Founded in 2014 by business partners and husband-wife duo, Ryan Len and Ella Zheng form unique perspectives with every project that comes together.
Q: How did the two of you meet? Was it by chance or through working in the same creative field?
A: We were course mates from LASALLE College of the Arts, but we didn’t really speak to each other until our final year when our whole cohort got closer together.
Q: What is it like being husband and wife, as well as business partners of your design studio?
A: It makes work very efficient because we know each other so well, like we’re the perfect “dance partners”. We know each other’s strengths and play it to our advantage. We also have this telepathic connection when it comes to ideas and execution, so less time is wasted trying to understand each other as compared to working with a group of colleagues. It’s also a very good way to better understand each other and push our relationship, goals and ourselves to further heights.
Q: Could you tell us what the creative arts industry is like in Singapore?
A: It has definitely grown over the past few years, and will continue to do so. Clients are becoming increasingly more open to ideas and recommendations that push the boundaries of typical creative solutions. More boutique studios and agencies are popping up every month, making it interesting and exciting to hear other’s creative voice. There are also creative events happening almost every weekend (too many in fact)! We should all take a step back to work together as a society and industry to push forward more meaningful and purposeful content rather than to coin an event for every small or overlapping idea.
Q: The both of you seem to have your own creative styles that complement each other when brought together to create something. Were there ever times where that was easier said than done?
A: It definitely wasn’t easy at the start. We would quarrel on almost every project we were working on, but for a good reason. Over time though, we learned to find a common ground to push both our styles further than we could have by ourselves. We fill in what the other lacks, and it’s exciting because while we argue about solutions, we gain new perspectives from each other and are challenged constantly all in the name of giving our clients good design solutions.
Q: As seen on your Behance, a few projects involve working with local associations such as the National Library and Design Singapore Council. How does having them as clients differ from other clients?
A: We would say that EVERY client is different and unique, from start-ups to stat boards to bigger international brands. Every client that comes to us has their own set of problems and goals and it’s our job as designers to make sure we find out and understand all that we can in order to deliver the right solution that works for the client.
Q: You worked on TRIPPIN’ TOKYO, a design lover’s guide to the world where you shared your own personal stories and experiences. Please tell us about your creative idea for this guide.
A: Trippin’ has many interpretations depending on how you look at it. The way we perceive it though, is not just about a journey, but also being overly excited whenever we have the chance to travel. Trippin’ evolved from our conversations with friends, asking us about our findings and itinerary on places we discovered and travelled to that were mostly design savvy stores and less touristy places. We hope to come up with our next issue soon so keep a lookout for it!
Good things are meant to be shared. 😉 To see more of The Workbench’s work, check out the links below!
Behance: The Workbench
Facebook: The Workbench
Twitter: The Workbench
LinkedIn: The Workbench
Vimeo: The Workbench TV