Architect & Co-Founder of POW Ideas
Trained as architect with a strong interest in material exploration, typologies, landscape architecture and compact space design, Kyle E founded POW Ideas in 2015 together with fellow architect and light art specialist Jun Ong. The creative duo has since offered their services in architecture, interior design, landscaping, multimedia installation, furniture design, branding and graphic design and product design, breathing new life into outdated spaces, fashioning the new out of the old, re-imagining the underused with new purpose. In private, Kyle is an avid traveller and yoga practitioner, with an edgy sense of fashion.
We speak to him about his lifestyle, design ethos and chasing dreams in this 2018 interview.
While making a living out of landscape and interior design, what is the lifestyle that you’ve designed for yourself?
I like staying home, doing gardening. I enjoy travelling, seeing the world, experiencing different cultures. I’m not too much into the high life; rather I enjoy the company of my close friends. I’m the sort who has a better time hanging out with just three people than with 20. I enjoy a slow-paced life and taking it easy.
What do you do for inspiration?
Among the things that inspire me a lot are travelling and outdoor activities. Apart from gardening, I like trekking, rock-climbing, going to the beach, etc. That’s where most of my inspiration comes from – exploring new surroundings and immersing myself in nature. I don’t necessarily hang out at the coolest places, with the coolest people; I just go where I like. I visit a country not because it’s the most Instagrammable, or the most raved about, but because it appeals to me on a personal level.
You’ve cultivated quite a strong personal style, one that we believe gravitates towards edgy and casual. Please elaborate on it.
I like going to work in shorts. That is my biggest thing. It’s unpretentious; it is what it is. It allows me to go to work feeling comfortable in my own skin. So I guess style, in that sense, means confidence.
In the age of “Likes” and “Followers”, what is the measure of success to you?
For me, success is what you make it. I don’t have that many followers on social media. It’s whatever you set your mind to. Even if you don’t get there, it’s about what you learn out of it. Metaphorically speaking, I do a lot of yoga, and in yoga, there are all these poses that we’re supposed to attempt, poses which you can only achieve at your own pace. You can’t force it. It won’t happen and you might just injure yourself. I guess that’s the measure of success – understanding your capacity and stretching it bit by bit as you go along.
What does substance mean to you?
It’s important to have your own opinion, well thought out, so that you’re not a crowd-follower. You can’t take something at face value; you need to constantly question things – not just for the sake of it, but because you are curious. It’s also important that we take an interest in something, explore that interest personally, let it grow in us and make it our own.
What is it that you find most interesting about travelling?
What I find most inspiring about a place is its people – people in the most far-out places. Coming into contact with people who, despite having so little, are content with life inspires me a lot. In today’s fast- paced world, we are so caught up in the hustle and bustle, chasing wealth and success. We keep wanting more, yet we want contentment. How do you justify that?