Designer of the Year 2018
Angelene Chan

DP Architects Pte Ltd

[email protected]


"My love for architecture has not changed.

It has deepened as I practice.

Design and architecture are

passions that fuel my being."


At the tender age of 10, Angelene Chan knew she wanted to be an architect. She was fascinated with the drawing tools that her uncle used as a draftsman and how a line could represent everything from a wall to a space in architecture. Her parents nurtured this curiosity when they entrusted the then 12-year-old with the renovation of their house in Malaysia. This led her on the path to architecture school. After graduating from Adelaide University in 1987, Angelene joined the Australian architecture firm, Woods Bagot, where she completed several office buildings and the Embassy of Spain. In 1990, she moved to Singapore to head DP Architects’ (DPA) retail team in the Suntec City project. Over the next two decades in this pioneering local architecture practice, Angelene worked on many significant projects, including Resorts World Sentosa, Wisma Atria and Temasek Club. But whether it is designing one of the world’s largest malls in Dubai or a factory building like Sunray Woodcraft Construction Headquarters, Angelene has held firm to her belief in creating architecture that prioritises users’ needs over any prevailing style. In 2016, Angelene became the CEO of DPA and has been instrumental in preparing it for the future and expanding its presence overseas. As a woman heading one of the world’s largest architecture firms today, Angelene demonstrates the power of the line not only in designing architecture but crossing boundaries too.


In her 26 years in the architecture industry, Angelene has worked on a variety of award-winning projects. They include Republic Polytechnic, which was designed in collaboration with Maki and Associates, and the Sunray Woodcraft Construction Headquarters. Both projects received the President*s Design Award in 2009 and 2015 respectively. To reposition DP Architects for the new challenges ahead, Angelene has cultivated a design culture within the firm. Her drive for innovation has also led to the establishment of typology research groups in the firm, a move which will surely push DP Architects to the frontiers of design. As an industry leader, Angelene understands and exemplifies the multi-faceted role of an architect. Her commitment to working in collaboration with the various stakeholders, professions and communities is exemplary and demonstrates the importance of achieving the best outcomes as a team. For being a role model to the architecture profession, Angelene is a deserving recipient of the award.


Dr Hossein Rezai
Web Structures Pte Ltd

Angelene is a true ambassador of the Singapore brand. She exemplifies design, reliability, rigour and honesty—qualities synonymous with Singapore. Her significant body of work spans from Asia to Europe, including the upcoming TRX Lifestyle Quarter in Kuala Lumpur, Mariner’s Quarter in London, Respublika Plaza in Astana and Bonnevaux in Poitiers. Her relentless pursuit of excellence has led DP Architects (DPA) to fly high the Singapore flag at the global level. Within her diverse portfolio of built works, her strength in retail design stands out. Her successful retail projects—including Wisma Atria in Singapore, Noon Square in Seoul and The Dubai Mall—have put her and DPA at the forefront of modern retail design development across the globe. I have personally seen Angelene brainstorming and collaborating with the world’s best architects and designers. Her open-mindedness and willingness to challenge established norms with confidence and a purposeful design agenda, would rank Angelene in the league of the best design architects I have ever worked with. Her decisiveness when decisions are needed, coupled with her timely doubt when exploration is called for, makes her an ideal designer. The design anxiety she revels in when pushing boundaries beyond her and everyone else’s comfort zones, and the way she steers the creative process and her team to the final design is exemplary—a trait saved for the best creative minds. The team-building spirit that has transformed DPA into a relevant and respected architectural and design entity globally is testament to Angelene’s efforts to aim higher for herself, her firm, her profession and ultimately for Singapore. It is for her profound passion for good design and for her role in the steady ascent of the Singapore design brand onto the global stage that I nominate her for Designer of the Year.