Two stars

Yesterday two design giants were in town. Japanese architect Tadao Ando and UK product designer Tom Dixon coincidentally had an afternoon of events in Singapore.

Ando was here for a media briefing, design lecture and book signing. None of which we were invited to. Business Times design journalist Tay Suan Chiang, knowing what a fan-girl I am, kindly snapped his portrait for me. Voila!

(before the Bieber bowl-cut bangs, there was Tadao Ando. At 71, he’s been sporting the same haircut for decades)

The Pritzker Prize-winning architect is most associated with modernist concrete structures of a cleanly-defined massing yet brutalist finish.


But never mind the cast concrete look so popular today in “industrial” interiors. What I love about Ando’s works is their sculptural quality – whatever material he uses, he is able to take natural light and manipulate its glow and shadows to enhance his designs.

(Thank you, Pinterest for these lovely images: clockwise from top left: Obayashi house using bricks by Olafur Eliasson, Fort Worth Musuem of Art, Langen Foundation, Church of Light)




Luckily, to soothe my uninvited ego, there was Tom Dixon and gorgeous pizza from Xtra and Kith.



(Tom Dixon here was photographed by my colleague Evie Leong while he was posing for a luxury magazine, and the rest of us were enjoying pizza)

During Milan Design Week last year, I went twice to the National Museum of Science and Technology to visit his fringe event, MOST, because I was so awed by his lighting designs. (Speaking of awed, I’d never seen our art director so starstruck as when she asked if she could have her picture taken with Tom Dixon as he was greeting us pizza-eaters.)20130221-142747.jpg

In Milan, I took a paparazzi shot of Tom while he was being interviewed by a TV crew at MOST. He looked cross.


When I first met and interviewed him (a little over two years ago), he gave me a signed copy of his book, Industry. He was funny, and looked a little cross too, but game. I thought he looked like he could be related to Cindy Lou Who.


Tom Dixon is exclusive at Xtra Park Mall.