"We're trying to find a Singaporean context"
- Pan Yi Cheng on Herman Miller at XTRA

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World Architecture Festival 2012: Pan Yi Cheng of Singapore studio P.A.C won the award in the retail category at the World Architecture Festival with his design for a shop for furniture brand Herman Miller. In this movie we filmed, the architect explains how a recent emergence of young practices is helping Singapore become a "more vibrant" place that is starting to find its own identity.

Herman Miller at XTRA by P.A.C

"Culturally we are quite unique, you can say we are on the crossroads between east and west," says Cheng. Describing the architectural context, he explains: "We have a completely modern masterplan with a Corbusian vision, but culturally we are ingrained still with Asian thinking."

Herman Miller at XTRA by P.A.C

The architect designed an undulating lattice of plywood that folds up around Herman Miller furniture at an XTRA homeware store in Singapore. He describes how he was inspired by the construction of the chairs on show to create a system of modular pieces that are "joined together with a simple, interlocking lapping joint."

Herman Miller at XTRA by P.A.C

Cheng explains how this is the smallest project from his Singapore studio, which he started three years ago after a period of working and studying in London. "There's a lot more things happening in Asia," he says. Despite completing his own education in the west, he discusses how he also believes education is rapidly progressing in the east to become more "means-driven" rather than "ends-driven", as it is at the moment. "Once we reach a level of maturity in terms of a discourse we will be able to go for something which is more means-driven," he says.

Herman Miller at XTRA by P.A.C

We’ve filmed a series of interviews with award winners at the World Architecture Festival. See all the movies we’ve published so far, including our interview with architect Chris Wilkinson about the World Building of the Year.

See all our stories about WAF 2012 »

  • richard

    WOW… amazing work. Pan Yi Cheng’s practice PAC is so cool. So inspiring to find an innovative architect like him.

  • Type1

    Great design, clean system and obvious clarity in a bigger picture, which the architect clearly hints at. Looking forward to more from P.A.C.

  • debra

    Good to see UK-trained Asian architects return to Asia to contribute to the architecture industry. Mr Pan has done the right thing to move back and start his office. Well done.

  • Kapi

    Brilliant project and brilliant response to all the complicated questions that he was fired with! Clear vision! Keep it up!

  • Richard

    Breath of fresh air.

  • jan

    Another AA grad and hence another practice trying too hard with complex constructions for the sake of complexity.

  • august

    Brilliant idea but executed in the wrong context. The photos show that the plywood lattice distracts attention from the furniture, which may not be so good for the homeware store. I agree with one of the commenters that this is complexity for complexity’s sake.