WORK Pte Ltd

Why We Do What We Do

In early 2016, we prompted our 22 year old Project Executive, Abigail Tan, to ask some questions about WORK. Directed to Creative Director, Theseus Chan.

The company started in 1997, which was almost 18 years ago. What has always been the driving force of the studio?

WORK started because I wanted the freedom to create work that is purposeful and uniquely different. It has to be a creative-owned company in which our approach, thinking and methodology is shaped by our belief that amazing works are only limited by your ability to create them. Hence, we took on projects that have synergy with us because great works are created through exploration, open-mindedness and guts. Most importantly, we seek collaborations with people who are keen and willing to explore paths that are not usually taken.


How do you define the company’s characteristics and abilities?

There are two parts of the company that have to be integrated: Business and Creativity. One cannot be without the other. Therefore, to stay creative we need to have financial independence. Financial freedom will allow us to seek projects that have synergy with our way of creation. Thereby, creating work that is relevant, fresh and unique in this time and age. Our modus operandi is to find new ways to create work with the objective that it continues to evolve once set in motion. This is why we see clients as project partners more so than anything else.


The studio is perceived to be selective of the people they work with. What is the true reason behind this?

That is not entirely true. Internally, I look for colleagues that share the same vision as the company. If they have character, the talent and capacity to offer something we don't already have, it will help build the company further as change is constant. For clients and collaborators, we view working in partnership to be the best formation. This is because we need to understand them before we can offer different views, keeping in mind what works best for the project. Though I do understand the benefits of exploring different strategies, typically we will present the best idea among many others. The solution should always be the best, as it doesn't make sense to me to have two or three we claim to be the best. Having said this, we do have many clients that have been with us long-term, like Club21, On Pedder and UBS for example, having built a mutual relationship as we journey together, bounce ideas and is flexible with their needs. We have also worked with international brands like Selfridges, Nicholas Kirkwood and Comme des Garçons in recent years. However, this reminds us not to take anything for granted lest we become complacent with ourselves.