My Perfect Weekend with President's Design Award recipient Kelley Cheng

Ms Kelley Cheng has helped raise awareness of publication design and architecture for more than two decades. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF KELLEY CHENG

Who: Ms Kelley Cheng, 49, one of two Designer of the Year recipients at the President's Design Award 2020.

The architecture graduate from the National University of Singapore decided to pursue her love of design in 1999 and started iSh magazine, a platform for Singapore's then emerging creative scene. She has helped raise awareness of publication design and architecture for more than two decades.

In 2009, she founded multidisciplinary studio The Press Room, which has won numerous local and overseas design awards.

"I am a very sociable person, so a perfect weekend for me is when I can invite friends over for dinner. When it is my turn to cook, I like to get an early start for grocery shopping, especially at the bigger supermarkets.

I can spend hours poring over the designs of product packaging in the aisles. While I am constantly learning new things as I scrutinise the designs, I also try to visualise how I would rework labels that are not striking enough.

Once in a while, I make an effort to wake up at 6am and go for a morning walk with my partner at East Coast Park, which is near my home in Geylang. It is really beautiful to watch the sunrise and take in the dewy morning air.

On some weekends, I go for a leisurely walk around National Gallery Singapore to enjoy art. I end the day with an evening cocktail at Smoke & Mirrors, the Gallery's rooftop bar, and catch a breathtaking view of the sunset.

I find that when you are of a certain age and have all the things you need in life, you can afford to slow down. You can be immersed in the moment of enjoying the little beautiful things in life with loved ones, without having to worry about anything. This is a true luxury for me.

In my work, I meet a lot of young people who say they always feel lost and aimless after a short period of working.

I share with them what I have experienced in life - like how life is often not full of fireworks and about choosing something you love and honing your craft.

That is why I am glad I am in the business of creating visual art. In creating things of beauty, I feel we have the power to bring happiness to people in its purest form."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.