“Les Découvertes” award winner for best product at Paris’ Maison & Objet, Hans Tan tells Michele Koh Morollo why he thinks his creation stood out.
2 November, 2011
Hans Tan is a 29-year-old designer, curator and design educator from Singapore who stumbled into his profession when he was doing his mandatory military service at 19.
“I always imagined I would end up studying business administration, but while I was conscripted, I chanced upon a prospectus for an industrial design course at the National University of Singapore (NUS), which must have fallen out of someone’s bag. I went with my gut and just signed up for the course without any idea of what I was getting myself into.”
Tan says design clicked almost immediately with him because it wasn’t too academic and he “likes making things with his hands”.
After graduating from NUS, Tan continued his education at the prestigious Design Academy Eindhoven on a DesignSingapore scholarship. Today he runs his own design studio and teaches at NUS. His Spotted Nyonya collection – a contemporary interpretation of traditional Peranakan tableware that he developed for Singapore-based creative agency FARM – won the “Les Découvertes” award for best product at Paris’ Maison & Object 2011 in September.
“I wanted to experiment with used porcelain to create something that was inexpensive to produce with a perceived high value,” says Tan. He bought industrially produced vases native to the Peranakans of Southeast Asia, created a dotted pattern by overlaying the original multicoloured surfaces with stickers, then masked the vases and sandblasted their exposed surfaces for a look that is both Asian yet international.
“I think Spotted Nyonya impressed the judges because of its ’Asian-ness’ conveyed in a modern context. Many Singapore designers today intentionally veer away from traditional Asian aesthetics and opt for a more globally accepted look. Product design in Singapore is heavily influenced by Japan and Scandinavia, so I think that playing on the distinctly Southeast Asian Peranakan culture gave me an edge.”
Petrified Victoria: Another collection by Hans Tan at Maison & Objet.
Hans Tan Studio
CUBES is on instagram
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
As the world’s most locked-down city begins once more to welcome the prospect of visitors, Australia’s first Hyatt Centric has opened its doors.
The newly refurbished Yeahka office conceived by JSPA Design features a stripped away aesthetic that emphasises transparency – fit for a company that specialises in payment.
The Work Project and Hassell have enjoyed the benefit of working together since the co-working provider entered the Singapore market. How have their conversations about delivering spaces in an increasingly competitive flexible workplace sector evolved through the years? We hear from both of them in the light of The Work Project’s newly minted space at CapitaGreen.