmein Rise, a residential project in Moulmein Road that has special windows in each apartment to let in the breeze but keep out the rain.
    Mr Edmund Wee, 56, Epigram's managing director
    Mr Wee is a psychologist turned Straits Times design editor turned design agency founder. Eighteen years ago, he started Epigram, which has since become known for revolutionising the art of annual report design.
    For the 2006/2007 Intellectual Property Office of Singapore Annual Report, the self-taught designer turned it into a series of comics.
    Epigram's other clients include the Government of Singapore Investment Corp, CapitaLand and OCBC Bank.
    The firm has also won numerous international design awards, such as the AR100, red dot, Graphis and HKDA.
    Epigram also created the signage for the Marina Barrage.
    Mr Nathan Yong, 37, principal designer/managing director of Air Division.
    Mr Yong, a graduate of Temasek Polytechnic and the University of New South Wales, set up his furniture brand Air in 1999. Some of his designs, such as the Foxhole sofa and the Tree table, have been sold to renowned furniture companies such as Ligne Rosset from France and Italy's Living Divani. His functional designs with a sense of fun impressed the jury with their commercial viability.

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    Default nice!

    keep it up!

    very informative....

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