Asia’s Most Prestigious Design Award : Delve into the minds behind outstanding designs that garnered DOTY awards
THE ASIA’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS DESIGN AWARD (AMPDA) recognises the demand for innovative and high-quality designs in the competitive regional market. Strived to be attained by local designers, this special award acknowledges the designers’ accomplishments in creating imaginative, captivating and functional designs that add value to a space while best highlighting the materials and technology used to complete them. Receiving this invaluable accolade under the Designer of the Year Awards (DOTY) 2022, an illustrious event organised by ACG Media, are ten designers who have stamped their unique signature across the Malaysian design landscape.
Do remember to check out the interview sessions with all the recipients of this award category, available on the QCTV (Quick Chat TV YouTube cannel which will be released in November.
Charles Khor’s recent interview sheds light on his firm’s exceptional achievement in winning an AMPDA through the impressive Macalister Mansion project. The transformation of this heritage building into a modern luxury hotel while preserving its historical essence proved to be a monumental challenge. Together with his Chaos Design Studio team, they navigated various building issues, successfully striking a balance between heritage and contemporary design through intensive client discussions. Their strategy encompassed fostering an environment of open communication, diverse collaboration and leveraging varied expertise. The execution of the project while the hotel was still operational posed another challenge, surmounted with meticulous planning and client interaction.
To overcome creative blocks, he highlights team synergy, breaks, skill enhancement and a positive environment. The goal of the director who emphasises on prioritising end-user needs in order to conceive functional and impactful solutions is simple: to lead a proficient design team that creates spaces promoting well-being and sustainability. He advises aspiring designers to “embrace failures, explore diverse styles and nurture connections within the design community.”
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Charles Khor of Chaos Design Studio.
Cheo Jun Hou
Cheo Jun Hou, the founder of Dim Studio Interior Sdn Bhd fondly recalls the Bon Estates project, a testament to his firm’s expertise in the realm of luxury design. A true masterpiece, it was conceived around the innovative dual key concept, presenting formidable challenges that he and his team boldly undertook. The final approach displayed ingenuity as they dismantled walls, navigated bureaucratic hurdles and meticulously adhered to the stringent guidelines set by the condominium management. Yet, the journey didn’t conclude there. Balancing the intricate interplay of traditional revival and modern luxury posed another obstacle. Countless dialogues among team members, craftsmen and clients were essential in harmonising these seemingly disparate elements into a coherent, captivating whole.
As design is a profound passion that thrives on perpetual learning, Cheo Jun Hou actively engages in seminars, exhibitions and conferences to ensure his design acumen remains as sharp as possible. His boundless enthusiasm is fuelled by the profound impact his tailor-made designs have on the lives of his many clients. Creating spaces that exude comfort and joy brings a deep sense of fulfilment, propelling him towards on-going innovation. “Embrace challenges as opportunities for innovation, engage in continuous learning and, above all, prioritise the creation of designs that resonate with people on a profound level. This is the key to finding true satisfaction in your work,” he advises up-and-coming designers.
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Cheo Jun Hou of Dim Studio Interior.
A standout gem in Jake Chow’s portfolio is the Spanish Revival-themed residence, a hypnotic fusion of tradition and elegance. The owner’s affinity for Spanish architecture birthed a design adorned with arched doorways, stucco finishing, terracotta tiles and intricate woodwork. Yet, the path was strewn with challenges. Local craftsmen adept in Spanish Revival aesthetics were scarce, prompting Jake and his team at Dot Works Sdn Bhd to source furniture from distant lands — a showcase of the firm’s unwavering
dedication. Navigating his team’s versatility through uncharted waters, thorough research and immersion in the style’s intricacies, a triumphant result awaited them at the end of the line.
Drawing inspiration from daily life, people and the sublime, Jake revels in playing around with light and shadow, infusing spaces with an enchanting charisma. Authenticity also takes precedence over fleeting trends. Guided by the client’s identity, each project refines their skills and commitment to excellence. As a visionary leader, a passion for design courses through Jake’s veins, evident from inception to realisation. His philosophy is straightforward yet profound: crafting spaces that nurture well-being and productivity. Therefore, he advises young designers out there to “embrace your potential, sculpt imaginatively and focus on how to achieve your goals.”
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Jake Chow of Dot Works Sdn Bhd
In a recent interview with Kort Studio’s Co-founder Syahir Ali, his passion for design and dedication to brilliance shone brightly. Reflecting on his journey, Syahir expressed that every project holds a special place in his heart with open communication among team members constituting the secret to each one’s success, ensuring that innovative solutions are found to overcome creative blocks. Aside from granting his team the freedom to let their creative juices flow to result in concepts that resonate with clients, he also stressed on the importance of collaboration with colleagues, manufacturers, suppliers and builders, all of whom contribute tirelessly to the final masterpiece.
Drawing inspiration from the world’s finest designers, Syahir infuses improvisation into his own work, guided by years of experience. The discipline of adhering strictly to schedules while taking pride in creations is how he manages multiple projects and client demands without compromising on design integrity. For budding designers, Syahir’s advice is simple yet profound: “Be humble and let your work speak for itself.” With a passion for design that ignites every challenge and achievement, he affirms that, if given another chance, he would choose this path again. Each step taken in his journey carries meaning, as he and Kort Studio continue to ascend the ladder of creativity.
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Syahir Ali of Kort Studio.
Co-Founder & Director
Jackal Chua, the Co-Founder and Director of Metrics Global Sdn Bhd recently delved further into his firm’s masterpiece – the Scapes Hotel in Midhills, Genting Highlands. Under the theme “Layers of the Forest,” the hotel seamlessly integrates its surroundings with past inspirations, creating a captivating journey from deep woods to lofty canopies. Adaptability played a pivotal role as changes to initial plans were embraced. His entire team’s synergy and respect for each other’s ideas proved pivotal, fostering an environment of open-mindedness and innovation.
Drawing inspiration not just from design styles, but also from successful management strategies, Jackal thrives on pushing limits and embracing boundless creativity. The designer’s enthusiasm for engagement and trend-awareness drives his pursuit of design excellence. Witnessing his designs enliven spaces and uplift communities remains his ultimate reward so looking ahead, Jackal aspires to nurture a design community that contributes to societal well-being. His journey underscores the power of seeking more and embracing risk, hence the lesson he shares with emerging designers is “The more we give, the more we receive — success flourishes through sharing, giving and collaborative endeavours.”
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Jackal Chua of Metrics Global Sdn Bhd.
Design Director Chew Yee takes us on an introspective journey through her exceptional design philosophy and the triumphs of Surface R Sdn Bhd’s latest projects which embody the “less in more, form follows function as well as timeless and proportion is everything” concept. Despite challenges like budget constraints and diverse preferences, the firm’s meticulous planning, open communication and creative problem-solving paved the way to stellar outcomes. Collaborations with the team and stakeholders hinged on sharing ideas, promoting creativity and problem solving efficiently. To combat creative blocks or teamwork challenges, Chew Yee advocates brainstorming, effective communication, research and maintaining a positive mindset. She embraces lifelong learning, feedback and hands-on practice to stay ahead of industry trends.
Balancing multiple projects and design integrity is achieved through effective time management, clear planning and adept client communication. Every designer’s journey, including Chew Yee’s, is shaped by mentorship, leadership roles and taking charge of the company. Thus, the woman who finds motivation in how her designs impact clients’ subconscious and lifestyle advises emerging designers to dream big and stay passionate.
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Chew Yee of Surface R.
“I believe that design is an intricate dance of ideas that seamlessly melds functionality with artistry,” shares Allen Ng, the co-founder of WA Studio Sdn Bhd. While most designers sculpt spaces, Allen takes it a step further by sculpting solutions. This involves not only identifying issues but also fostering mutual inspiration and sustaining transparent lines of communication. The muse for his design journey is centred at the intersection of users and spaces, characterised by geometric spatial precision, the incorporation of eco elements and a meticulous approach to material craftsmanship.
Having the finesse required for collaborating with experts and stakeholders, the firm achieves success by accommodating diverse viewpoints. It is through no-holds-barred communication and a focus on teamwork that hurdles are transformed into stepping stones, finding inspiration and industry collaborations. The firm’s growth is also propelled by immersive workshops, constructive feedback and sustainable practices. When juggling multiple projects, he adheres to prioritising principles to uphold the integrity of the firm’s designs. The allure of creative problem-solving and an unwavering focus on exploring new trends and public spaces fuels his passion. Ergo, he imparts this wisdom: “Stay curious, remain humble, foster networks and interweave sustainability into your designs. Embrace these principles, and you’ll cast a radiant illumination upon the realm of design.”
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Allen Ng of WA Studio.
Founder & Creative Director
As Jessica Cheah, What Design Studio’s founder and creative director, eloquently puts it, “Our project [the Stellar Showroom} encapsulates the essence of modern Zen, harmonising elements that resonate deeply with both nature and design.” In the face of challenges spanning from budget constraints to client expectations, the project’s remarkable success is attributed to clear communication and collaborative teamwork. Jessica underscores the significance of vibrant brainstorming sessions as a hallmark of her firm’s approach.
Taking cues from Philippe Starck’s versatile creativity, Jessica draws motivation from exploration. Travel, in particular, kindles an open-minded design perspective, guiding designers to find inspiration beyond digital screens. The delicate art of managing multiple projects without compromising on design integrity pivots on well-defined goals and adaptable priorities. “Cultivating flexibility within your team is paramount,” says Jessica. The firm champions the values of passion and unwavering creative persistence. After all, to nurture diverse hobbies fosters out-of-the-box thinking. To budding designers, she imparts this nugget of wisdom: “Immersing oneself in physical spaces is invaluable for finding inspiration.”
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Jessica Cheah of What Design Studio.
Ooi Huan Seng
“Ultimately, it’s the synergy of organisation, effective communication as well as a disciplined, adaptable and passionate design team that enables us to harmonise diverse demands without compromising our commitment to design excellence,” declares the co-founder of Dare Solution, Ooi Huan Sheng. A good example of this is a high-rise residential endeavour that involved cultivating a gathering-friendly atmosphere of tranquillity while simultaneously redefining contemporary masculine aesthetics. Despite the full lifting of the MCO, the building management enforced stringent restrictions on the duration of on-site work; in response, the team had to extend the deadline for the project which necessitated a meticulous adjustment of their working schedule, ultimately leading to a successful handover.
When facing creative blocks or teamwork challenges, Dare Solution fosters inspiration within the team through open brainstorming sessions – includes seeking insights from suppliers – along with design research and exploration. In order to improve his own skillset and stay ahead of the curve, the man who often finds inspiration from the works of Ar. Ng Sek San resorts to a plethora of strategies, from attending industry events to exploring showrooms and exhibitions as well as keeping up with publications, social media, webinars and podcasts for real-time insights. His advice to aspiring designers is rooted in the value of hands-on experience to “not only build your skills but also instil a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities.”
Chuah Say Win
Chuah Say Win discussed Nevermore’s impressive journey with the Marriott Residences project, a lavish high-rise residential complex which redefined luxury living in Penang. His success lies in skilfully blending opulence and practicality to create an exceptional living space. Despite the challenges faced, Say Win’s commitment remained unshaken as his dedication to transforming obstacles into victories is unfaltering.
Teamwork was pivotal to the firm’s achievements, uniting internal teams and external stakeholders in a creative symposium that produced extraordinary designs. Say Win draws inspiration from luminaries like Vincent Van Duysen, infusing enchantment into every pursuit. By participating in design conferences, workshops and networking events, the firm remains innovative and growth focused. Managing multiple projects, he thrives under pressure through meticulous planning and transparent client relationships. Design integrity has garnered him a devoted clientele and his ultimate satisfaction rests in materialising people’s dreams, crafting spaces that blend awe with comfort.
Chuah Say Win further attributes their triumph to unwavering support from friends, family and clients who encourage them to surpass boundaries. Ending the interview with a word of advice, the co-founder says “Never hold back! Be fearless, be wild and follow your gut. Dare to create something that blows people’s minds! It is the secret sauce to success in this crazy design world!”
Click here to view our exclusive interview with Chuah Say Win of Nevermore.