Special Commendation award winner at Lookbox Design Awards (LBDA) 2018, akiHAUS Design Studio, shares the challenges and rewards of design, and the philosophy that guides the firm.
17 May 2019
Text by Rossara Jamil
Profile photo by Wong Weiliang
Project images courtesy of akiHAUS Design Studio
Profile photo, top: Lawrence Puah (far right), with his team in the studio
In a competitive interior design scene, standing out is a challenge. But akiHAUS Design Studio does it with ease, thanks to its stellar portfolio of projects. The studio was also one of three awarded the Special Commendation for Interior Design Firm of the Year at Lookbox Design Awards (LBDA) 2018.
The Axis was shortlisted in the Most Dramatic Transformation category at Lookbox Design Awards 2018
Founder and design director Lawrence Puah started the company in 2010. Having gone to architecture school and graduating with a Masters in Architecture from the National University of Singapore, Lawrence went on to practice with RichardHO Architects under the mentorship of architect Richard Ho. “He has shown me that we are in some ways an extension of our design, and who we are in life and how we live it will, in turn, have an effect on our design. This intertwining of design, knowledge and passion has made me into the designer I am today,” Lawrence shares.
The experience also crystallised his passion for interiors. For Lawrence, interior design is integral in architecture, and should be given as much attention as the latter. This realisation led him to focus on interior design when he started akiHAUS Design Studio.
“Being trained in architecture, I have always believed that the most important part about design is the space ― giving due consideration for circulation and movement, and how spaces relate to each other, as well as with the client’s needs and lifestyle in mind.” He adds that identifying the potential of a space in ways that no one can see is of utmost importance.
Highgate Crescent was a Shortlist in the Best Space for Entertaining category at Lookbox Design Awards 2018
The work of interior design is full of challenges. One of which is creating great design with the budget given. But Lawrence says that seeing the clients enjoying the space and appreciating the “heart and soul that we’ve put into each and every one of our projects” makes the work rewarding.
Among the projects they have in store this year are a beach house in the Philippines and a hospitality project. Every project leads the team closer to the ultimate goal. He says: “I hope that this little design outfit called akiHAUS Design Studio will be able to contribute that little bit of beauty to our built environment. We hope to influence those whom we have had the privilege to design for, to appreciate how the spaces we create can be so intertwined with the lives that we live, and that they will always come to remember us fondly when they are embraced in that space. That would be our legacy.”
LBDA 2019 opens for entries from 22 May – 17 July 2019. Submit your best work here.
Also see In Profile: Design Intervention
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