5 Minutes With… Celine Ng, Founder Of Fraction Design Studio
As the name of her studio, Fraction, suggests, Celine Ng’s design philosophy is “to recognise design as part of a larger whole, a bigger picture”. The furniture and product designer explains, “We aim to deliver honest and compelling designs through creative, offbeat explorations with our counterparts.”
Take for example her latest project, Autumn, a collaboration with ventilation solutions expert, Décor Fan Singapore, which will be presented at this year’s SingaPlural, from March 4 to 17, 2019, at the National Design Centre. A whimsical take on the theme of “Unnatural Phenomena”, the installation is inspired by the season of harvest, transporting visitors to a glorious autumn morning through a VR (virtual reality) component.
This exposure to new schools of thought has motivated Ng to reflect on what design means to her. She set up Fraction Design Studio in 2016 and has since built up an impressive portfolio working with brands such as Swedish flooring company Bolon and Singapore furniture retailer Xtra. Last year, together with Indonesian furniture manufacturer Tkani and purveyor of Asian design and designers, Starchie, she launched the O Series, her first rattan furniture collection, at the Korea International Furniture & Interior Fair. She will be presenting an extension of this series at the Milan Design Week in April.
Tell us about the work that you will be presenting at SingaPlural 2019.
Celine Ng (CN) We wanted visitors to experience a cool breeze in a natural setting, and it all begins with Mother Nature. Autumn gives a refreshing twist to this nature-inspired theme. This is the inception of our crazy idea to carve out a physically odd landscape filled with pinwheels, representing the season of harvest, which is also evident in the orange-hued woodgrain fan blades. To enhance the experience, we incorporated a VR function where visitors are transported into a 360-degree video filmed in a natural autumnscape. As the fan and pinwheels turn, it will trigger memories of the fresh, inviting flow of air caressing one’s skin in the warm sunshine.
Why is there a need to keep up with new technologies and incorporate them into your work?
CN We live in a time where technology progresses and transforms faster than our minds can comprehend. It is thus important not to be overly dependent on a fixed technical skill set, which can be rendered obsolete very quickly. It is both rewarding to learn and apply new technologies into furniture and product design. Now that we are afforded the technology of rapid prototyping of a scale model, we can easily test and run multiple ideas within a short time frame, effectively condensing the design process without discounting vital processes of the old.
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You will be taking part in this year’s Milan Design Week. What are you looking forward to at the fair?
CN This will be Fraction’s first show in Milan, under the Milan Design Market held at the Isola design district. We will be presenting an extension of the O Series—showcasing smaller rattan products such as homeware accessories. I am personally looking forward to rubbing shoulders with new friends and, with some luck, explore and facilitate potential collaborations between international designers and our Asean craftsmen.
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it influencing your work?
CN I have taken a particular interest in the architectural solutions to urban living, and the connection between the various typologies of urban dwellers such as home-based entrepreneurs. As trends are tending towards smart urban living solutions, I am consequently motivated to consider how my frame of mind can shift in a similar fashion, affecting how I design furniture and products.
What would be your ultimate design project?
CN Ideally, I aspire towards a project that serves a greater social good by empowering marginalised communities through design and education.
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- Images CELINE NG/FRACTION DESIGN STUDIO