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Cubes Indesign: Issue 82 Out Now

Today’s shifts in workplace design; the rise of co-working; radical retail design; a fresh take on elements of traditional tropical houses; and much more in our latest issue.

Cubes Indesign: Issue 82 Out Now

Developments in technology and the associated shifts in working style continue to exert a huge influence on the design of workplaces, and this issue we step into a number of offices that show just how radically change is happening.

On our cover is a new office space for financial services company Allianz SE at Asia Square, designed by Realys. Allianz has been undergoing an intense digitisation process, which is reshaping not only how it does business, but also how its employees work. Its flexible office space was designed for agile working, and a variety of semi-open and enclosed collaboration and discussion spaces are equipped with the latest video conferencing tools and digital whiteboard technology.

Across town at One George Street, we find a space with a very different programme, agenda and atmosphere. The Great Room, designed by HASSELL, is one of the many co-working spaces that have sprung up in Singapore recently. Its point of difference, though, is its strong emphasis on a hotel-like feel. For some years now, hospitality thinking has been influencing workplace design, and in the premium environment of The Great Room, consideration of the ‘experience’ had in the space was foremost in the minds of the designers and their client.

We talk more about the hot topic of co-working in our ‘In Conversation’ feature. Penny Sloane of Siren Design and Kong Wan Sing of co-working real estate company JustCo (her client) share insights about JustCo and its expanding portfolio of offices, and what’s behind the seemingly insatiable demand for co-working spaces. Peter Andrew, the Senior Director of Workplace Strategies Asia Pacific at CBRE, adds to the feature with research-based insights into the co-working phenomenon.

And at the new Philips APAC Centre in Toa Payoh, we discover how LAUD Architects and designphase dba developed an environment for co-creation and a matrix of spaces where a blend of human activity takes place across multiple floors. Bridges, seating terraces and a central internal ‘street’ contribute to a spectrum of formal and informal work areas that cater to Philips’ new brand direction.

This issue’s ‘Portfolio’ feature dives into the bold world of Ministry of Design, where questioning the status quo is a standard operating procedure. MOD has a knack for capturing the zeitgeist, thinking far upstream at the start of each project to land on a central strong idea that will guide their work through to completion. We look back at the roots of the studio and the ‘Question-Disturb-Refine’ approach that emerged with MOD’s design for the New Majestic Hotel, and reveal what’s next on the agenda.

Also in issue 82, we document an exploratory play space designed by Lekker Architects in an awkward interstitial space at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay; the radical retail approach of Fumiko Takahama at 268 Orchard Road for Japanese clothing brand Christian Dada; Joyce Wang’s play of materials and forms at Hong Kong charcoal grill restaurant Rhoda; ipli Architects’ fresh expression of elements of traditional tropical houses in two luxury rental homes; Aamer Architects’ blending of modern sculptural form and rich ornamental tradition in a house in Singapore’s east; and the continuity at the heart of the work of Sou Fujimoto.

Last weekend saw the successful staging of our boutique design event Singapore Indesign 2016. To all our sponsors, partners, exhibitors, speakers, volunteers and visitors, the Indesign Media Asia team would like to say a hearty thank you! It was a fantastic day with a great energy that reflects the vitality of Singapore’s design scene. Read more about the day on and in the next issue of Cubes Indesign!

Note by Editor Narelle Yabuka.

Photographs by Owen Raggett (Allianz by Realys), EK Yap (The Great Room by HASSELL), Justin Loh (MOD), Darren Soh (PIP’s PLAYbox at Esplanade by Lekker Architects), courtesy of Christian Dada, Caleb Ming (house at King Albert Park by ipli Architects) and Angie Ng (Singapore Indesign 2016).

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