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The Individualist

Mini Inspirations
Feb 23, 2018 5:50 AM

Who are you?

I am Dean Chew, co-director of spatial design firm FUUR (short for "future urbanism") and co-founder of electronic music label Darker Than Wax, which is making waves globally. I'm passionate and spontaneous, but at the same time grounded and realistic. I execute everything in line with my passion, always focusing on the craft and integrity first. For me, a creative is someone who finds inspiration in everything from fashion and design, to music and art. There's too much specialisation and categorisation in society - I prefer a holistic approach, so I am malleable and flexible.

What drives you?

Whether I'm organising a project or a pop-up or a party, every little pursuit excites me. I love interacting with various demographics of people and learning fresh new things from them. I choose projects that are soulful -money is not everything. My index of happiness is far more important.

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What do you do in your free time?

I don't have much of it. But I do tai chi, yoga and meditation almost everyday. I find them holistic and beneficial to the state of mind, especially since I'm quite an excitable person. I also travel a lot for work. I go to Europe annually, for instance, to promote our label with the artists on various radio stations such as the BBC. I use some of that travelling time to escape and recalibrate.

Finish this sentence: I'm inspired by… architecture, music, photography, food and people with great vision and energy. If I had to choose an album, it would be anything by Miles Davis or John Coltrane. They changed the way I think forever, and I'll always be a student of jazz. Place-wise, it would be Sao Paulo, a huge metropolis with some of the biggest diasporas in the world. Its sheer sprawl and raw urbanism, its striking colours and architecture, its verve and energy - all that transformed my perspective of what a city could be.

This series is brought to you by MINI to inspire and awaken the passion and creativity within you. Are you an individualist like Dean? If you think you fit the bill, email helmi@sph.com.sg to say why, plus a photo of yourself. We'll pick the best entries and feature the individuals on this page.