We sit down with award-winning architect Edmund Ng to learn more about his design style, why family is important and how his travels have inspired his work.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

What’s your favourite time of the day?

The morning. It signifies the start of a brand new day. I always look forward to and am grateful for it. There is a simple joy in being able to wake up in good health and start anew.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

The time when I took my parents to see my first-ever completed project – a contemporary Italian restaurant – and they said, “this is a good design”. They have always supported me in everything, including my education in architecture, without ever expecting anything in return. It was very heartening to hear their compliment and see the pride in their eyes while we dined there.

What’s your personal design style?

I live by the mantra “form follows function”. It is important to study and fully understand the intended function of a space or building before incorporating a design.

What’s your biggest strength?

Having a good wife as a partner in life to share both joy and sorrow.

When are you the most inspired?

When I travel. The only way to fully experience a space is to be physically in it. We can learn more about design and architecture through travelling as we are exposed to various design styles that are influenced by heritage, tradition and history. We broaden our horizons through sight and experience.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

That I am an introvert.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

Backpacking through Tibet in the early ’90s. I spent three months travelling around China with a few friends. We went our separate ways at certain points and, despite the travel restrictions then, I managed to visit Tibet. This area, which is less familiar and filled with a vast landscape, is an entirely foreign culture and was a complete eye-opener. It changed my perspective on life.

What did you want to do with your life at age 12?

To be a forensic doctor because it’s his calling to seek the truth based on clues left behind. To this day, I am always interested in seeking the truth or the root cause of things. I suppose an architect does that, too. I strongly believe that function comes before form.

How would you define yourself in three words?

Faithful, hopeful and happy.