Sol Meets: Simon Chiang, Co-Founder of Archetype Studio’s Nuanced Approach to Home Design

When it comes to striking a balance between natural and artificial light, none does it better than Simon Chiang, the co-founder of local interior design firm Archetype Studio. 

“Light and shadow are every designer’s tools in crafting the nuances of ambience and depth,” says Simon on how he tackles lighting when designing a home. From his answers, it is apparent that his approach to design goes beyond mere aesthetics and interior trends— he designs with the location’s surroundings, and his clients’ needs and wants in mind, prioritising the livability of the space and how it can accommodate to his clients’ lifestyles. 

Designed by Archetype Studio


Simon knows all too well about the importance of quality lights that integrate seamlessly with the design of a client’s home. “Together with the type of daylight that enters a home, the lighting scheme and intensity are important in elevating something that is merely functional to something that delights,” he reveals. 


Careful planning seems to be a strong pillar of Simon’s design philosophy, down to the last detail in order to ensure that his clients feel truly at home in their living spaces. 

The Line series can be integrated seamlessly into a variety of project styles, illuminating living spaces discreetly
Pictured Above: Line
Designed by Archetype Studio


What are some of your favourite Sol Luminaire/ the LAB2.1 products and why? 

I personally love the Line range. They are tiny yet powerful, packing a punch while housed in a slim exterior. I selected this model specifically because it can be integrated and concealed into the car porch ceiling and exterior facade elements. At 15 Sunset Terrace, the Line lights are so well integrated into the car porch that in the day, the space between each aluminium trellis is not obvious.


What’s the most important aspect when designing a house?

Listening to your client and understanding their requirements. The design of the house starts even before it touches pen and paper. It starts with the designer paying attention to the client’s wishes and lifestyle. Then, it's up to the creativity of the designer to piece these requirements together, using their design tools and strategies to bring the design to life.   

Designed by Archetype Studio


Would you say that lighting is an aspect of interior design that clients often overlook? 

Usually, clients are not designers themselves, they are more focused on the practicality and functionality of a space. And they may be less well-versed in mood creation. Light and shadow are every designer’s tool in crafting the nuances of ambience and depth. Together with natural light, the lighting rig and intensity are important in elevating something that is merely functional to something that delights.


How do you incorporate lighting in interior design?

Light should be viewed as an assistant to highlight the special features of the home. Personally, natural daylight and shadows are my guides in how one navigates through their home. Artificial lighting should be planned to work in harmony with natural light. This also applies to the exterior and façade of a building. For example, for 15 Sunset Terrace, daylight and shadows animate the façade, while at night, concealed Sol Luminaire LEDs provide a subtle glow to the façade, allowing it to take on a different character through the 24 hours of the day.

The perfect addition to a reading nook. The Halo series illuminates spaces via a soft ring of light
Pictured Above: Halo V2
Designed by Archetype Studio


Describe Archetype Studio’s creative style and design process

We enjoy exploring proportions by playing with geometric volumes and spaces, and creating a light and airy ambience with tall double volumes. We also utilise light and shadows, and try to blend the exterior, interior and landscape into one collective experience. We don’t necessarily follow trends but instead, aim to design spaces that are timeless. We imagine that these spaces we create for our clients will grow with them over the years.


What are some areas where designing for residential and commercial spaces differ greatly?

Residential spaces usually reflect the lifestyle and temperament of the client — a physical, spatial expression of their character. It needs to be a sanctuary and retreat for the client where they can relax and recharge. With commercial briefs, the focus tends to be more about the brand story, and how the space can meet business objectives.


Where do you find inspiration when designing a space?

For me, the conditions of the existing location, as well as who I am designing this space for, are the strongest things that serve as the inspiration. I believe that spaces need to represent their occupants, and thus, people themselves are a strong inspiration. 

The Globula Exposed and Cube luminaires illuminate via 3000k Warm White for the ultimate cosy ambience creation at night
Pictured Above: Globula Exposed and Cube
Designed by Archetype Studio


What’s an interior design trend you’ve been noticing local clients have been requesting for lately?

Being more sustainable in their lifestyles, be it using the air-conditioner less (trying to have more natural ventilation in the home) and to have a space in the home where they can work from home in comfort. 


What are the lighting design trends for 2021 or 2022 that you would look out for?

Light & shadow go hand in hand. By focusing on the right kind of lighting, shadows around the light are equally important.


Tell us how your lighting selection process is made easier with DIALux?

For 15 Sunset Terrace’s case, with DIALux, Sol Luminaire helped to simulate the lighting and quantities required for the double volume living room. With a 7m high ceiling and ceiling fans suspended 3m down, the lights had to be very very carefully planned, and that involved finding the right solutions to ensure that the cutting shadows of the ceiling fans did not occur in the evenings. The software was a great help in simulating the conditions and allowed our client to make their choice with more peace of mind. 



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Sol Luminaire is located at 395 Guillemard Road, Singapore 399791. the LAB2.1 is located at 399 Guillemard Road, Singapore 399793.