Name: Beam Ker
Company: LUXUR Design Pte. Ltd
. Tell us a little about your background in design
I lived and studied in Australia for seven years. I graduated from University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and was one of the youngest architects to join a firm in Melbourne that designs showroom for luxury cars such as Mercedes and Audi.
While working for the firm, I felt that I had gained very good experience being part of a talented team. It was the best time of my life as the job gave me the exposure that a life confined within a university could not give me.
Moving to Singapore, I was fortunate enough to have met my current business partner to set up a boutique start up design agency designing and building residential and retail projects around Singapore and Malaysia.
. How would you describe your personal interior design style?
At this point in my career, I feel that I am not ready to have a “style”. Having a “personal style” at the moment will be limiting to my options and influences. It will not allow me the breadth to experiment with the multitude of ‘styles’ out there.
I believe that there is no one style that will fit all projects. I believe in making every design and every project a unique project that incorporates the individuality of inherent in every brief and project owner.
I do not like “template” designs and try not to copy what have gone before me. I believe in being original and authentic to the experience and to the client’s brief. Every brief is different no matter how “copied” it is. A very good example is that when someone says that they want something that in “red”, similar to something that they have seen, the shade of “red” that they are thinking of can be very different to what they have seen. And one shade of “red” that may have worked for someone or someplace may not necessarily work for another place/ person.
. Where does your design inspiration come from?
I take inspiration from every day things and everyday life. I am a very “in the moment” person and believe that things around me, and experiences can inspire and shape me. Basically, whatever that I am surrounded by has the ability to capture my imagination—I am very free spirited and open this way. I am not confined by one school of thought or one influence. My childhood is a bit like Frank Ghery’s—I love to make things out of whatever materials I found around me, but I do not believe in statement pieces, I believe that understated things can also be icon and design of our times.
. In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
- Increasingly, space, natural resources and raw materials will become issues in the future. As these things become scarcer–lesser–design, urban planning, architecture and design will increasingly play a bigger role to solve these problems. Designers and architects will have plan and sources for materials that will not hurt the earth too much. Or in fact, there is a move towards going back to the basics and being very creative with these “basics” to solve problems of space, resources and an increasing population.
- In this vein, technology and connectivity will also play important roles to help us solve our problems of space, transportation and mobility. Design and urban planning will have to work closely with these two elements to ensure that whatever they are planning is “smart”—in all sense of the word.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2016 and beyond.
- Customisation / Bespoke
- Organic design
- User –experience
- Collaborative design as solution (Meaning: a multidisciplinary approach to solving a problem)
- Responsiveness In Design ( meaning: design has to take into more account an aging population and their needs)
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
- Every design brief is unique, no matter how un-original it is. The most important thing for any architect or designer is that you have to try to be “yourself” and bring in your own interpretation to the brief that you have in front of you. You need to help your client articulate what they want so that you can help them tease out what they really want to achieve in the project.
. How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Naturally, recognition of talent and achievement have their perks which any young design house will appreciate. But what is more important is the opportunity to shed light on designers of our times. This will give the winners an opportunity to be exposed to other talents and influences. Such opportunities for networking will hopefully produce more collaborations that can only benefit the industry.
. What projects are you currently working on?
Luxury projects include cafes, and residential houses in Singapore and Indonesia
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Expand project revenue, scale, type, style, location.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My multi-coloured jewellery cart!
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Hotel – Silken Puerta América, Madrid Spain
Restaurant – Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Bar – Long Room, Melbourne
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book – Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
Film – Any comedy with Actor Stephen Chow in it
Your favourite food and drink?
Drink – Cocktail (One night in Paris)
Food – Authentic cuisine and sweet
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Making jewellery, or spending an afternoon drinking a Chili Chocolate drink while writing my travel journal
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A jewellery designer or a travel journalist