A Fraction of a Perfect Whole: Fraction Design Studio’s Celine Ng
With Celine Ng, she never perceives design through the lens of trends. The founder of Fraction Design Studio, her philosophy of design is to meet the needs of the society, community or individual she is serving at the moment. In this article, the multi talented designer shares more about her foray into design.
It all started with a baby chair – the Tripp Trapp (1972) baby chair designed by Peter Opsvik.
The 81 year old Norwegian industrial designer had always challenged the idea of sitting since the 1970s. This resulted in the invention of a baby chair that is still relevant till today as it addressed the fundamental need for the chair to grow with the child, thus reducing waste. It was this spirit of challenging the norm and seeking out the root of human needs that has continued to inspire Celine till today.
Her journey as a designer began when she was first introduced to furniture design. As a designer born and bred in Singapore, a country with limited resources, she was instilled early on with the importance of saving resources and multi-functionalities in her design works. “I felt that spatial design directly affected human behaviour and had the ability to create curiosity.” This curiosity inspired her to explore the possibilities design could offer to curate customer experiences and transform businesses to stay relevant and pursue continuity while being prudent in materials and processes used.
Where resources are scarce, Celine makes up for it with collaborations in order to bring designs to life. This practice and belief is the driving force of her design studio, established in 2016. “Fraction Design Studio was founded in 2016 with the belief that the challenges of the future will demand solutions which are collaborative in nature; and that we are all fractions of a yet unrealized perfect whole.” The namesake of her design studio also pays homage to the philosophy that each of us can collaborate to create something larger than the sum of its parts and that coming together is always better than the alternative.
Last year, Celine collaborated with MM Galleri, a marble specialist, to design a trophy for Tatler Singapore, as part of their Tatler Design Awards. The trophy had to be innovative, creative, sustainable and forward-looking, in line with the themes for the Awards. As a firm believer that design must serve a function and beauty must contribute towards a purpose, Celine and her team worked together with MM Galleri through multiple iterations to design a trophy not just for a trophy’s sake, but to also harness and highlight the finest qualities of the marble used. In addition, the trophy serves an additional function as a bedside lamp.
“For a single item to have multiple uses is, in my opinion, a very Singaporean thing, as we are a country of extremely limited resources. We have to depend on creativity and mastery to showcase our truest potential.”
Being proud to have presented at the prestigious Milan Design Week in 2019, as well as clinching the Golden Pin Design Mark 2019, Celine constantly seeks out savvy entrepreneurs who believe in the potential of their brands or products and want to add an immersive spin to it while keeping their business exposure managed. One of her favourite projects would be the exhibition booth for Decor Fan Singapore at Singaplural 2019. The design challenge was the one of the hardest they have tackled — a product in motion, hung at above-eye-level, in a limited 3x3m space. The team brainstormed on how they would like to portray the poetic motion of wind, and the scent of autumn. This was then expressed as a highly successful and interactive booth filled with pinwheels which will spin whenever the fan speed is increased. “We owe our success to our keen sense of market demands and trends, and synergizing it with interactive design elements to capture attention and create curiosity.”
With the ongoing pandemic, Celine has trained her eye onto designing for a whole new different plane – digital exhibitions. Although the physical, tactile experiences of a trade show are irreplaceable, Celine feels that digital exhibitions as an extension to the physical ones can give rise to more efficient business matching. “I do think that virtual exhibitions will now be a first touchpoint to gather interest in buyers and for them to do a first browse before indicating interest in visiting directly.” In light of the business climate and volatile world, Celine and team has pivoted traditional brick & mortar furniture brands and integrated them into highly relevant and slick online “Skymalls” – one of which was for the Singapore Furniture Industries Council during eGSS 2020, named The Furniture Centrum. In addition, our 3D showcase space on Creativ-Space was also designed by her.
“These fully immersive, 360 degree virtual experiences offer visitors exciting retail experiences in the form of games and incentives. Design is important, yet to fully unleash its value, we must place them within the right context; and the context today is digital.”
Come late November, visitors to the DesignAsia 2021 show to be held at Marina Bay Sands will be treated to Celine’s sustainability-themed curated booth for Creativ-Space, that will also incorporate a technological component.
Watch this space.
All images courtesy of Fraction Design Studio.
For more information on Celine and Fraction Design Studio, check out her website: http://www.fraction.sg
4 October 2021
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