Meet the professionals: Melvyn Law MCSD
The Society embraces members who practice in all design specialisms but what they have in common is a designerly approach to solving problems whatever the discipline. Here we talk to Melvyn Law about design, light and practice.
Q: Please introduce yourself?
Melvyn: I am the principal of Limelight atelier, a lighting design consultancy working in the realm of Architecture and the built environment; I’ve been practicing since 2007 with renowned international companies before I started my own practice in Singapore in 2012.
Q: What made you choose this career?
Melvyn: Before specialising in lighting design, I was an interior designer and always have been intrigued by a bigger contribution to Architecture and its surrounding. It was by chance that I came across the specialisation of lighting and its unique intangible affiliation with the built environment. I was mentored by one of the pioneering lighting designer – Mr Louis Clair, while working on the largest integrated resort in Singapore; he greatly refined my perception and critical thoughts about the importance of illumination.
Q: Why did you become a member of the society?
Melvyn: It sets an important benchmark to be a member of the Society; amongst the design profession.
Q: What do you find the most exciting and enjoyable thang about being a designer?
Melvyn: Designing is never a routine process. Every project is different with its set of challenges, as you pounder to respond to the brief and exceed expectations. Late nights, caffeine, are all part and parcel of this adrenaline affair.
Q: What are the greatest challenges you face as a designer and how have you overcome them?
Melvyn: I remembered that I was struggling in my early years of establishing the practice; we designers were never taught about the business aspects of running our own practices. Everything was learnt through mistakes, tears, sleepless nights. Luckily there was some good advice out there and I am still learning!
Q: Designers never seem to stop designing – but when you are not designing?
Melvyn: My family is an important part of me and so I enjoy spending time with my wife and lovely kids.
Q: As a designer what are you most proud of?
Melvyn: In 2017, we were humbled to have designed the largest stadium in South East Asia – the KL sports city, which has been accoladed with multiple design awards.
Q: What are the most important qualities or competences for a designer?
Melvyn: To have an astute eye for details and embrace design thinking in the process. Be brave to challenge the status quo.
Q: If you were not a designer what else would you like to be?
Melvyn: A chef perhaps, meddling with the simplicity of salt and spices.
Q: What does design mean to you?
Melvyn: Design is an intriguing and subjective matter, yet very important to our everyday life, the tools we use, the chairs we sit on, the spaces that enhance users’ experiences. I am in love with the process of designing, and very much the smiles produced by the end result.
Q: In one sentence what advice would you give to a new designer?
Melvyn: Look beyond the fame and glamour of being a designer, there’s much more to it.
Q: Can you show us some of your most recent projects?
KL Sports City is the largest stadium in South East Asia. The Façade lighting design multiply its values by allowing for different scenes, potential advertising for different events, it amplifies the architecture at night and contributes functional illumination to its perimeter, thus saving huge amount of energy.
Northpoint City is the largest mixed development in northern Singapore. The project aims to attract and retain visitors with the careful integration of lighting onto its façade, interior key nodes and landscape. The challenge was to use lighting to unify the existing and the new architecture.
Thye Hua Kwan Temple, this Chinese temple sits in a residential enclave, with lighting designed to be subtle, not disturbing the surrounding residences, yet brings out the philosophical aspects of Chinese architecture, but placing emphasis on the sweeping roof eaves and the mystical ornaments.