Kelley Cheng

A leading designer in Singapore, Kelley Cheng is an architectural graduate turned polymath with activities ranging from magazine editor, public speaker and art gallery owner to designer. She runs her own publishing and design consultancy, The Press Room, a multidisciplinary studio designing everything from books, brands, graphics, documentaries to spaces, stages and film sets. Her projects include the Youth Olympic Games, i Light Marina Bay Light Art Festival, Singapore Pavilion at the World Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea and National Gallery Singapore, President’s Design Award 2013 and 2016. In collaboration with Studio Milou Architects, The Press Room won the President’s Design Award 2015 for the National Gallery Singapore wayfinding design. Kelley Cheng serves as adjunct lecturer in the Industrial Design department at the National University of Singapore, and as a visiting professor at the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou.

In 2009, she was celebrated as one of the “Great Women of Our Time” and in 2010 as one of the “50 Most Inspirational Women” in Singapore. In 2021, she was named Designer of the Year 2020 at the President*s Design Award.

Red Dot: What has most influenced your many years of working as a designer?
Kelley Cheng: I have been deeply influenced by architecture and many architects, especially the Modernists like Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. A lot of my work is driven by content and context, both of which are the fundamentals of developing an architecture.

How would you define design?
A good design is often about solving problems and serving a practical need, be it something as simple as a poster or something as big as a piece of architecture.

Kelley Cheng