Fri, 13/04/2018 - 05:20
Current Issue 41
It’s What’s Inside That Matters
Siren Design is driving happiness, wellbeing and productivity among clients across the APAC region via an interior architecture proposition that proves it’s what’s on the inside that counts
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Tom Cullum
For the past 13 years, Siren Design has stayed true to the mantra of ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’ in order to become one of the most revered interior architects in the Asia-Pacific region.
Redefining the region’s architectural landscape as a consequence, CEO, Mia Feasey - alongside Managing Director, Penny Sloane - has led the charge, and has been rewarded via an ever-expanding business that now comprises more than 70 “creative and incredibly talented” designers, and a footprint that reaches Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne.
Co-owners, Feasey and Sloane share an intrinsic passion for design, people and business with the latter heading the Singapore office since its inception in 2011. Together, the management team’s ability to lead, inspire and grow talented personnel has turned Siren Design into one of the industry’s most successful pioneers.
“Renowned for being the ‘go-to’ team for realising high performance interiors for high performance clients, Siren is always eager to take on a wide range of projects whatever the space; be it hospitality, workplace, residential or public,” introduces Sloane. “It is our belief that interiors have a big role to play in happiness, wellbeing and productivity. Interior design isn’t about labels, it’s about crafting an environment that reflects who you are and what you do and an environment which immediately tells others what’s in your heart. And most importantly, an environment that invites people in.”
Sloane goes on to emphasise that a good interior can make or break a business; an apt notion when analysing the rise of Siren Design since 2005 in leveraging its own levels of creativity and determination.
“We are a tribe of brave and talented souls realising high performance design solutions for high performance clients,” the MD continues. “Whatever the space, be it hospitality, workplace or public, today’s performance-driven organisations are looking for highly turned, user-centric, experiential design solutions that accelerate their social and economic initiatives to transform their space into a home with a heart. This heart is the lifeblood of Siren Design.”
The progressive future of work
Siren takes great pride in finding new and creative initiatives in order to achieve the wants and needs of its ever-growing client base; with the understanding that each project is individual in its own right.
Resultantly, customisability and agility are of utmost importance, formulating a bespoke strategy in each case to facilitate the relevant client’s own creative control and vivid imagination.
“Maintaining and upholding this individualist approach has contributed to the growing success by shining a light on Siren remaining true to its core and true to its clients,” Sloane emphasises in relation to such a dynamic sector. “With an ever-growing focus on achieving a work-life balance, companies across the world are turning their attention to providing a fun, exciting, enlightening and creative performance-driven environment where their employees want to work and continue to work for a long time.
“Key global clients such as Facebook, Google, Uber, LinkedIn, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Visa, Denstu Aegis Network, ING, Nokia and Twitter who continue to engage with Siren on fun and exciting projects have contributed to Siren being awarded the Herman Miller “Best in Tech” Award, 2016 (Most liveable office awards for the Asia-Pacific region).”
Highlighting the Company’s drive towards continuous expansion has been its more recent collaboration with JustCo since 2015, the continent’s largest co-working company. Set to open up more than two million square feet of space as a consequence, the Siren team has gone on to design a product that changes the way business views real estate; as a prime example of the business’s sector reach.
“The nature of work is changing, and workplaces are in turn, responding to the shifts in the local and global business landscapes with a key emphasis centred on connectivity and energy transfer. JustCo is championing the movement of the sharing economy with their co-working spaces, which is keenly focused on encouraging collaborations to boost innovation and productivity,” Sloane explains. “The need for the space to be an experience formed a critical part of the brief; in addition to creating an environment that extends the comforts of home, also creating a place that ultimately supports creativity, focus, collaboration, wellbeing, community and happiness.
“To maximise this experience Siren has created dynamic spaces that are inspired by the progressive future of work.”
The design team explored the physical, virtual and human elements that contribute towards an enjoyable work culture and its most dominant commonality - connection - as part of this process. And the result has been a connective hub hosting a vibrant community of brilliant individuals and companies who vibe off each other to launch and grow.
“We have our clients’ back, 100 percent, and I think they really feel it,” Sloane continues. “This translates into our clients placing their trust in us and often extends to a global scale. We are currently working throughout Asia-Pacific including Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and China.
“From Bangkok to Jakarta, to Shanghai to New Zealand, to India, once a company interacts with the Siren design team, more often than not it is just the beginning. The relationship developed is longstanding and innovative; it’s a relationship built on trust and mutual respect; and it’s a relationship that has ultimately helped Siren be able to translate its design approach across places near and far to the head offices.”
At the forefront
As evidenced through the Company’s aforementioned innovations and collaborative solutions, Siren takes great pride in discovering new and creative initiatives; and this applies as much internally as it does across the client-facing aspect of its operations.
From a capital investment perspective, there has long been an acknowledgement that to stay at the forefront of the industry, there must be an ingratiation of the very latest and most advanced technologies, facilities, processes and operational efficiencies.
“To help us keep at the forefront of what we do, we rely on state-of-the-art technology, including software, hardware and infrastructure,” Sloane affirms. “We ensure our IT and operations strategies are relevant and agile, to support our talented designers, so they can produce their best work.”
In 2017, internal expenditures were seen on an even grander scale via the relocation of its Sydney and Melbourne practices; thus, accommodating the continuous growth of the Siren team, and the sustainable environment in which this team could thrive.
Sloane adds: “We looked at our team and operations strategy in order to support further growth in Australia and especially Singapore.
“We now have an agile core team of people and processes that support the design team, including finance, people & culture, resourcing, IT services and marketing - both locally and across the group - ensuring that we are connected and the heart of what we do has the highest level of integrity.”
However, while the development of Siren’s physical infrastructure is carefully planned and evolved, the recruitment of individuals that go on to occupy these spaces is relatively simple. Sloane states that the Company seeks ‘Sirens’ that are passionate, creative, brave, empathetic, caring, collaborative and down to earth; the technical skills then falling in line with such personable attributes.
“Being a Siren is a call from the deep. We are fiercely passionate, we act courageously, and we learn from each other,” Sloane says. “We have a deep respect for our Siren family and our clients, and we care about doing the right thing.
“We therefore strongly believe in creating a collaborative roadmap for the growth and development of all our Siren; I myself started at Siren as a graduate and have been constantly given opportunities at the school of Siren. This consistent growth means we are always generating new opportunities both for our existing employees and those looking to join.”
This collaboration is evident across all arms of the business, whether its employees, clients or even supply chain partners; Siren working closely with likeminded, reputable examples of the latter in order to find extra value and efficiency for customers at the end of the value chain.
Ultimately, this level of assurance instils loyalty and longevity as Siren continues to embed itself into the fabric of APAC’s construction industry through numerous - repeat - client collaborations.
Sloane concludes: “It is our belief that interiors play a big role in driving happiness, wellbeing and productivity. A good interior can make or break a business, and we’re working more closely with our clients to achieve smarter, user-centric design solutions: a fusion of experience and interface - something we call “intuitive design”.
“Interior design isn’t about labels, it’s about crafting an environment that reflects who you are and what you do and an environment which immediately tells others what’s in your heart. And most importantly, an environment that invites people in… Because ultimately, it’s what’s inside that matters.”