Colin Seah of Ministry of Design

Colin Seah of Ministry of Design is a master of essentialism in both work and in play


One of Singapore’s most lauded designers, Colin Seah’s natural sensibility is to break away from convention. Trained in architecture in the U.S., Seah first worked under legendary names Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind then spent four years at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture, researching design pedagogy and serving as design critic before establishing his own practice.

He founded Ministry of Design (MOD) in 2004, an architectural, interior design, and branding firm headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. The company is behind several hospitality projects like the Prestige Hotel in Penang, Malaysia and the award-winning VUE Hotel Houhai in Beijing, China. Most recently, they unveiled two noteworthy projects: the YTL Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, which houses 1,000 staff, as well as the Citi Wealth Hub in Singapore, a striking “banking conservatory” that has garnered plenty of attention and multiple accolades.

Seah is frequently invited to speak at universities and design fairs like Maison & Objet and Archifest; he has also served as a judge for prestigious awards such as the Ahead Asia Awards and Dezeen Awards. Apart from his extensive portfolio, Seah is also noted for his personal style, which is built to impress but not shock, with a penchant for slim, impeccable silhouettes with surprising colours, prints, and details. In 2019, MOD created their first wearable collection with leather makers Bynd Artisan called “Code”—a single angular leather module that can be made into different configurations.

“Look within for inspiration before you look outside yourself; filter the world through your own lens.” 

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Did you know?

Seah apparently disconnects from work-mode by avoiding hip hotels when on holiday. 

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