For Immediate Release
27 May 2014
BANGKOK, THAILAND - Singaporean design prodigy Christopher Chua will take charge of four offices spanning four countries and be responsible for a 120-strong team when his promotion to Managing Director of BLINK Design Group takes effect later this month.
BLINK's head office remains in Bangkok, where the design firm was founded, but Mr Chua will manage operations from the firm's fast-growing Singapore studio, including client service and business development hubs in New Delhi and Shanghai.
"This is a great honour and a step up in responsibility," Mr Chua said. "I'm up for the challenge. I believe in BLINK; we have a great, talented team and the work we are doing at the moment in the luxury hospitality sphere stacks up well against what else is out there."
BLINK was founded in Bangkok eight years ago by Clint Nagata, who remains in overall charge as Senior Creative Director, but Chua will be very much on the front lines in managing the company
Mr Nagata said: "Congratulations to Chris; he's bubbled to the top at BLINK in a few short years, and I have full confidence in his ability to take on the role. He has been instrumental in our rapid growth in China and his own design inspirations are great. Not only that, he is also a good leader and a strong team player."
Mr Chua's new position was announced in the same week the firm learned it had received a Highly Commended honour at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Hotel Awards in the Best Hotel Interior, Thailand category for its benchmark-setting work on the recently opened Regent Phuket Cape Panwa.
BLINK is Regent's go-to design firm in the current quest to resurrect the fortunes of the legendary luxury hospitality icon, having also worked on hotels and resorts in Bali, Taipei and China.
The firm is also currently immersed in creating a new Hilton in Goa, and breaking new ground with The Grove, a unique mixed-use hotel and retail complex in architecture's new frontier: Nairobi, Kenya, in Africa.
For the past three years, Mr Chua has been based in the firm's Bangkok headquarters. "In reality, it doesn't matter much where I am based, because I spend most of my time travelling." he said.
Mr Chua said the Singapore move would also give him more face time with the firm's recent hires and big-ticket talents, interiors guru Zia Hansen and former key designer of several Aman resorts, Pietro Campanella.
He had no plans to tinker with the company's philosophy and recipe for success, namely, allowing everybody to contribute to each project and ensuring every idea is heard.
"When Clint set up this company, he didn't put his name on it," Mr Chua explained. "There was a very conscious effort to not have a certain person heading the entire office or setting a certain style of design. When we start a project, we do a roundtable for sketches and ideas. Usually we just feed off each other. Clients know that if they get us, they're going to get something different."
BLINK has begun putting together trips for clients to see reference resorts before putting design pen to paper. "It's part of our client education process. They want the best, (but many don't know what the best is, since they are new to the world of luxury hospitality), so we send them off to some places."
Mr Chua said another BLINK strength he wanted to build on was the firm's capability to do everything from branding to master planning to building design to interiors. "It's a full-service thing, and we have enough experience in the team to guide the client to get the best product."
He said he was thrilled to be coming home to Singapore. "I came from a very ordinary family. To make ends meet, I worked part-time in a hotel. My first experience was working back of house, and I fell in love with it."
The new Hilton Goa is one of the recent BLINK creations that bears the deft touch of Mr Chua.
He secured an intern position at Singapore firm Eco.id Design Consultancy, and it was a natural progression to study architecture at the National University of Singapore. During the subsequent nine years with Eco.id and Space Matrix, the company that bought BLINK three years ago, Mr Chua worked on The Shangri-La Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi; Nikki Beach Resort, Qatar; The Saladaeng Residences, Bangkok; and TAJ Vivanta resorts in Assam and Chennai.
Since joining BLINK, he has unleashed his creativity on Renaissance & Courtyard by Marriott, Hailing; Rosewood Clearwater Bay Resort & Residences, Sanya; Doubletree by Hilton, Benxi; Hilton Resort Goa; and Marriott Xiang Shui Bay Resort, Sanya.
We believe in a design concierge approach that makes our clients an integral part of the creative vision. We work together to take a dream and shape it into a composition that reflects the spirit of the place as well as the brand itself.
Our clients tell us that we’re open to new ideas, and that we’re fun to work with. Energy and ideas spark from our youthful teams, guided by success that comes from experience. All of the project elements — from the building and grounds to layouts, details, finishes, furniture, and accessories — reflect our client’s initial vision and operating parameters in a sophisticated symphony of space.
Notes to Editors:
Blink Design Group (BLINK) has reinvented the traditional service model to offer clients an integrated stay from check-in to check-out. BLINK's end-to-end suite of services includes interior, building and brand design. Founded by Clint Nagata in 2006 and operating out of Bangkok, Singapore, New Delhi and Shanghai, the company designs luxury hotels, resorts, restaurants, clubs, spas, and residences for leading global brands. Believing each project is a platform to achieve something extraordinary, BLINK draws on the instincts and intelligence of its inspired team to create icons of design in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.