Hotshot trio win coveted designer accolade

Winners of Designer of the Year at the President's Design Award 2014: (from left) Forum Architects director Tan Kok Hiang, Studio Peter Tay design director Peter Tay and Mr Larry Peh, founder and creative director of &Larry, at the Istana yesterday.
Winners of Designer of the Year at the President's Design Award 2014: (from left) Forum Architects director Tan Kok Hiang, Studio Peter Tay design director Peter Tay and Mr Larry Peh, founder and creative director of &Larry, at the Istana yesterday.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

11 innovations also capture this year's Design of the Year awards

Local designer Peter Tay has staged a remarkable comeback after a serious car accident affected his memory and almost claimed his life eight years ago.

Mr Tay, 43, was honoured with a coveted Designer of the Year accolade at the President's Design Award last night.

His best-known designs are for residential projects in areas like Bukit Timah and Sentosa Cove, some of which have earned him industry awards.

As well as designing bungalows for celebrities like singer Stefanie Sun, Mr Tay has done pro bono work such as devising plans for the Adoration Room at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul.

Award jurors noted in a statement that Mr Tay "is constantly looking at how he can create a better life for his clients".

Mr Tay said: "I see this as the next stage in my life, and I thank God for giving me this award, and that I'm even here."

Designer of the Year awards also went to brand consultant Larry Peh, 38, and veteran architect Tan Kok Hiang, 54, who is director of Forum Architects.

The trio received their awards from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at a prize-giving ceremony at the Istana yesterday.

The annual awards were started nine years ago by the Design- Singapore Council of the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to recognise designers whose work makes a difference to the lives of locals and the global community.

Singaporeans and permanent residents are eligible for the Designer of the Year prize while the Design of the Year prize goes to projects completed here or those helmed by lead designers who are Singaporeans or PRs.

The 16-member jury comprising local and international experts honoured 11 innovations with Design of the Year awards.

These included durable flip-up spectacle frames so people can easily switch lenses, Jurong Eco-Garden for features like a wildlife corridor and the Sandcrawler office building at one- north, which has a public garden.

URA chief executive Ng Lang noted that three of the 11 winning designs were architectural, adding: "Our local architects have been contributing to making Singapore a tropical city in a garden by masterfully incorporating greenery into their designs... and in creating a distinct local architecture identity." There were 133 nominations in all for both categories.

A free exhibition on the designers and their winning works opens at the URA Centre tomorrow and runs until Jan 15. It will then move to the National Design Centre until March.

For more information, go to www.designsingapore.org/pda

jianxuan@sph.com.sg

Check out reports from The Straits Times Archives about the designer trio in the related link below.