Natalie Louey takes us through her goals and milestones as Head of the Department of Interior Design at ONG&ONG.
26 June, 2014
Natalie Louey, who serves as ambassador of Singapore Indesign 2014, is no stranger to our event, having already collaborated with exhibitor Stylecraft on The Project in our very first Saturday in Design event (as it was previously known) in 2011. Here, we find out more about her work as Head of the Department of Interior Design at ONG&ONG.
Three years ago, Natalie Louey was appointed by leading integrated design firm ONG&ONG to head its interior Design department. The team today is 120-strong, with notable projects in Singapore and around the world.
Having previously worked for other well known firms such as LTW Design Works and Kerry Hill Architects in Singapore, and having run her own studio, NLDesign in Australia, Louey explains that the decision to join ONG&ONG was based on the desire to take on the “challenges of raising the brand [profile] and design quality” of the firm’s projects.
Louey, who was tasked to spearhead the department’s Hotel specialisation arm, says, ““I wanted to build a team that could make a difference as well as bring in a capability that did not [yet] exist in ONG&ONG’s portfolio.” While she’s specifically in charge of the Hotel studio, she shares that she is also keen to take on projects in any sector that will enable her team “to explore and push the boundaries of branding”.
To that end, Louey approaches her projects like a narrative, and develops design concepts that revolve around what she calls the “experience of an interior”. In the rebranding of Singapore Airlines’ Silverkris lounges for example, starting with the one in Sydney, the team made sure that the client was actively involved in the design process. “It was important to hear from the committee about their aspirations – to have it come from an emotional rather than a marketing perspective. A year later, we were able to push the boundaries on touch points and service points, as well as the design elements in the lounges that may not have come to fruition if not for a design process that engaged the client’s understanding every step of the way.” As proof of the project’s success, the Silverkris lounge in Sydney recently took home the SG Mark Award (Platinum).
While Louey and her team have undertaken many other important projects, she points to their work with five-star hotels Hyatt and Hilton in the Middle East, as well as the historic Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka as being particularly significant. “The larger branded projects allow us to spread our wings globally and become much more in touch with lifestyle movements,” she says.
Then there are others, like the Port of Lost Wonder in Sentosa, a children’s beach club that she says “offers a nice break from the norm”. This project has proven so successful that the design for stage two is now in the works.
Having recently been named “Asia’s Top Designer” at the Singapore Design Awards 2014, Louey says that she is particularly inspired by individuals who have the entrepreneurial spirit. “These types of personalities have an energy and passion about them that I find intriguing no matter what field they are from. Actually the more removed from design the more fascinating they usually are [to me].”
Stay tune for more of our interview with Natalie Louey, out soon on singaporeindesign.com.sg
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