Past Presidents

Since 1985, the presidents of the Chamber have contributed significantly to Singapore’s design landscape and played a vital role as a leading voice representing the community.

These highly passionate individuals share the common vision of encouraging professional conduct among designers, promoting local talent and raising our nation’s profile as a global creative destination.

Tai Lee Siang

President: 2013 – 2017


Inception Pte Ltd


Lawrence Chong

President: 2009 – 2013


Consulus Pte Ltd


Benny Tan

President: 2008 – 2009

Senior Lecturer

Temasek Polytechnic


Professor Peer Sathikh

President: 2003 – 2006

Assistant Professor

Nanyang Technological University


Nigel Smith

President: 1999 – 2003


DIA Group


Patrick Cheah

President: 1996 – 1999

Founder, Design & Managing Director

DPC Design


Tan Khee Soon

President: 1994 – 1996

Visual Communications Manager

Nanyang Polytechnic


Michael Gan

President: 1988 – 1989


Nanyang Polytechnic


Allein Moore

President: 1985 – 1988



9. Tai Lee Siang

(2013 – 2017)

Director of Inception Pte Ltd

Significant Milestones:

  • Studied architecture at National University of Singapore
  • Practised architecture and urban planning since 1990
  • Key projects won both local and international awards and was featured in a URA exhibition “20 under 45” in March 2004
  • Held the position of President of Singapore Institute of Architects from 2007 – 2009
  • Inaugurated the formation of ARCHIFEST – the first architecture festival in Asia
  • Became the first chairman of Design Alliance of Singapore – DesignS in 2009
  • Elected as President of Singapore Green Building Council in 2011
  • Elected as Board Director of World Green Building Council 2013
  • Launched Singapore Good Design Mark in 2014
  • Served as Group Managing Director of Ong&Ong Group from 2010 – 2016
  • Board Member of Health Science Authority
  • Board of Trustee of Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Co-author of “Cities of Love” book
  • Founder of Cities of Love Awards


8. Lawrence Chong

(2009 – 2013)

CEO of Consulus

Significant Milestones:

  • Studied design at Raffles Design Institute
  • Joined DAS as a youth member in 2002
  • Co-founded Consulus, a business design consultancy in 2004
  • Elected into the executive committee in 2005
  • Involved in the Designers against SARS initiative
  • Became Chairman of the Young Designers Award in 2005 and expanded the award to the region with the support of BMW and the DesignSingapore Council
  • Served as Vice-President from 2007 – 2009 and developed long-term business plans to sustain the Chamber’s activities
  • Initiated an industry-wide survey with NUS on design companies and launched the report in 2007
  • Elected as the youngest President in the Chamber’s history in 2009
  • Revived Singapore Design Awards in 2009
  • 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.
  • Initiated the 1st Design Business Forum for designers and business leaders to come together
  • Initiated Designer Nites in different design offices which gathered more than 1,000 designers
  • Served as Co-Chairman of the DesignS network to help promote Singapore design at the Shanghai World Expo
  • Updated the Constitution to improve corporate governance, enhance inclusiveness and succession planning
  • Signed MOUs with Shenzhen Industrial Design Professional Association (SIDA), Guangzhou Industrial Design Association (GIDA)
  • Promoted SDA in Shenzhen in 2010
  • Signed MOU with ingenious switzerland to cross-promote design in their respective countries
  • Organised a dialogue session for members with Minister Lui Tuck Yew
  • Oversaw the name change from Designers Association Singapore to Design Business Chamber Singapore
  • Updated the constitution to allow the admission of any professional design associations and institutes to join as full members
  • Signed MOU with 8 other associations to launch SingaPlural 2013


7. Benny Tan

(2008 – 2009)

Senior Lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic

Significant Milestones:

  • Graduated from Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) in industrial design
  • Obtained his Masters in Design from Curtin University of Technology (CUT)
  • Started his own design studio in Sydney, Australia in 1985
  • Was keynote speaker at Italy’s Domus Academy International Summer Workshops alongside Andrea Branzi in 2002
  • Chair of the organising committee for Europe’s International Association of Universities, Colleges of Art, Design and Media, CUMULUS conference in Singapore with Victor Margolin in 2006
  • Has won many international industrial design awards, with the most recent one being the Polygon International Bicycle Design Competition in 2008
  • A member of the Paper Review Panel and Chair of the General Assembly organising committee during the ICSID World Design Congress in 2009


 6. Peer Sathikh

(2003 – 2006)

Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University

Significant Milestones:

  • Obtained his Master of Design (MDesRCA) in industrial and product design from the Royal College of Art (RCA) London and the Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai respectively.
  • Obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree in mechanical engineering
  • Co-founded Inovasia Design and won several awards, including the Good Design Award in 2004 from the Chicago Anthaeneum and SDA
  • Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Product Design and Innovation course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)
  • Is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Industrial Design course at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
  • Is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), Product Design and Management Association (PDMA), USA and the Design Research Society (DRS), UK
  • Secured the 26th ICSID World Design Congress for Singapore in 2009


5. Nigel Smith

(1999 – 2003)

CEO of DIA Group

Significant Milestones:

  • Studied design at the Southampton Institute (UK) from 1971 – 1975
  • Group Director of Penta Communications Group for six years
  • Joined DIA in London in 1983 and became Group Director and Head of its Corporate Brand and Communications division in London before establishing it in Southeast Asia in 1995
  • Has been involved in the development and implementation of many leading international brands such as Honda, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, IBM and Coca-Cola. Local brands include Singapore Airlines, DBS Bank, Asia Pacific Breweries, NTUC and Changi Airport
  • Founder member of the Marketing Council of Asia (MCA), which is part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • Took over responsibility for the Young Designers Award (YDA) from TDB
  • Took over responsibility for the Singapore Design Award (SDA) from Singapore Trade Development Board (TDB)
  • Expanded SDA into an international competition which received over 600 entriess
  • Launched and published Singapore Designer Magazine, Singapore’s first independent journal for the design industry
  • Wrote and produced the DAS guide, How to Buy Effective Design, which was sold and distributed in local bookstores
  • Co-organised the International Design Forum 2001 (IDF) with IE Singapore as a member of the conference committee
  • Organised and convened The Design Republic Conference in November 2002 at the Raffles Convention Centre, involving a global speaker platform and over 300 delegates
  • Won two awards for Chng Kee’s Asian Sauces and Kingsmen in the Singapore Promising Brand Awards (SPBA) 2002
  • Appointed Chairman of SPBA’s judging panel from 2003 to 2005
  • Co-organised IDF 2003 with 4As, AOB, AMA, IDA, and IE Singapore
  • Increased Chamber’s membership to 300 during his tenure as President


 4. Patrick Cheah

(1996 – 1999)

Founder, Design & Managing Director at DPC Design

Significant Milestones:

  • Studied design at the Baharuddin Vocational Institute (now known as Temasek Polytechnic) in 1972
  • Obtained his Master of Design from the University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Exhibition Committee Member for the 1st International Design Forum by Singapore Trade Development Board in 1988
  • Consulting designer to tertiary schools and institutions for the yearly Young Designers Award from 1988 to 1992
  • Moderator at Seminar on Industrial Design by Mr Shiro Sekiya, Advisor of Corporate Design Centre Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. Organised by Design Centre Singapore and Jetro Singapore in 1992
  • Judge in the 1994 Edition of the Prism Awards, organised biennially by the Institute of Public Relations
  • Delivered a keynote address on  Health Product Packaging & Design at the 1995 Nutrition Summit, organised by the Institute for International Research
  • Served as a Juror for SDA 1996
  • Member of the Singapore Design Council from 1996 – 1998
  • Leader for the “Design Singapore for Business & Industries” delegation to Jakarta in 1997, organised by the Design Centre Division of Singapore Trade Development Board in collaboration with DAS
  • Steering Committee Member for the National Design Blueprint (NDB) between 1997 to 1999
  • Plenary Session Chairman for International Design Forum by Singapore Trade Development Board (now IE Singapore) in 1998
  • Invited as a guest speaker, for the Inspiration Light Up Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2007 and delivered a keynote on “The Making Of A Brand”
  • Spirit of Enterprise Nominee in 2007
  • Academic and Examination Board Member of First Media Design School, Singapore since 2009


 3. Tan Khee Soon

(1994 – 1996)

Visual Communications Manager at Nanyang Polytechnic

Significant Milestones:

  • Graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) with a Diploma of Arts in Industrial Design in 1978
  • Worked for Brunton & Brunton Design and Ian Hall Design Consultancy in Melbourne in 1977. Projects included exhibition design for the Australian Department of Overseas Trade Shows and the Singapore Pavilion of the 1st ASEAN Trade Fair in Sydney
  • Joined the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research’s (now SPRING Singapore) Industrial Design Centre as Senior Officer in 1979
  • Formed DESIGN 3 in 1981, a company which offered product, packaging, graphic and exhibition design services
  • Founding Committee Member of DAS
  • Planned, designed and managed Shell Malaysia’s Oil & Gas Industry Permanent Exhibitions in the Sabah and Sarawak State Museums as well as their office complex in Kuala Lumpur from 1985 to 1987
  • Was a member of the Vocational Training Board’s Applied Arts Trade Advisory Committee for design education in the mid 1980s
  • Was on the judging panel for the Young Designers Award between 1988 and 2001
  • Principal designer for the Negara Brunei Darussalam’s 60 Years of Oil & Gas Industry Exhibition in 1989
  • External examiner for Temasek Polytechnic’s Product Design course between 1990 to 2001
  • Started a joint-venture company with Concept & Form International Inc. (Japan) in 1992 called CFI Design Singapore, offering industrial design services with Japanese design sensibilities
  • A member of the judging panel for the Singapore Design Awards in 1994 and the Singapore Design Council in the mid 1990s
  • Was design team leader for Hewlett-Packard’s First Personal Digital Assistant, the OmniGo 100 in 1995. The product went on to win the Best Product of the Year Award at the Asian Comdex Show
  • Awarded with the Japan Good Design Award for his SoyBrew automatic soymilk processor in 1999
  • Earned his Master of Design in the University of New South Wales, COFA in 2003
  • Joined Nanyang Polytechnic in 2007 as an academic staff in their School of Design


 2. Michael Gan

(1988 – 1989)

Lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic

Significant Milestones:

  • Founding Committee Member of DAS
  • Led DAS together with Singapore Trade Development Board (Now IE Singapore) to set up the Singapore Design Awards in 1988
  • Helmed DAS to be the lead organiser for the International Design Forum which ran from 1988 to 2002
  • Set up the first official office for DAS at Capital and hired its first employee
  • Put the DAS on the map with other international associations in the US, Europe and Asia, such as ICSID, Icograda and SIAD
  • Placed members in advisory positions in the Institute of Higher Learning
  • Held advisory position in the Creative Industry Committee at the Singapore Economic Development Board


 1. Allein Moore

(1985 – 1988)

Editor at AdAsia

Significant Milestones:

  •  Studied at the London College of Printing & Design
  • Was a member of the Chartered Society of Designers (UK)
  • Took on the role of Creative Director at Batey Ads Singapore in 1979 and worked on high profile accounts such as Singapore Airlines, UOB and the Singapore Tourism Board
  • Was Creative Director at Saatchi-Compton, Leo Burnett and Chiat/Day/Mojo
  • Ran Standard-CDM for 12 years as Partner and Executive Creative Director
  • Founder member and Chairman of the Creative Circle of Singapore from 1981 – 1984
  • Founded and became the first President of the Designers Association Singapore
  • Hosted Advertising and Moore, a radio programme on which he interviewed leading industry figures
  • Appeared on a business programme segment called Moore’s Marketing Minutes and contributed articles for the Business Times
  • Was a correspondent for MAD, a major UK advertising and marketing online magazine
  • Started AdAsia, a publication for the advertising and marketing industry which was voted Best Trade Media by the Society of Publishers Asia (SOPA)
  • Currently hold the position of Honorary Secretary at the Association of Media Owners Singapore (AMOS) and sits on the Board of Advisers for the Temasek Business School
  • Has given lectures at several schools in Singapore, including the Institute of Advertising Singapore (IAS)and Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)
  • Is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a two-time recipient of the Patron of the Arts Award