Local Design Firm Turns Laminates Into A Visually Harmonious Artwork

Art & Design

June 6, 2018 | BY Kim Reyes

In collaboration with Singapore Tatler Homes and local laminate brand Arova, three design firms create artworks that represent their design philosophy. Here, Topic Design Studio’s original artwork achieves a graceful balance of geometry and colour

When asked to recall the most memorable projects undertaken at Topic Design Studio, design director Tan Sze Ling mentions the clients who owned a museum-worthy collection of antiques and art. “We had to create a space that threads through different genres of art and styles, while still staying relevant to contemporary living and retaining the familiarity of a home,” she shares.

It is this desire to create personalised spaces, which are equally luxurious and thoughtful that provides the guiding philosophy for every project the design firm takes on. The practice’s holistic design approach also embraces time-tested principles from multiple schools of thought, including Maximalism and the Bauhaus movement. “We are constantly searching for the meaning of timelessness in design, and we hope to achieve that through our works by creating a dialogue between these schools of thought,” explains Tan.

(Related: Home Tour: See This Abode’s Dramatic Origami-Like Interior)

Contrasting laminates from the Metallics and Solid Colours collections also add to the artwork’s striking aesthetic. “The metallic laminates offer a mysterious feel—they’re solid yet reflective—hence mirroring the colours of the solid laminates around it in an interesting way,” says Tan.

Taking inspiration from a watercolour painting by Lauretta Vinciarelli, Topic Design Studio’s artwork depicts the painting in Cubist form, using Arova laminates from the Quartzo and Solid Colours collections in gradient shades to mimic spatial depth and create an overall sense of balance.

Since founding Topic Design Studio in 2006, design director Tan Sze Ling and her team have gone on to win regional and international accolades for their polished work, which included commercial and residential projects in Singapore and beyond.

Applying the firm’s design philosophy towards producing an original artwork, Topic Design Studio created a Cubist-style tableau inspired by a painting by late architect Lauretta Vinciarelli. “We chose to explore the artwork via a theme of internal spaces of equilibrium and balance,” says Tan.

The artwork thus deconstructs the precision and colour saturation of Vinciarelli’s watercolour paintings and reconfigures them into a geometric interpretation. The harmonious balance of light, space, and dimension evident in the paintings is depicted here using laser-cut Arova laminates in gradient hues, suggesting three-dimensional depth and the planes of light and shadow created by natural daylight. Bearing elements of abstract art, architectural drawings, and chiaroscuro, Topic Design Studio’s laminate artwork is a visual balancing act—particularly fitting, it seems, for this design firm.

(Related: 15 Chic Geometric Pieces For Every Room)

Gilded details up the glam factor of a bathroom at a Sentosa Cove abode designed by Topic Design Studio.

At the dining area of this home, a darker colour palette is matched with accents of red from the antique Chinese folding chair, antique Chinese trunk and oil painting.

Completed in 2013, this award-winning showflat at Orchard Residences emerged as a winning project at the Asia-Pacific Interior Design and Architecture Awards.

(Related: This Home Is A Treasure Trove Of Asian Art And Travel Objects)

Arova is located at 7 Mandai Link, #04-03 Mandai Connection, Tel: 6363 1661


Art direction and production: Khairul Ali
Photography: Cai Hui Xin/ Calibre

This article was adapted from a story in the June-July 2018 issue of Singapore Tatler Homes.

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