Hear from Wenhui Lim, founding director of SPARK Architects (Singapore) at the first session of the 2017 UQ Architecture lecture series.

Wenhui is responsible for the conception of many of SPARK’s award-winning projects, including Fai-Fah in Bangkok, Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur and CapitaLand’s Raffles City Ningbo in China. After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Wenhui spent two years working for Singapore-based architectural practices prior to joining SPARK. Wenhui oversees the graphic identity of SPARK’s studios as well as her parallel roles of design leadership and client liaison.

Read our Q+A with WenHui:

Tell us a little about your background, and what originally led you to architecture?

I was born, lived and studied in Singapore. I joined SPARK’s studio after working for a local practice. I studied architecture as it was potentially one of the few degrees that encompassed an idea of art in its widest sense. Although the course turned out to be traditionally more restrictive, I continued to pursue other artistic endeavours that have found a home at SPARK.

Can you give us a little insight into what a normal work day looks like for you?

Usually a bit of a rush, especially if I’m travelling between our studios or trying to meet the often crazy deadlines of projects in Asia. I do my best to make time to develop ideas and narratives and discuss these with colleagues in Shanghai and Singapore for further development

What are some daily office rituals or habits you employ to enhance your productivity and creativity?

To try and see as much as possible (exhibitions, all sorts of new buildings / places / restaurants / hotels etc). I try to delegate and help people learn our particular methods of design development and story-telling, I try to find as much time as possible to draw and think.

What principles inform your work?

Making local connections, making cities better places to live and bringing some colour and texture to architecture.

Where do you go for design inspiration?

Can be anywhere, anything. Making the connection to architecture / design is the tricky but fun part. Isaac Asimov said that it is impossible to pinpoint the birth / SPARK of an idea

What has been a career highlight for you so far?

Winning the Great Women of our Times award for the Design category in Singapore last year.

Which Australian or international architecture people, practices, designers or similar do you admire?

Marc Newson, designer and Baz Luhrmann, movie director.

What are your top five favourite design books?

Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte

Views by Roger Dean

Collage City by Colin Rowe.

Most Japanese manga.

What can attendees to the APAF UQ Architecture lecture expect to hear and see?

SPARK’s loosely defined “research” projects. Ideas we develop self-funded, in-house without a client that suggest how to change / reinvent the cities that SPARK lives and works in.

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