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Cubes Indesign Issue 84: A Sneak Peek

Produce Workshop’s process of making a rippling, soaring plywood installation for Xtra; young architects talk about setting up their own studios; and much more in our upcoming issue.

  • Xtra’s new showroom at Marina Square, designed by Produce Workshop. Photography: Edward Hendricks (courtesy of Produce Workshop and Xtra)

  • From left to right: Thomas Wong (Studio Hagen), Joanne Goh and Wu Huei Siang (WASAA Architects and Associates). Photography: Marc Tan

  • Jarrod Lim’s Pelican candle holder in production in Indonesia. The product sits under Lim’s brand Hinika. Photography: Jarrod Lim

  • Teo Yee Chin, Principal of Red Bean Architects, at his studio. Photography: Justin Loh

  • The Charlton 27 cluster housing development, designed by A D Lab. Photography: Masano Kawana (courtesy of A D Lab)

  • EDL’s new showroom space, designed by Formwerkz Architects. Photography: Marc Tan (courtesy of EDL)

  • The China Fuzhou Jin Niu Shan Trans-Urban Connector (Fudao) designed by LOOK Architects and the Fuzhou Planning Design and Research Institute. Photography: Zhou Yuedong (courtesy of LOOK Architects)

  • E-Bridge Pre-School (Edgedale Plains) designed by LAUD Architects. Photography: Melvyn HJ Tan (courtesy of LAUD Architects)

BY Narelle Yabuka

8 February, 2017

There’s a towering and breathtaking sculptural plywood canopy hanging over the Herman Miller display at Xtra’s new showroom. It’s the brainchild of Pan Yicheng of Produce Workshop – a designer who has a way of blending sculptural vision, digital modelling techniques and hands-on manual fabrication.

The digitally optimised installation was assembled, astonishingly, by hand with cable ties (using a sewing technique) before being riveted together and hung with steel wire from a steel framework. The effort that went into assembling, and before that designing and cutting the 400 constituent pieces of plywood (using Produce Workshop’s own CNC machine) has built a thoroughly unique presence for the furniture showroom in the mall environment of Marina Square.

The project also speaks of the efforts of Pan and the Produce Workshop team in building their own presence within Singapore’s design scene as a studio that embraces prototyping as an essential part of its design process. This issue, these stories join others that look at making and building from multiple points of view.

In our ‘In Conversation’ feature, three young architects sit down to talk about the realities of setting out on an independent path of practice in Singapore. Thomas Wong (Studio Hagen) and Wu Huei Siang (WASAA Architects and Associates) are interviewed by Joanne Goh about whether their expectations of going it alone are levelling up with the realities they’re experiencing as they build their own practices.

In our ‘Observation’ column, industrial designer Jarrod Lim reflects on the highs and lows of furniture design and production in Singapore, and the general absence of a culture of making here. But he looks excitedly to recent developments by NUS industrial design students, who are using Kickstarter to overcome some of the typical barriers to market entry.

Red Bean Architects is the subject of this issue’s ‘Portfolio’ feature, which documents how the studio’s Principal Teo Yee Chin has aspirations to seed change at the city scale through architecture.

Also in issue 84, a cluster housing development by A D Lab that favours cross ventilation, privacy and internal vistas without compromising efficiency (quite a feat!); the gallery-like experience designed by Formwerkz Architects for EDL’s new showroom space; part of a 20-kilometre-long pedestrian bridge in Fuzhou, China designed by LOOK Architects and the Fuzhou Planning Design and Research Institute, that attempts to return a mountain to the people; and the first of Singapore’s new ‘Large Childcare Centres’ designed by LAUD Architects in the Punggol HDB estate.

The theme of building and developing also applies very much to the internal efforts of the Cubes team. It’s with great excitement that we announce an evolution for the magazine. From our next issue, you’ll see a dynamic new look and some fantastic refinements that will power the next stage of our efforts to document, probe and celebrate the best design and architecture from our shores and the Asia region. If you’re looking to be engaged, stimulated, inspired and informed in a new way, watch this space!

Note by Editor Narelle Yabuka.

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