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Leaders of the Pack

Making a name for yourself in the world of architecture and design is a daunting prospect to many but not for the four candidates in this year’s The Prodigy category.

Leaders of the Pack

Throughout our region there are myriad architects and designers that are embracing their profession and climbing the ladder to success. Of course, there are those emerging practitioners who are scaling the heights more quickly than others, and The Prodigy recognises their particular talent, hard work and dogged determination.

This year The Prodigy category of the 2021 INDE.Awards showcases the design prowess of Ben Robertson, Olivia Lee, State of Kin and Xi Chen, architects and designers who are proving that they are on the rise and the creatives to watch across our Indo-Pacific region.

Shutter House (Ara Salomone & Alessandra French). Photography: Jack Lovel

As supporter of The Prodigy, Milliken-Ontera understands the journey that takes place from establishment to established and is providing encouragement for young practices. For 40 years, Milliken has been a leader in the design, manufacture and supply of commercial flooring to the architecture and design community and now in turn is helping to sustain new design through its presence.

Shaneel Deo, Managing Director, Milliken-Ontera reinforced this saying, “Our purpose as an organisation is to positively impact the world around us for the generation to come. That is the core purpose globally. The best support we can provide for the next generation is in the early stages of their career which is when they need the most assistance. We provide a platform for talent to shine and The Prodigy platform was another way to do that.”

Hermès Liat Towers Petit Window Display (Olivia Lee). Photography: Jovian Lim

Each of the four Prodigy entrants is paving their own distinct path to a great career. As their body of work grows, so too does the confidence to spread their wings, take chances and thrive. To have support from a dynamic and established company such as Milliken-Ontera is proof that the hard work can reap rewards. Deo commented, “The recognition and exposure to the industry is very important in the early stages and The Prodigy category is a fantastic platform to recognise the talent and give them that exposure. It normally takes a long time to build that profile and this helps to expedite that process.”

BBW House (Ben Robertson). Photography: Shannon McGrath

A helping hand along the way is always appreciated and although each of The Prodigy shortlist has a vision, is talented and looking to the future it is good to know that support and recognition is there as well. Recognising the traits, that unite each of the shortlist Deo remarked, “There seems to be a really strong belief in their own design philosophies. Each one of the nominations have a strong philosophy, drive and spirit to create their own brand.” True praise indeed from the supporter of The Prodigy who recognises those special abilities that take the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Each of The Prodigy shortlist shows the resilience to succeed and to become an inspiration for their peers. Time will support their endeavours but it’s fair to say that they are all well on their way.


The Prodigy

Proudly partnered by Milliken-Ontera

Olivia Lee. Photography: Lavendar Chang

Ara Salomone & Alessandra French
State of Kin

Ben Robertson
Tecture Architecture and Design

Olivia Lee
Olivia Lee

Xi Chen
Atelier XI


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