5 MINUTES WITH… KAI CHUA, DKO ARCHITECTURE
At Equire, we value collaborating with a range of leaders in the industry. We sat down with Kai Chua, Associate at DKO Architecture, to discuss upcoming design trends and focuses for the rest of the year.
Q. Tell us a bit about DKO, what are the core values?
At DKO we love testing ideas and encouraging all team members to be involved. This way we are able to constantly produce designs that are unique.
Collaboration is another key value within the firm, this might be internally with our team or externally with artists, designers and clients. The more stakeholders we can bring into the design process, the better we find the outcome to be.
End user satisfaction is another key driver – we pride ourselves on creating spaces that not only work well, but also that are exciting to experience. We analyse how people live, work and play, and this informs our architecture.
Q. How would you describe DKO projects’ design?
Each of our projects is unique because of its site, the client’s brief, and also how we generate our ideas and solutions. What ties our designs together is that the work is logic driven, all the design responses are informed by the programmatic and site conditions, and how these complexities are turned into architectural opportunities.
Q. Specifically, tell us about your work with Equire?
It has been delightful to work with Equire’s team as they share our key values. The design propositions are a result of robust and rigorous testing of design ideas and solutions between both parties. We communicate well and understand what the other is bringing to the table. Equire fosters an environment where the participants communicate freely during meetings and workshops, this has been important for the projects to be designed and developed in a coherent and integrated way.
Q. Are there any key trends you see emerging in the industry?
One key trend for us is the continued sophistication of the residential market. Buyers are a lot more savvy about the spaces they occupy. We embrace this trend fully as it means that the role of urban design, architecture and interiors in buildings have become so much more important – how does a building fit in yet stand out from its surroundings, how do you create interior spaces which are comfortable yet cutting edge? We find that this amplifies our core value of chasing the best ideas, creating buildings which are unique within the environment, yet can resonate with the end user.
Q. What is DKO’s focus for the rest of 2018?
For 2018, we are continuing to focus on how we can help shape our built environment, either through our work, or through our advocacy in helping to shape the policies around built form in Victoria. There is a growing focus on the urban environment and how to create meaningful spaces and places that people can connect to. It is a fantastic time to be an architect because with so much focus on design, it pushes us, as an industry, to constantly improve on our work.