In a bid to educate and inspire students to pursue global design thinking, The One Academy’s Interior Architecture and Design School is organizing ID Week, a week-long event with the theme ‘Global Design Thinking’ during which students are exposed to various events, sharing sessions and field trips to many established interior design firms.
To kick-start the event, two esteemed interior designers were invited to The One Academy to conduct a sharing session in line with the theme, Matthew Lim from MLA Design and So-En Lim from Team BJ Design & Contracts who have both been in the interior design field for many years and have acquired extensive experience in the industry were more than happy to share their knowledge with the next generation of interior designers. Matthew shared with the students how he built his design firm from humble beginnings to an established one today. He also stressed on the importance of joining various interior design competitions in order to understand the standard of design out there. “By participating in competitions, you can see for yourself what are the current trends, styles and standard of design”, said Matthew.
Besides that, he also shared on the importance of telling a story through design. “You need to identify how design thinking can tell a story to fit the global market”. Hailing from humble beginnings, he went on to advise students to do their best and work hard in all situations. “I started off with a small office with not even a partition between my employees cubicle and mine”, he recounted. After successfully completing several projects, he and his team then moved to a bigger, more comfortable working space. MLA Design has now completed projects in almost all the countries across South-east Asia and is now more dedicated than ever to their craft. His parting advice to the attendees was to identify their life purpose and find themselves through their pursuit in the interior design field. “Don’t only plan for ideas but fail to take actions that make those ideas a reality”, he concluded.
The next speaker was So-En Lim, whose company has been around for many, many years. Founded in 1988 by her parents Benjamin Lim and Jasmine Lim, Team BJ Design & Contracts was previously known as BJ Interiors & Furnishings. Today, she is heading the company and doing a great job at it. So-En shared with the students that her design ethics are designs that are sensible, serves a purpose and creates experiences. “I strive to make sure in all projects, all these criteria are met”, she stated. Her advice to the participants was to always look to Nature for inspiration. “A piece of advice that stuck with me from my schooling years was given by my lecturer, whenever you don’t know what colour scheme to use, always look to Nature as it is perfect by design”. She also highlighted on the importance of creating ‘Instagrammable’ designs for spaces as a way to enforce or cement the client’s branding. “Design is very interdisciplinary and sensual, it transcends the five senses. As such, it is vital to envision the experience before putting it (the design) into place”.