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Cubes Indesign: Issue 74 Out Now

W Architects create a rock-like form for the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum; Heatherwick Studio and CPG Consultants explore the communicative potentials of a tertiary education building; Rattan takes new forms via Abie Abdillah and Studio SKLIM; The bold sensitivity of architect Chang Yong Ter.

Cubes 74


BY Janice Seow

10 June, 2015


How can familiar materials be pushed in new directions? That question is answered masterfully by many of the projects and designers featured in Cubes Indesign issue 74. Concrete and rattan, for example, take on unexpected forms and are charged with new communicative roles in the varied collection of projects in this issue.

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum W Architects
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (NUS) by W Architects (architecture) and gsmprjct création (exhibition). Photo by Edward Hendricks

Our cover feature, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore, presents an exciting contemporary image for the study and appreciation of natural history via a sculptural shell of concrete that plays up metaphorical possibilities. The rock-like chamfered concrete form, designed by W Architects and punctuated by indigenous plants, provides a memorable exterior image for a thoughtfully designed internal exhibition by gsmprjct création.

NTU Learning Hub Thomas Heatherwick CPG Consultants
The Learning Hub at NTU by Heatherwick Studio and CPG Consultants. Photo by Hufton and Crow (courtesy of Giant Communications)

Over at Nanyang Technological University, a brave new world has been created by Heatherwick Studio and CPG Consultants. The Learning Hub is a new kind of education building – one that meets the trend for remote education experiences head on with socially oriented spaces and a re-imagination of the communicative potentials of built form. Concrete has here been crafted with a handmade feel – pigmented, undulating, representational and captivating.

4_Abie-Abdillah
Pretzel bench by Abie Abdillah. Photo by Abie Abdillah (courtesy of Maison&Objet Asia)

Also in this issue, we profile Indonesian furniture designer Abie Abdillah, with whom we had the pleasure of speaking at Maison&Ojet Asia’s ‘Rising Asian Talents’ section. Abdillah is a passionate about reinventing Indonesia’s waning rattan industry. His concern for the sustainability of the industry is emerging in both his innovative furniture designs and his work at the Indonesia Rattan Innovation Centre.

Rattan Clouds Studio SKLIM
Rattan Clouds at Emporium of Modern Man by Studio SKLIM. Photo by Béton Brut

Back in Singapore, we look at the rattan retail display system designed by Studio SKLIM for Emporium of Modern Man. The design emerged from consideration of the history of receptacles in Southeast Asia. The result is Rattan Clouds – an eye-catching series of spherical and half-sphere modules for display, storage and lighting.

Chang Yong Ter
Chang Yong Ter. Photo by Tawan Conchonnet

This issue’s Portfolio feature on Chang Yong Ter (CHANG Architects) delves into the measured approach and soulful output of a most contemplative mind. Simultaneously elegant and bold, Chang’s portfolio of nature-infused homes is daring, delightful, and – most crucially – incredibly sensitive to the needs and enjoyment of its occupants. “It comes from inside,” he says.

Note by Editor Narelle Yabuka.


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