How was Plus Group founded? How did Mervin and you meet and become a business duo?
PLUS was founded by 11 other members. We started out as a student group in NUS Architecture that explored life plus curriculum outside of architecture to enrich our understanding of what design can do to a creative person. From the student group, the Head of Dept and our Professors encouraged us to form something more concrete outside of the school’s vicinity, to harness the unique synergy that we have built in school.
Currently, most of the other partners have expanded their personal careers and have left PLUS, a situation that we knew would arise and hopefully our journeys will meet in the new future to push PLUS again.
Husband-and-wife creative duo, Mervin and Cheryl are founders of the PLUS Group, a Gold Recipient of the Singapore Good Design Awards 2022.
Instead of focusing on a specific niche, why interdisciplinary?
We have always felt that design is a strategy to reach a goal that was carved out. We view each project with a holistic approach and suggest different outputs that we feel will have the best outcome. Therefore, to be able to achieve this unusual approach, we needed an interdisciplinary setup.
“Design is subjective. But your objectives aren’t.” Could you further explain this bold statement on PLUS Group’s website?
Design as a topic is definitely subjective. What is “nice” or “beautiful” to a person, might not necessarily be the same to another. However, when achieving a goal with proper setups of targets to meet, that becomes objective. For PLUS, this is where the data and art or design meet.
What went through your mind when the project – Insecta Iridesse was awarded the Singapore Good Design Gold Award?
We were definitely delighted. It just proves that our hard work meant something to others, especially those within the design industry. It was tough to convince clients of our unusual approach to design, but this helps in showing that our ways, though unconventional, could still yield positive results.
What is one of the most worthwhile investments that both of you have ever made for a project?
Community projects are something new that we are exploring. Seeing the faces of the communities and having them respond to you the way you want your design to impact them – those situations are priceless.
Leading a team isn’t easy. Do you have any advice for solopreneurs or managers on what it takes to succeed and/or complete a project?
We are not sure if it is an advice, but we make sure the team in PLUS eats a lot. Eating is our form of appreciation and eating is our way of showing that we care. Make sure the team is being taken care of and the team will take care of you.
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. If we may ask, how do you and your partner take care of each other after work?
We do not know actually. Our lives are so intertwined with work that it sometimes gets muddled up and the flow just leads the way.