Architecturally trained in the United States, Colin Seah honed his sensibilities working for the likes of Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind. As the founding director of the Minsitry of Design, he was named Designer of the Year by the American International Design Awards in 2010, and is a two-time recipient of Singapore’s highest design accolade, the President’s Design Award.
Q: What is the one thing you alway travel with?
My international driver’s license. I love planning driving holidays (France, New Zealand), but there are some non-driving trips where a spontaneous driving element might happen! It’s always good to be prepared.
I find human behavioral responses fascinating. Currently I’m particularly intrigued by the cultural patterns of the “Millennial” and “Gen Z’ers”.
Q: Who/what inspired you to become an architect?
In my formative years, I had come to believe that truly unique design was created by both the head and the heart, in equal parts. The best examples of architecture always seem to perfectly amalgamate precise rational formulation with intuitive poetic expression.
Q: What is inspiring you at the moment?
I find human behavioral responses fascinating and currently I’m particularly intrigued by the cultural patterns of the “Millennial” and “Gen Z’ers”.
Q: Any favorite secret (or not so secret) places in your hometown Singapore?
To escape the city’s bustle, I head to Riders Café. It’s nestled amid the dense greenery of the Bukit Timah Saddle Club, surprisingly located in the heart of the island, minutes from downtown.
Q: Describe an unforgettable original experience you had while traveling.
On a trip to Sri Lanka, I really wanted to visit Geoffrey Bawa’s final project, a house in Mirissa. As it was a private commission, it was near impossible to find. So we hired a boat and sailed along the coast hoping we would spot it. And we did! The boatman then explained that his uncle was the property’s caretaker. So we sailed as close to it as possible, waded onto the private beach, climbed 200 steps up a cliff, and there it was! Bawa’s last and most minimal work in all its glory. After that, the boatman invited us to his home and we had tea with his lovely family!
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