While other kids frittered their school holidays away watching television or playing with toys, Olivia Lee spent hours alone in her room on her own projects. From creating Rube Goldberg machines using Lego, or crafting dollhouses from old juice boxes, creating came naturally to her.
“When I was young my aspirations were always shifting. The list included artist, inventor, architect, scientist, comic artist, entrepreneur and writer. In hindsight, they were all related to creation,” Olivia notes.
Following her instincts, Olivia pursued her education at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, graduating in 2008 with First Class Honours. While in London, she seized the opportunity to work under the mentorship of award-winning designer, Sebastian Bergne, and counts P&G and Swarovski amongst her clients.
Upon returning to Singapore, Olivia started her personal design practice studio, OLIVIA LEE, and boasts a stellar list of clientele, such as Mathmos, Baxter, AkzoNobel, Supermama, Temasek Holdings, Samsung, and Industry+ amongst others. Her work has received international acclaim, having been exhibited at La Triennale del Milano during Milan Design Week, London Design Festival and highlighted at Maison et Object’s annual inspiration showcase in Paris.
However, Olivia makes time in her packed schedule to give back to the design industry, teaching at design institutions in Singapore. She firmly believes in giving back and sharing the valuable insights she wished she had as a student.
“Working with students and being asked good critical questions – helps hone my abilities as a practicing designer as well as an educator. Similarly, challenging their assumptions and provoking them to be analytical reminds me to be more critical about the design world around us,” Olivia shares.
Today, Olivia works closely with various materials specialists and craftsmen in the creation of her new works and pieces. Having a great understanding of production processes and material applications, she hopes to push the boundaries of traditional craftsmanship through thoughtful design and modern technologies.
Just earlier in April 2017, Olivia exhibited her 10-piece collection at the renowned Salone Del Mobile Milano furniture fair. Out of over 650 designers, her work The Athena Collection ,was picked up by numerous respectable international press such as Dezeen, Sight Unseen and Wallpaper Magazine. In addition, Olivia herself was named as one of the most promising designers in the show to look out for.
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