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AS SHARED WITH
Larry Peh is the founder and Creative Director of &Larry – an internationally-recognised design studio with awards from the British Design & Art Direction, New York One Show, Tokyo Type Director’s Club, Singapore Creative Circle Awards and Singapore iink Awards. His works have also been featured by renowned publishers like Wallpaper*, Taschen and Gestalten.
Next to his commercial practice, Larry is also the designer of his much acclaimed “Objects” series. Drawn from distinctly Singaporean origins and imbued with a cosmopolitan spirit, his sharply observed pieces possess a narrative quality that belies his roots in photography and graphic design, inviting the observer to partake of each confluence in form, function and social commentary.
In 2012, Larry was voted by Perspective Global as one of the top 40 design talents under the age of 40 in Asia, and featured in +81 Japan as one of the next generation of creatives in Asia.
Larry was also conferred Designer of the Year at the President’s Design Award 2014. This award is Singapore’s most prestigious design accolade, representing the pinnacle of recognition in the industry.
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Keeping in line with my studio’s “Objects” series (a collection of objects to designed to invoke social commentary), “Sign Of Our Times” was inspired by the ubiquitous “Danger-Keep Out!” sign, which is commonplace in Singapore. As a city that is forever in a state of reinvention and construction, this unique sign – most often displayed on the exterior of construction sites and relayed in the country’s four official languages – warns of the danger ahead and prevents mishaps as a result of entering dangerous turf.
Although still common, I noticed alternatives sprouting up – a clear example being an apologetic-looking man wearing a hard hat and bowing. Also, luxury brands and malls undergoing renovation often rely on beautifully photographed advertising hoardings. With the onset of progressive mindsets, who knows if this sign will one day become a mere memory in the people of our times?
Designed in black and constructed primarily with leather, “Sign Of Our Times” was based on objects that contain or hold important belongings – wallets, document holders and the pockets of garments. There was a strong focus on both form and function. For example, the pocket on the t-shirt doubles up both as a regular pocket and as a pen or eyewear holder. In the case of the travel wallet, it was designed with ample slots for credit cards (useful when travelling), and even a secret compartment for SIM cards. Made intentionally small, the wallet fits into the smallest of back pockets and leaves little to affect the user’s silhouette.
The intentional subversion of the traditional signboard was a core component of the conceptual process, deliberately avoiding visual resemblance to typical tourist souvenirs. What was traditionally loud, crass and intended for the public is now made private. The ‘warning’, featured subtly as a blind debossed typographic design, is a personal reminder to keep one’s belongings safe.