Name: Mervyn TOH
Company: HOTTOH DESIGN
Position within company: Founder, Managing Director
. Tell us a little about your background in design
Since childhood, my creativity was very likely trained from two aspects of activities:
Self-learnt drawing (Cartoon characters, places and especially animals)
Lego playing (creating something out of almost nothing and making imagination come true since young)
Above fundamentals allowed me to excel in my favourite Design and Technology subject during high school, winning awards and topping the cohort.
Most of my skills today are learnt from the ground level up. Having learnt OJT (on-the-job) starting from the lowest, a design executive, humbly I quickly rose to senior designer, team leader, Key Man and so on… Today I am a partner of the company I worked for since day 1 and also have founded HOTTOH DESIGN to serve my niche group of clientele that has been growing.
Humbly, my works have been featured on and sort after by local TV. There are also interviews by local radio and international programmes for my views on both residential and commercial interior design.
All above, achieved humbly in just over 10 years, and, I am sure there are more to come.
. How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Very often I felt that we design styles towards clients’ preferred style and with our expertise and experience, we basically guided their direction with a professional angle and made a result of what is even better than they could have imagined – still the style they wanted. After all, we are designing someone’s home, it has to be their style. Unless otherwise given a “blank piece of canvas” leaving to my imagination, we have done a self-interpreted styles for our clients.
Originally, I prefer East meets West fusion style. I like to study into the deep meanings of different cultural design styles and applying it with my own interpretation of interior design. The end result, a totally fresh interior design idea, yet, with full of history.
I love to have spaces designed to tell stories to users or about the inhabitants.
. Where does your design inspiration come from?
In general, my inspirations comes from everywhere and anywhere.
I can get inspired for residential spaces seeing how commercial spaces are done and vice versa. I get inspirations from animals, nature and by studying human beings too.
With specific projects, I ensure that I get inspirations from my clients. Their dreams are the best source of inspirations and one skill that is critical to achieve this, commonly under-rated, is communications with sincerity.
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Merging of heritage and cultural design styles.
Mainly due to globalisation, human beings of different continents and having grown unique living styles and design preference have come together and lived together more than ever in the past 10 years.
Social media too, increased the speed of what is a uniquely localised idea to be quickly picked up in simply seconds, minutes and hours conquering the world.
And when such fusion is happening, human beings can’t help but spend more effort to understand the basic history and background of any design that has been created and embossed in terms of culture or heritage.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2015 and beyond.
1. Design + Digital (Power of pure conventional design to merge with technology)
2. Go Green (Sustainability, recycling)
3. Heritage & Cultural
4. Greens (Conscious effort of application of nature, plants and green into living spaces)
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Think pure, think basic and think original.
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
A prestigious stage and benchmark for the best in the global interior design and architecture scene, the award is an ultimate honour to be recognized as a design professional/entity for inspiring work that is respected by likeminded counterparts and the public in general
. What projects are you currently working on?
A 7-storeys commercial building – more than 30,000 square feet (Singapore)
A High-end Residential Bungalow – 14,000 square feet built up and 10,000 square feet land (Singapore)
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To master the basics of different cultural designs and fundamentals.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Hotel: Marina Bay Sands
Your favourite book / film / song?
Song: Canon Pachelbel
Your favourite food and drink?
Steak and Juice
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Enjoying an afternoon relaxing or fun activities with my loved ones.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Corporate Leader / Singer