Presidential Advisory Commission

The distinguished members of the Presidential Advisory Commission are leaders in their own fields, and provide an additional layer of industry and practice-related insights to the EXCO in order to ensure that the Chamber continues to be faithful to its founding principles.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Lawrence Chong

Lawrence Chong

CEO of Consulus

Lawrence studied design at Raffles Design Institute. He has joined Design Association Singapore(Currently known as Design Business Chamber Singapore) as a youth member in 2002. Shortly after, Lawrence set up Consulus, a business design consultancy in 2004. In year 2005, Lawrence was elected as Executive Committee in Design Association Singapore and later roped into the Designers against SARs initiative. In the same year, Lawrence became Chairman of the Young Designers Award in 2005 and expanded the award to the region with the support of BMW and DesignSingapore Council.

Lawrence was elected as Vice-President of Design Association Singapore from 2007 to 2009. He has developed long-term business plans to sustain Chamber’s activities. Lawrence has also initiated an industry-wide survey with NUS on design companies and launched the report in 2007. In year 2009, Lawrence was elected the president of Design Association Singapore. During his stint as President Design Association Singapore, he revived Singapore Design Awards in 2009. He was also involved in the development of the world ICSID congress which gathered 1,000 professional industrial designers from across the world to meet in Singapore in 2009. To encourage networking between designers, Lawrence has initiated the 1st Design Business Forum for designers and business leaders to come together. Designers’ night was also part of his initiative to gather all designers. The first designers’ night gathered more than 1000 designers from different industry.

As President of Design Association Singapore, he has worked together with DesignS network to help promote Singapore design at Shanghai World Expo. He has also updated the constitution to improve corporate governance, enhance inclusiveness and succession planning.

Lawrence has also signed various MOU as a President Design Association Singapore. To name a few, he has signed MOUs with Shenzhen Industrial Professional Association and ingenious Switzerland to cross-promote design in their respective countries. Lawrence has also signed MOU with 8 other associations in Singapore to launch SingaPlural 2013.

Before he stepped down as President, he has witnessed the change of name from Designers Association Singapore to Design Business Chamber Singapore. He has also updated the constitution to allow the admission of any professional design associations and institutes to join as full member.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Tai Lee Siang

Tai Lee Siang

Tai Lee Siang, Group Managing Director, Ong & Ong Pte Ltd

Tai Lee Siang held the position of President of the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) from 2007 to 2009, and consolidated the institute’s “Blue Print” to establish numerous firsts.

On the design front, he led the inauguration of ARCHIFEST, a festival which promotes architecture excellence among the professionals and general public. He then pioneered the first Practice Convention 2009 – a strategic forum to address practice concerns of Singapore architects. In the same year, Mr Tai also initiated the establishment of Architecture Professional Course to prepare young graduates sitting for their Professional Practice Examination.

Currently, Mr Tai is the Group Managing Director of Ong & Ong Pte Ltd, a multidisciplinary consultancy firm that provides 360o solution encompassing Urban Planning, Architecture, Engineering, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design. As of April 2013, he is the President of Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS), a multidisciplinary design organisation which promotes design excellence and good business practices.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Audrey Yap

Andrew Yap

Audrey Yap, Founding Partner, Yusarn Audrey

Audrey’s career in law spans over 2 decades. She is well known amongst her clients and peers as an astute IP lawyer and strategist and is a champion for the concept of IP as a new class of asset. She is also a qualified Patent Attorney. She helps her clients’ shape their IP portfolios and worldwide filing & monetisation strategies to better extract value from their IP.

Audrey is the only lawyer in Singapore who has consistently been named one of the World’s Leading IP Strategists in a London based survey conducted by IAM magazine ( since 2009 till 2013 for 5 years running. Audrey was named as one of Singapore’s leading lawyers in the 2008 Who’s Who Legal.

Audrey’s work is both local and international. In 2004, the World Intellectual Property Organisation appointed her as regional consultant to design and head up a study involving intellectual property as an economic tool for ASEAN. She served as an external expert for the European Patent Office under the EC-ASEAN IP Cooperation Programme.

Audrey was also appointed in 2011 under a trade related project funded by European Union as the Expert assisting IPO Philippines in a national project in developing the model for Innovation & Tech support offices (ITSOs) throughout the country and providing training for 28 Philippines Universities involved.

In 2012, Audrey served on IPOS Steering Committee on a National IP Competency Framework as well as on the IP Sub Committee on “Developing a vibrant market place for IP transactions and commercialisation” for the purpose of the IP Hub Master Plan for Singapore, launched in March 2013.

Audrey is an Adjunct Fellow of the IP Academy of Singapore. Audrey has served on LES Singapore Exco since 1999 and was elected the President of the Licensing Executives Society Singapore for 2011/2013 and served as Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Committee, and Vice Chair, External Relations Committee LESI for a couple of terms. Audrey is currently Legal Counsel to the LES International Board. Audrey was also a council member of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) from 2010 till 2013 and the Chairman of Singapore Prestige Brand Awards, a jointly organised event by Singapore Press Holdings’ Lianhe Zaobao and ASME in 2012 & 2013.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Andrew Pang

Andrew Pang

Vice President Design Business Chamber Singapore

Andrew Pang is the founder of Lavaworks, a design consultancy. He also manages Egg Creatives, an integrated design agency with presence in Singapore and China. Backed by a mix of design flair, commercial acumen, strong design integrity as well as innovation in business development, Andrew is well regarded among his peers as a successful and influential design thinker in practice today.
A strong advocate of the design, Andrew has been playing an active role in Singapore’s design industry. Serving on board the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) from 2007 to 2014, he was an Executive Committee member and Vice Chairman of the Design Advisory. He is the driving force behind SingaPlural – the anchor event of Singapore Design Week, and also the co-chairs the organizing committee. Since 2013, Andrew also serves as the Vice President of Design Business Chamber Singapore.
Andrew believes that one of his key purpose in life is to nurture the next generation of history makers. Hence he is always found spending time with his wife and two daughters or investing his time in the lives of others.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Damian Tang

Damien Tang

President of Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects.

Graduated from University of Melbourne with Bachelor of Architecture and Masters of Landscape Architecture, he is also the Director in Design leading the design team in National Parks Board. His projects range from garden design, master planning of parks, waterways, public spaces, streetscapes to environmental planning and environmental graphic design of varying scales.

He has been involved in several national landscape master plans that helped shape the landscape of Singapore. Some of these include the PUB Waters Master Plan; Singapore round-island recreation network; and Streetscape Greenery Master Plan design and implementation. Some of his other achievements include multiple awards for SILA Professional Design, ASLA Honorary Awards, 2012 MND Minister’s Award, consecutive Gold & Best of Show Awards winner for Singapore Garden Festival Fantasy Garden 2010 & 2012, and nominee for President Design Awards.

Damian has been instrumental as a leader in his profession and setting professional standards in the landscape industry. He continues to hold other key appointments and responsibilities in the local design Industry, as well as being a council member in the world body of landscape architects, International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

Presidential Advisory Commission - George Budiman

George Budimab

President Interior Designers Confederations of Singapore

George Budiman was born in a Indonesian Fisherman village. He Graduated from Singapore NAFA Nanyang Academy of Fine Art 1993. After few years of serving some Prominent Royalty Families & Business Tycoon In the region. He started his own SOHO Design Studio CYNOSURE Design Pte ltd in 1998. His Unique and One of a Kind SOHO design immediately received several awards in 1999 to 2001. After that he made a Bold move, George venture to China in Year of 2002 at the same year he Open his China Office “ BUDIMAN Design ( Shanghai ) Ltd ” with a pool of talents serving MNC, S.E.A Real Estate firm, Banks, Coporate VIPs Etc. His bold moved nicely placing himself and his design firm at the beginning of the emerging ASIA market. Year 2003 Malaysia Cynosure Design SDN BHD was open and in 2004 to 2006 he won severals design award for his F&B design. Overall Design Excellence award and Best Malaysia Tourism Bar award.

Beside his very busy work and travelling Schedule. George was very committed to SID(S) Society of Interior Designers Singapore. From 1999 – 2004 he Started as Executive Councils members, Treasurer, Chairman of Charity events. 2004 – 2006 He stood down from SID(S) due to his Commitment with his own fast growing Design practice.

In year 2007 he was invited back to serve as Founding Executive Members of IDCS( S). INTERIOR DESIGNERS CONFEDERATIONS OF SINGAPORE (merging of Two association. SID(S) & IDA(S) Interior Designers Association Singapore.) Year 2011 He created also chair 1st IDCS publication “ Vitrine”. A who is Who top 30 Prominent & Young emerging Designers annual publication.

2012, He created ACIA Asian Creative Industry Alliances with the Strong Support of Shanghai Government / Industry & Singapore Design Councils. Same year, George Orchestrated the ACIA 1st “ POWER OF CREATIVE DESIGN INDUSTRY” Summit @ Shanghai. reported by Several CHINA & SINGAPORE key media as an Influential Creative related events in 2012.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Low Cheah Hwei

Low Cheah Hwei

Low Cheaw Hwei, Global Head of Product and Service Design, Philips Design, Singapore

Low Cheaw Hwei has been with Philips Design since 1991 and mainly based in the Asia Pacific region. In 2002 he was made Senior Creative Director in the sector previously known as Consumer Electronics (CE) and currently holds the appointment of Global Creative Director for Consumer Lifestyle portfolios. His responsibilities include overall creative direction, design business strategy and direction management while leading a team of more than 60 designers in the region, and globally.

Cheaw Hwei started at Philips Design in Singapore after completing his education. He lived in the Netherlands from 1992 to 1993 working as a member of the Philips audio concept design team. He then took on a senior position in product design in Hong Kong before moving back to Singapore in 1997 as Branch Director and Design Account Manager.

From 2000 to 2002 he was Design Account Director as well as Design Director for the Philips audio global portfolio. Over the years, he has led his team to numerous international design awards and commercial achievements.

In addition to his responsibilities at Philips Design, he has served on several design committees and design competition judging panels. He is presently a board member of the Design Singapore Council as well as a member of Singapore Temasek Polytechnic’s Board of Governors. He also chairs the design school’s advisory committee.

Cheaw Hwei has addressed various forums and seminars, particularly on the topics of branding and innovation. He also chaired numerous discussion platforms including the Singapore International Design forum 2005. He chairs the organizing committee for ICSID World Design Congress Singapore 2009. When not engaged in design, he enjoys contemporary painting, a game of football and is an avid book collector. Low Cheaw Hwei was born in Singapore in 1967 and graduated from Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic in Product and Industrial Design. He also completed a postgraduate industrial design diploma course from Milan’s Domus Academy in Industrial Design in 1991. He is currently pursuing a MBA in Strategic Marketing. He resides in Singapore.

For Cheaw Hwei, “Design is no longer just a capability, discipline or profession. It will be a faculty and any organization, company or brand seriously interested to thrive in our multifarious and fuzzy world will have to weave design into their culture… design is no longer just for designers”

Presidential Advisory Commission - Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith studied design at Southampton Institute (UK) from 1971 to 1975. He was appointed group director of Penta Communications Group for 6 years. He joined DIA in London in 1983 and became Group Director and Head of Corporate Brands and Communication division in London before establishing it in Southeast Asia in 1995. Nigel Smith has involved in the development and implementation of many leading international brands such as Honda, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, IBM and Coca-Cola. Some local brands which he was involved in were Singapore Airlines, DBS Bank, Asia Pacific Breweries, NTUC and Changi Airport.

Nigel Smith was the founder member of the Market Council of Asia(MCA), which is part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He took over the responsibility for Young Designers Award and Singapore Design Award from Singapore Trade Development Board. He has expanded Singapore Design Award into an international competition which received over 600 entries. He has also launched and published Singapore Designer Magazine, Singapore’s first independent journal for design industry. Nigel Smith has also wrote and produce DAS guide, How to Buy Effective Design, which was sold and distributed in local bookstores.

In year 2001, Nigel Smith co-organized the International Design Forum 2001 with IE Singapore as a member of the conference committee. For year 2002, he organized and convened The Design Republic Conference at Raffles Convention Centre, involving a global speaker platform and over 300 delegates. Nigel Smith has also won two awards in the Singapore Promising Brand Awards(SPBA) in 2002.

Nigel was appointed Chairman of SPBA judging panel from 2003 to 2005. In 2003, he has co-organized IDF with 4As, AOB, AMA, IDA and IE Singapore. During his stint as President, he has increased Chamber’s membership to 300.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Simon Ong

Simon Ong

Simon Ong, Group Managing Director & Co-Founder, Kingsmen Creatives

Simon Ong is the Group Managing Director and co-founder of Kingsmen, a leading communication design & production group with 18 offices across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. With more than 40 years of experience in communication design, he has led his creative team to win prestigious awards such as the President’s Design Award, SRA Best Retail Concept Award, SFIA Hall of Fame and the Promising Brand Award in Singapore, as well as the A.R.E. Retail Design Award & RDI International Store Design Award in USA. Simon was also a former board member of the Association of Retail Environments (USA).

He is actively involved in the creative industry as Chairman of the design cluster in the Manpower, Skills & Training Council of WDA, Design Committee of Singapore Furniture Industry Council, and Presidential Advisory Commission of Design Business Chamber Singapore.

Presidential Advisory Commission - Theodore Chan

Theodore Chan

In the earlier part of his 25-years career, Theodore worked for IVS Richard Yim Architects (Singapore), Tangguanbee Architects (Singapore) and SAA Partnership Architects (Singapore)

Some of the more significant projects that he was directly involved in include The Picture House (Cinema Complex), Bungalow Houses at Mountbatten Road (Honourable Mention Award from the Singapore Institute of Architects in 1992), World Trade Centre Harbour Pavilion (SIA Micro Design Award), Hotel Rendezvous (URA Conservation Award) and Jalan Besar Stadium (Structural Steel Society Design Award)

In 2000, he joined CIAP Architects as Partner/Architect, the firm responsible for Choa Chu Kang Christian Columbarium (SIA Design Awards), Bishan Mosque (SIA Design Awards), Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Wilby Central 15 Queen Street, Marina Bay Fire Station, NUH Medical Centre, Community Hospital (Yishun) and Community Hospital (Outram)

Theodore is the current serving President of Singapore Institute of Architects where he developed the curriculum for the Architectural Practice Course (Board of Architects and Singapore Institute of Architects) and the National Competency Standards for Architectural Practice (Workforce Development Agency).

He also serves several key industry panels; Board of Architects (Education Review & Accreditation Panelist), BCA Green Building Master Plan Advisory Committee, URA Conservation Advisory Committee, Design S and Design Business Council, Peoples Association Development Committee and Land Transport Authority MRT Development Architectural Design Review Panel.

From 2004 to 2008, he taught as Adjunct Architecture Studio Master at the Department of Architecture, School of Design & Environment (National University of Singapore).

Presidential Advisory Commission - Thomas L. Magnanti

Thomas Magnanti

Thomas Magnanti is the founding President of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Institute Professor and former Dean of Engineering at M.I.T. He has devoted much of his professional career to education that combines engineering and management, and to teaching and research in applied and theoretical aspects of large-scale optimization.

At SUTD, he has led the development of a university whose mission is to advance knowledge and nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators to serve societal needs, through a focus on Design and an integrated multi-disciplinary curriculum and multi-disciplinary research.

Professor Magnanti has led several centers and programs at M.I.T. including, as the founding co-director, MIT’s Leaders for Manufacturing and System Design and Management Programs and, as founding director, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). He has served as president of three major professional societies and as editor of the journal Operations Research. He has also headed one third of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and has served on the Board of Directors of Fairchild Semiconductor as well as on a number of other university, corporate and government boards and councils.

Professor Magnanti has received numerous educational and research awards, including four honorary degrees. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Syracuse University, and masters’ degrees in Statistics and in Mathematics as well as a Ph.D. in Operations Research, all from Stanford University.