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Interview with Stanley Tay Wee King

Home > Designer Interviews > Stanley Tay Wee King

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Stanley Tay Wee King (STWK) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Stanley Tay Wee King by clicking here.

Interview with Stanley Tay Wee King at Saturday 21st of May 2022
Stanley Tay
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
STWK: I'm actually finance accounting trained individual. Had always loved the arts and design. At the beginning it was all self taught and learned through active reading and review of many great design works and designers themselves over the last 12 years. As i got more involved in lighting design consultancy work, the passion and drive to excel in creating unique spatial experience blossom. Never thought I would be a designer, but as it seems, I'm happily growing and challenging myself on the next big design that I can deliver. I've never looked back since.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
STWK: I've created this lighting design consultancy where the ethos is to combine design, engineering and technology all in 1 solution for our clients. In terms of lighting design, it is essential to also have a firm grasp of engineering and technology. Besides the lighting products, which can be technical on its own, it is equally important to develop the knowledge to implement the hardware on site. As a lead consultant and designer, we conceptualise the design with clients. Thereafter working with contractor and specialist to execute the project as the manager. This ensures minimal miscommunication and we are in control to achieve the design intent as what was agreed upon at the start.

FS: What is "design" for you?
STWK: Design is a concept that seeks to inspire an individual to be better. This concept can be both physical and non physical form. As to what I do, i believe lighting design should aim to invoke the senses of a person where he may be in. It definitely should be more than just functional.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
STWK: I love to work on public projects that can create a positive impact for the people that comes to enjoy that particular space. I love jobs that enable me to challenge and change the perceived views of the public for any given space with a refresh lighting concept.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
STWK: Parametric architecture. I love the sexy curves of the building facade, where it gives a sense of fluidity to an otherwise standard boxy shape. The design will also enable a person to have differing views of the structure based on where he stands relative to his line of sight to the building. This myriad visual permutation on one same object excites me.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
STWK: Design a lamp fitting

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
STWK: Glass / Murano glass and I love heat sensors that can detect heat signature from a human body

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
STWK: When I see random art works and tries to imagine I'm the artist themselves.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
STWK: The ability of the design to connect emotionally with the audience

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
STWK: Happiness

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
STWK: Relief and Excitement. As sometimes in my design work, there are unknown factors that resulted in risk of project failure. Once they are realized, I would have completed the obligation to clients. Next up is forgetting that I'm the designer and enjoy the space I've lighted up like any patrons.

FS: What makes a design successful?
STWK: A design that can withstand time and is durable.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
STWK: The simplicity of what the design wish to communicate. Looking beyond beautiful professional photographs but asking for just simple pictures of the design to see the true form.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
STWK: To improve lives by creating a positive impact with their works for everyone.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
STWK: The integration of technology is certainly unavoidable. A designer should see how their works can be representing the future aspirations of people.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
STWK: Last year, where we completed another live work at CHIJMES Singapore.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
STWK: Reading widely, keeping a clear mind, being aware of what things may trigger the emotions in me (sadness, happy, angry, frustrated, pain, contended, etc.)

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
STWK: My style always has technology or engineering elements within the beautiful end results. I certainly believe that Design + Engineering + Technology is what makes a good design. My design aims to be an element that futureproof the space that I'm appointed to work in. Ultimately it should also seek to impact lives positively.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
STWK: Singapore. yes the cultural heritage of Singapore certainly affects my work. I would say Singapore is gradually removing the top down rules based approach that was prevalent in the earlier years. Now it is more open to experimenting with what may or may not work. The bureaucracy of working in a public project is always a con when it comes to design work. The good part is probably when we can justify our design by quantifying something qualitative, then we can get to influence the flow of things much more professionally. This is fortunately the case in Singapore. We have a fairer system here, where if you are good in defending your designs with logic, you may get more support from the clients.

FS: How do you work with companies?
STWK: Site visits, listen to their requirements, share what I know with them, come out with scope of work and costing.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
STWK: The company should know what they want first. Important to find the designer that can understand and deliver the intended solution.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
STWK: I often start by macro overview to micro details. First is to imagine the end results of the space that I will light up. There will be feasibility analysis where I will repeatedly imagine different types of end results to cover as many directions as I can think of, given a reasonable time frame. Next, I will try to add in some subtle elements that seemingly makes the project first of its kind (as best as my knowledge takes me). These can be program logic controls or some simple software coding added in to some engineering or mechanical parts. Essentially, I love artworks that can move. So creating some lighting effects that moves fluidly is something I will always try to have. Next we will focus on the methods of statements, drilling down all the details to implement and deliver the project. Thats when we may go back and tweak our designs to cater for limitations on site.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
STWK: My marble table, My Ceiling Lamp, My glass Alpaca figurines that I got from Peru, Coloured tiles I got from Turkey, A coffee jar with suspended paper cranes floating inside (a gift from a Japanese friend).

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
STWK: Wakes up, Tries to go for a jog (often it fails and I go back to snoozing), Goes to work on time (or maybe 5-7 mins late), Figure out what is priority for the day and see what can be done, call clients to catch up, Have a good after work chill out drinks before going back home.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
STWK: Be multi disciplinary, be open to things you are most afraid and overcome them. Designers should try to learn engineering. It may be used like a communicative tool to aid artist in justifying the qualitative artful skill in design.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
STWK: People may feel you do not have a sense of the real world, of how the buyer and seller relationship works most of the time. For a junior designer that hasn't got any accolades or confidence from external parties (i.e clients), the journey to preserver in some original passionate beliefs may be subjected to constant dilemma. The positive part is probably getting to know yourself clearer and better.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
STWK: Design should be futureproof and lasting.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
STWK: Ability to imagine the end results Having the capability to work out the execution steps to deliver the project Having good communication skill

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
STWK: Dailytonic Architectural Magazine, Commercial Architecture, LED Magazine, Lumens.com, Pinterest

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
STWK: No need to manage. Just do what is needed at the point in time. Can't say we are not breathing and living as we go about our design work. Work on the design well and I would feel I have lived my life well too.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
STWK: 3 - 6 months

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
STWK: What are my rates?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
STWK: Non client coming up and enjoying the space by taking pictures or quietly witnessing the refresh lighting experience.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
STWK: Property Developers, Hotels, Government Statutory Board, Urban City Planners, Architects, Contractors, Residential Home Owners, Commercial malls and shopping districts, interior designers for offices and homes

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
STWK: Work that allows me to give a fresh perspective to an existing space. I like the idea of using lights, we can evoke the different emotions of people.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
STWK: Expand the business overseas, to collaborate and do more projects internationally with other designers and clients.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
STWK: As a principal, I lead a team. While I may set the general design direction and review the details, we have team mates giving inputs on what might be the best way to implement the design. Hence, it is a team effort normally.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
STWK: Yes, where we are lighting up a yacht club, marina promenade railings. Still works in progress. Will come to that later.

FS: How can people contact you?
STWK: They can email me at stanley.t@illuminatingasia.com or message me on linkedin directly.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
STWK: All is good


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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