In 1972, American Architect Steven Leach established SL+A in Hong Kong. By all accounts, he was a force to be reckoned with, expanding the business across Asia within just a few years. Before Steven’s passing, he differentiated his offer with a suite of multi-disciplinary distinct services including: architecture, interior design, graphics, procurement and project management. Way ahead of his time, he recognised the benefits of technology, rapidly introducing software like AutoCad to enable delivery of progressive design solutions. Steven passed away in 1996 but his belief and passion for the business of design lives on in SL+A today.
In commemoration of our 50th year, SL+A reveals a new vision to spearhead us into the decades to come: Designing Places to Inspire. With a Brand and Human first approach to design, we are looking to create holistic and immersive brand experiences applied across physical, technology and human dimensions.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, we quietly and collectively wondered if spaces and places were being unceremoniously usurped by the online world. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that all of us still crave live connections with other people and with the spaces around us. More than ever, we hunger to travel, trawl the malls, dine out, re-unite with friends and family, and yes, even return to the office.
As employers and retailers are rethinking their workplace and merchandising approaches, we understand the power of putting the right experience in the right place for the right audience. Our design philosophy aims to create signature brand experiences and challenges the notion that advertising or a brand’s colour necessarily leads spatial design. As architecture becomes more central to brand experience, initiating a concept with a commercial, logo or slogan seems like the proverbial tail wagging the dog. This space and experience led view, while true to our past, also projects us into the future, inspiring SL+A teams and partners to deliver on our new vision.
In 2022, we are also re-establishing the SL+A Singapore studio. While we have been operating remotely in Singapore all this time on projects such as the Microsoft HQ, Amex, IFC, and DUO, our new country lead Simon Bell is on-ground, in-person and we think it will make all the difference. Based in Australia and Asia for the last 20+ years and a Singapore permanent resident, he adds extensive brand, design and experience know-how to our SL+A family.
Says Simon “It is momentous that as SL+A celebrates its 50th year, I am also celebrating mine. With the changes the pandemic has bought to work life, retail, hospitality and public spaces, SL+A is in a strong position to bring new thinking to the new normal. We think Steven Leach would be proud of our forward trajectory.”