Singapore-based designers Studio Juju (profiled in Habitus 18) have created a name for themselves
internationally with their playful designs inspired by “snippets of the everyday”
Priscilla Lui and Timo Wong are the partnership behind studio juju. We take a moment to get to know a little more about their after their successful trip to this year’s Salone Satellite in Milan.
Q. How did studio juju come about?
A. We worked together previously in a studio, the Design Incubation Centre, and were doing their d.lab’s “Objects around the Tablescape” series together.
After working on a few other projects together, we felt that we shared the same sensibilities towards design and passion towards making things.
And since we really enjoy working with each other, we decided to start studio juju.
Q. Can you describe your favorite piece in the juju collection?
Timo: My favorite piece is actually the storage we did for Saporiti Italia. They organised a design award inviting a selection of Singaporean designers to propose a series of storage for luxury accessories.
To me those pieces communicated very strongly the idea of luxury by the use of materials and bold contrast which accentuates the presence but yet within a quiet and delicate nature.
Saporiti Luxury Towers
Priscilla: I find it a little difficult to pick a favorite piece. For the current collection, I like the way the Platypus chair makes me feel active on it, and funnily, makes me relax at the same time, as I have somewhere to place my idle fingers.
I like the Bambi, for its character and how its low seating height creates a posture that doesn’t want me to lean totally, and to be on my legs just as how it looks like the Bambi deer on its 4 legs, always ready to ‘gallop’ away. I like the strength in the forms of the Duck and Crane Lamps, and how expressive they look when they give us light at their angles through the way they ‘nod’.
Perhaps, there is no favorite piece for me at the moment.
Q. Where do you find inspiration?
T: I find inspiration in details and segments of things I see everyday.
P: Those snippets of the everyday that I see and hold to memory to be important or interesting will inspire me. Dialogue with Timo further drives the inspirations.
Q. Could you tell us about your favorite places in Singapore?
T: The West Coast Park is very nice when I go jogging at nights. Yet it is a contrast of atmospheres. Because it is extremely near the seaports, there are a lot of huge cargo ships by that stretch of the park. It becomes very dreamy and industrial at the same time, when you can hear both the waves and the clanking of machinery.
P: This particular bread shop in Holland Village. Its décor is not the prettiest of places; however the smell of bread and coffee, as well as the people that come all the way just for its bread, these elements fuse together to create a very pleasant mood.
I also like this wood factory on the outskirts of Singapore, where we get our raw wood materials. The place is filled with lumber from floor to ceilings of almost 5 metres tall. We are close to the lady in charge of that place, so she often gives us wood samples.
Q. What was it like to exhibit in Milan?
It’s our second time; we were there last year too. The experience was really good, to be exhibiting alongside people from everywhere. Most importantly we made good friends whom we update one another on projects that we are working on. It made the world smaller knowing you have friends like yourself on the other parts of the world.
Q. Can you explain your approach to
A. We believe that the creation
of new experiences is important for us with the projects we undertake;
it can be through the archetypes we suggest, language or even colors
that we use.
At the same time, we look for relevance and appropriateness in most
of our design. Whether the scale is of an interior space or an object
for the table, the purpose and its function must first be clear.
We avoid debating over the poetics of our design because the outside
is a skin that wraps the inside, it’s very simple. The approach to give
character to design is more feasible, to allow it to exist within our
sight and touch.
Good design will resonate without much talking.
Q. Do you have favourite materials?
T: I don’t really favor any particular material over another as it depends on the application.
P: I like how alive wood feels in my hands, and how quiet metal is. But I don’t have favorite materials. We often ‘match’ materials to the experience the project wants to create.
Bollard and the Black Box
Q. Finally, if you could have one design in your own home, what would it be and why?
T: Table B by Konstantin Grcic for BD Barcelona. I like the extruded precision of the aluminum material, which is at the same time raw, the way it ends on both sides. It is something I know I will keep for a very long time.
P: L2 and L01 speakers, and the SK 4 phonograph by Dieter Rams for Braun. I love how considerate the whole design looks, from its meticulous simplicity to its strong functional appeal that contributes to its honest aesthetics. It does not try to be too flamboyant, so it will fit in very nicely into homes.