It’s made evident by fFurious’ creative director Little Ong that despite having grown over the past 20 years, they’ve proven that some things never change in their business dealings; being that their unwavering belief in good work, good company, and the idea that neither could exist without the other stuck with them all the way through and in a very nice way.
Q: Your studio name is spelt quite interestingly – with a lowercase ‘f’ before the word ‘Furious’. Was there a particular reason behind this choice? If so, what was it?
A: We dream of a world where good design surrounds us; at every turn, we are invigorated by beauty. All that we touch feels wonderful and everything works as they should. Instead, our lives are filled with mundanity, inefficiency, and utter crap – and that just makes us f—ing furious.
As creatives, we take that passionate energy and channel it into ideation, to make the world a happier place to be in and better people’s lives with design. For obvious reasons, we couldn’t register that name as it was, so we kept the lowercase ‘f’ to remind ourselves of the passion. Being fFurious is a precursor to a creative solution.
Q: What would you say is your ‘unique selling point’?
A: It’s been 20 years since we formed, working across industries and various scales of organisations and personalities. From the get-go, we were multidisciplinary and we continue to learn and expand on our capabilities. We have also deliberately steered away from having a house style, as we believe that every client and project is special, and if the point is to be desired and remembered, then our creation should also be special for the client. What we bring to the table is an unhindered versatility that provides us with the potential to craft unique experiences for clients of any scale.
Q: You were behind the development of the interactive wall in the NIE Visitors Learning Centre featuring 13 touch-activated projections, which took almost two years to complete. What do you think is the significance of interactivity in design?
A: The first company brochure that we designed around the year 2000 was for the award-winning animation studio, Peach Blossom Media. Instead of a typical corporate brochure, we designed it as an activity book as the studio’s work was in children’s animation. It included a sticker sheet, a colouring page, a phone that you could construct into a physical 3D object, and their profile was detailed in a fantastical comic styled after classic Hong Kong Kung Fu movies. We knew that if people played with it, it would leave a deeper impression.
The approach is similar to the interactive wall at the NIE Visitors Learning Centre, which surprises and rewards visitors with animation and sound when they interact with the touchpoints. In a gallery setting, interactivity adds a layer of forwarding innovation that propels information from mere visual displays into memorable experiences.
Q: Singapore seems to be hosting an abundance of creative arts events, from illustration markets to a whole week dedicated to the art of design. Why do you think there’s such monumental amount of attention paid to the creative arts community there?
A: We recognise that good design is a strategic business asset and for a highly developed market economy like Singapore, the creative industries add tremendous value to the businesses here.
The attention to the creative arts is a top-down approach; our government identified the importance of creative industries around the mid-2000s and established Singapore as a UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2015. We are exposed to a lot more design education in schools, and mature businesses here recognise the advantages of design adoption. When there are more successful businesses here, there is more work for creatives, and therefore more to celebrate.
Q: What has been the best part about being a creative in Singapore?
A: There are lots of brilliant creative people making cool things and having meaningful conversations. Also, there are lots of creative events as you’ve noticed – wonderful galleries and beautiful spaces around town. I am grateful for all the inspiration that is available to us here.
Q: If you could describe yourselves, as a design establishment, in three words, what would it be and why?
A: Keep Pushing On – I was recently reminded of the value of self-determination at the Singapore Bicentennial Experience, which is an amazing multisensory production that told the story of Singapore’s past 700 years. While it was the value that most people voted to be key to the progress of our nation, it is also a trait that I recognise to have guided our existence as an agency through good and trying times. It takes real grit to persevere through some complex projects and stay the course through certain tough times. On the basic level of being a creative person, the persistence and determination to constantly learn and do will take us far in our journey.