Matthew Shang

Mr. Matthew Shang, prin­ci­pal at mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary de­sign firm Has­sell, shares his de­sign process and vi­sion


The two defin­ing projects in my port­fo­lio to date are Mal­mai­son by The Hour Glass and Man­hat­tan Bar at Re­gent Ho­tel. At Mal­mai­son, we de­vel­oped a nar­ra­tive that was a very much a de­par­ture from the style we had pre­vi­ously. We ex­plored the idea of sto­ry­telling and his­tor­i­cal styles, and of bring­ing them to­gether in a very the­atri­cal way to present a prod­uct. With the Man­hat­tan Bar, we en­hanced this style of de­vel­op­ment even more with an in­depth way of look­ing into the his­tory of the craft and its his­tor­i­cal prece­dents, and of try­ing to bring that rich­ness into the crafted in­te­rior. We de­fined and ex­tended the work­ing method­ol­ogy in terms of our process; we worked closely with the own­ers and ‘co-au­thored’ the prod­uct that way. We be­lieve that’s the best way to get a rich en­vi­ron­ment. Our fa­vorite pro­ject to date has been Proof Flat. In this pro­ject, every­one brought some­thing – a phys­i­cal ar­ti­fact from our trav­els – that helped in the sto­ry­telling. Again, it’s a co-au­thor­ship of space that re­sulted into a rich en­vi­ron­ment that evolves and ma­tures, and con­tin­ues to be en­joyed by every­one. Our vi­sion is one of co-au­thor­ship and of cre­at­ing some­thing to­gether with the client, and tak­ing pieces of their in­spi­ra­tion and brief to cre­ate some­thing in­ter­est­ing, en­riched and sur­pris­ing. It is cru­cial that each of our projects has its own unique and in­spired nar­ra­tive, a point of view or story that takes a cus­tomer on a jour­ney. To get those mo­ments of in­spi­ra­tion you do need time to pause and ab­sorb. It is ab­so­lutely cru­cial be­cause that’s where you get those sparks of orig­i­nal­ity and new­ness. P Watch the video in­ter­view with Mr. Shang on www.port­fo­ Shot on lo­ca­tion at Tea Lounge, Re­gent Ho­tel Sin­ga­pore

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