Sweeping into the local interior design scene in 2013, boutique firm ARK-hitecture swiftly made a name for itself as an one-stop business that handles not just renovation works, but also construction and site clean-ups alongside its sibling company, Newash Facility Management.
Their founder, Aaron Rylan Keder, too stands out from the crowd – having made local headlines at least twice, first for being a self-made millionaire at the age of 24, and later for his generous gesture of forgiving a teenager for riding a bike over his car.
We spoke to the big-hearted businessman about ARK-hitecture's founding, his favourite project, and why he feels function matters more than form.
Qanvast: When did you launch ARK-hitecture and what was the reason behind it?
Aaron (A): The first company that I set up, Newash, had finally grown from its original size of three staff to become a full-sized facility management firm in 2013, so we felt confident about creating an all-round design service that is capable of handling minor construction projects as well as on-site cleaning – which are tasks that would usually be handled by contractors.
The best part of providing these services in-house is that we are able to pass on the cost-savings to our customers through more competitive rates.
Qanvast: How would you describe the team over at ARK-hitecture?
A: We are a driven team with a passion for venturing into new, creative designs. What we aim to do is to create the best possible living and working environments in the homes and offices that we work on.
Our designers also enjoy examining challenges from different perspectives and bringing something new to the table for each and every project that they work on.
Qanvast: What do you think are the qualities that any good interior designer should possess?
A: A good designer should always be an avant-gardist, that is to say he or she ought to be one step ahead of the times. Also, he or she be able to have an intuition for people's changing attitudes towards design.
Qanvast: What is your personal design philosophy like?
A: Well, aside from keeping abreast of the latest trends, I believe in keeping things practical. My personal design motto is 'form over function', because home design is more than just decor. But that's not to say that a home shouldn't be beautiful or eye-catching, rather it should be a liveable space foremost.
Qanvast: Among ARK-hitecture's projects, which was your favourite to work on?
A: If I had to pick one, it would definitely be ARK-hitecture's showroom at Jalan Lenglok in Sembawang.
It took us 6 weeks to renovate the entire showroom, and the space is the perfect place to showcase our ability to create practical homes. We have everything we need to show clients there, from home automation systems to wardrobe and kitchen storage solutions.
Qanvast: What design trends do you foresee becoming popular in 2018?
A: I see Deconstructivism becoming popular. As opposed to the idea that everything has to be structured and organised, Deconstuctivism breaks down the components of a house into basic building blocks and shapes, before putting them back together to create a coherent structure. You could say that it's a form of controlled chaos.
Qanvast: Do you have any advice for homeowners who are keen on meeting up with interior designers?
A: At ARK-hitecture, we take a step-by-step approach to ease homeowners into the design process.
We tend to start with an in-depth discussion that touches on their personal lifestyle and how best to create a space that matches these habits. Next, we touch on theme, project budget and timeline.
These are essential aspects of a renovation project that every homeowner should think about, both before AND after meeting with an interior designer.
See more of ARK-hitecture's portfolio and reviews here.