Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.” This saying rings true in the case of Fang Low, the 33-year-old CEO and co-founder of Figment, who built a company that conserves and reimagines traditional shophouses and then leases them out for residential purposes.
Growing up in a Chinese baroque shophouse in Tanjong Pagar showed Low what it’s like to live in a neighbourhood “full of kampong spirit” as he describes it. As a child, he spent his afternoons playing badminton in the carpark or reading books at the independent bookstore around the corner—a different upbringing from the high-rise living that defines much of Singapore today.
After finishing a Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Master in Business Administration at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Low worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs until his calling to combine commerce and creativity beckoned him to carve a new path.
Despite having launched Figment in 2019, the homegrown company is known for being one of the biggest players in the city’s co-living sector. His ultimate ambition, however, is not about breadth but depth. “Figment prides itself on its curated portfolio of shophouses. I’m adamant that we don’t grow at all costs, to risk losing our soul in our scale. I think we are uniquely suited to go deeper from where we currently are, into our neighbourhoods in a bid to revive our kampong spirit.”