Share on:

5 Singapore personalities to watch in 2018

These visionaries are driving great change in their respective fields.

Use arrow keys / swipe to navigate.

  • 01: Khairudin Saharom, Principal, Kite Studio Architecture

    Architect Khairudin Saharom is ending 2017 on a high. He made it to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's '20 Under 45' list, which recognises 20 architects under the age of 45 who have contributed towards "shaping a distinctive and highly liveable city." There were 56 architects vying for the top spots.

    Earlier in the year, he launched Chrysanthemum by Kite, a 10-piece Asian-inspired series of furniture that includes tables, lights and beds. The furniture collection was a logical move, since he had already been designing pieces for his clients. It's a natural progression for an architect, he says, "to make the designs of both the building and the accessories come together."

    Come April 2018, he will launch a second line of furniture, which will include day beds, and furniture for cats. "Cat beds and litter boxes tend to look ugly, and I want to make them look more beautiful," says the animal lover.

    He is also currently in talks with manufacturers to produce Chrysanthemum on a larger scale, instead of being limited to Kite's clients. "The furniture industry is rather saturated, so it needs to be tried and tested first," says Mr Khairudin, who hopes to open his own furniture store in three to four years.

    In the meantime, the firm is keeping busy with building private residences that are "lean, mean and honest," says Mr Khairudin. By that, he means that the design of a home is stripped down to its core, not necessarily built with expensive materials, and every angle designed with a purpose. "The house could be slanted in a way, to maximise on the views," he cites an example.

    Mr Khairudin declines to reveal too much about his ongoing projects, but he is particularly excited about one residence which he says is "an evolution of the courtyard."

    Next year, the firm will also see the completion of its first mixed-use development project in Rangoon Road, a seven storey-building, for commercial and residential purposes.

    And if you think Mr Khairudin looks familiar, you're most likely to have seen him on TV, as a presenter. Next year, he will be on the small screen, hosting several shows on Channel News Asia Channel 5.

    Entertainment and architecture, he says, complement each other.

    "Sometimes, I just have to get away from the office, and hosting a show helps refresh and clear my mind," he says. "Being in entertainment has made me more confident, which is crucial for inspiring my clients."

    - Tay Suan Chiang

    See Mr Khairudin's works at the '20 Under 45' exhibition at The URA Centre Atrium, 45 Maxwell Road, which runs till Jan 31, 2018.

An extended version of this story first appeared on The Business Times.