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Cocoa Trees, Singapore Changi Airport T4

Cocoa Trees is one of Asylum’s latest projects situated in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4

Slated to open on 31st October, its design is reminscent of every’s child dream of a candy wonderland.


View snippet here

Surrender: The Art of Fitting Rooms

Gone are the days where fitting rooms are purely functional. This Life! feature places the future of fitting rooms as centerstage in shaping the shopping experience.


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Design 360 April 2017 feature

Fusing design with F&B, delve into Chris’ design approach towards F&B in this interview session with Design 360


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All the lo’down on the godown

Launched December 2016, The Warehouse Hotel is one to eye. A 37-room boutique hotel reminiscent of Singapore’s vices and trading secrets during the olden days, is finished with modern and luxurious touches.

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Surface Magazine

The Business Times

The Straits Times

Swing by SingaPlural!

Happening 7-12 March, come to the KYO exhibition located at F1 Pit Building, as we introduce our product collaborations with Japanese craftsmen.


Discover our modern interpretations of these 3 interesting materials: waterproof fabric, lightweight wood and iridescent bronze.


Read more on Asia City

Read more on Asia Tatler

Read more on Zao Bao

The Warehouse Hotel featured on Monocle, February 2017

Monocle provides an insight into the newly launched Warehouse Hotel.


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Monocle Podcast on Asylum

Chris speaks to Monocle on one of our latest projects, The Warehouse Hotel.


The boutique hotel is due to launch in December 2016. Hear more on it in the podcast here

AUGUSTMAN September 2016 feature

One of ten Actually Influential Singaporeans – AUGUSTMAN chats with Chris.


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Smoke & Mirrors Cubes Feature

Dissolving spatial boundaries, where the bar fuses both interior and exterior spaces into one. Step in to experience an enigmatic entrancement alongside innovative cocktails.


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CREATIVE-KANTO invites Asylum

Asylum is invited to collaborate on three product development projects with different craftsmen from the Kanto region of Japan, where each craftsman specialises in Fabric, Bronze and Wood respectively.


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Cantonese dining, Yàn and sophisticated modern bar Smoke & Mirrors get featured in The Straits Times and The Business Times

The recently designed F&B establishments by Asylum open their doors recently in National Gallery Singapore. Feast on!


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Holistic Retail Design, Frame Publishers, Amsterdam

Hublot Pop-up Store gets featured for exclusivity in retail design.


“In other words, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer for creating exclusive retail formats. But holistic retail design does have two terms it can use to guide its actions: innovation and self-reference. Logically enough, innovation is the clearest indicator of true exclusivity.”


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+Designing Vol. 40

Chris gets invited for a talk at Asian Creative Cross Meeting, Japan.


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Monocle, September 2015

In this exciting issue of Monocle, Asylum gets featured as part of a Special Report for a guide to Singapore.


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Brand Guide: Singapore Edition, First Edition 2015

What makes a brand successful? Hear it from Chris as he shares bite-sized tips.


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Tokyo TDC Exhibition 2015 / kyoto ddd gallery

Tokyo TDC Exhibition 2015
which exhibits 150 entries
including award winning
works from the Tokyo Type
Directors Club Annual 
Awards 2015 is now on show


June 08, 2015 – July 31, 2015
Venue: kyoto ddd gallery


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漂亮家居, April 2015, Taiwan

Creative Director Chris gets featured alongside a couple of Asylum’s projects in the Food, Space, Design issue of 漂亮家居, April 2015.

Graphika Manila

We have been invited to speak at Graphika Manila again – the biggest design and multimedia conference in Philippines.


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The Johnnie Walker House Edit, Volume 02, The Creation Issue

Making sense of it all.


Read feature here.

Design, August/September 2014, Taiwan

An insight into Asylum’s source
of inspiration.


Read feature here.

Asylum x Vulture Magazine September 2014

Amidst the constant technology innovations that threaten to take
over physical brick-and-mortar book stores, Asylum dreams up what
an ideal book store of the future
should feel like to be ahead of the technology-driven population.


Read feature here.

Design 360 degrees, Japan

Creative Director Chris Lee’s take
on various typefaces for two of our
recent projects.


Read feature here.

Creative Director Chris Lee featured in international magazines April/May 2014

+Designing, Japan, May 2014


漂亮家居 The Top 50 Chinese Designers, Taiwan, April 2014


Read feature here.

Asylum gets hammered for National Gallery identity

7th April 2014 – If you haven’t heard yet, it seems that Asylum’s latest project created a firestorm on the digital media platform. Before we could raise our glasses to toast in celebration of the unveiling of National Gallery’s identity, we got wind of the news that our latest creation was the talk of the town. A clear division stands between the school of thought that felt the logo was plain lazy, and an opposing school of thought that championed that the beauty of the logo lies in its simplicity.


Naturally, the curious nudged us to elaborate more on our ‘two simple blocks’ of logo. In fact, it excites us that people are adding on a twist of their own creativity to our design. Our top two favourites are the likening of the logo to Tetris Blocks and Space Invaders. Don’t be surprised if we end up doing our own spoof versions too!


Below is the full transcript between Chris Lee and MyPaper. Plain lazy or sophisticated simplicity? We let you decide.


Read Full Transcript


Asylum’s recognition at Singapore Design Awards (SDA) 2014

On the night of 13th March, Asylum was awarded with Asia’s Top Design Practice in the various categories: Print, Interior, Branding and Multi-displinary. The results were music to our ears as we learnt that we were the only company that swept up accolades in multiple categories. It was indeed a night of huge celebration for us as we drank to our hearts’ content (not that we ever needed a reason to drink!)

Cubes Magazine’s Feb/Mar 2014

Johnnie Walker House, Seoul gets featured in Cubes Magazine’s Feb/Mar 2014 issue.

Read feature here.

The Asylum Newsletter, January 2014

January 2014 – Fresh from our inspiration seeking trip in Kyoto, it is easy to guess why we are working twice as hard! While we had fond memories in 2013, we are embracing the arrival of a new year with more to look forward to. In this issue we would like to share with you some of our most recent works. Here’s wishing you an amazing 2014!


Read our newsletter here.

Asian Creatives

Asian Creatives is a newly launched book introducing 150 must-see creators in art design, illustration and photography from Asia. Chris Lee is featured as one of the key creative figures leading the creative scene, whereby he shares about the today and tomorrow of creativity in Singapore and introduces a selection of some most talented individuals.

HK type trip exhibition

Type Trip, featuring cutting-edge Asian graphic design, holds its 2014 exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition will present the works and thought processes of notable Asian design studios such as typographics ti: and the team (Osaka, Japan), Javin Mo (Hong Kong, China), Sulki & Min (Seoul, Korea), Aaron Nieh (Taipei, Taiwan), Hei Yiyang (Shenzhen, China), Santi Lawrachawee (Bangkok, Thailand) and Xiao Mage & Chengzi (Beijing, China).

Asylum is honoured to be Singapore’s featured creative. Themed around “Hong Kong Newsstands”, the Asylum booth is decorated with magazines, featuring the likes of Asylum’s Chris Lee, Cara Ang and the Asylum team. The Asylum Times newsprint, accompanied with snacks on the side adds on to the ‘mama shop’ outlook.

The exhibition is currently running till 23rd February 2014, at K11 Art Space, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

The Asylum Newsletter, September 2013

September 2013 – Hello from our beautiful Geylang office! Working at the heart of Geylang is indeed an eye-opener. With so much “Ahem” authentic culture to experience, there is never a dull day here! Of course, not forgetting the food – if it’s good enough for the thousands who flock here everyday it’s good enough for us!


In this issue we’d like to share with you our recently completed projects.


Read our newsletter here.

Asylum Goes to Geylang

We have moved out of our office at Circular Road. You can now find us at 17 Lorong 24A Geylang. See you there!

The Asylum Newsletter, Jan 2013

We bid a fond adieu to 2012 and to a few of our recently completed projects, including a charming and quirky restaurant serving small plates, an epic whisky embassy in Beijing, and the Type Trip to Osaka exhibition where our creative director Chris Lee will be making an appearance. More details here.

Graphic West 5 Type Trip To Osaka — Typographics To: 2013 Exhibition

Since our Singapore Shophouse cover contribution in 2011 for typographics ti: magazine’s Type Trip series, the special features on cutting-edge Asian graphic design conclude in Osaka as its final destination after 8 issues in 2 years. The exhibition, held in ddd Gallery in Osaka, presents the works and thought processes of notable Asian design studios such as Milkxhake (Hong Kong), Practical Design Studio (Bangkok), Sulki & Min (Seoul), Sense Team (Shenzhen), Aaron Nieh Workshop (Taipei) and Xiao Mage & Chengzi (Beijing).
As Singapore’s featured creative, catch our Creative Director Chris Lee’s talk on 18 January 2013, from 1600 to 1830 at ddd Gallery in Osaka.

Fred Perry 60th Anniversary, Jan 2013

Celebrating Fred Perry’s 60th Anniversary, Asylum was one of the 60 personalities that paid tribute to the iconic laurel adorned and tipped collar polo-tee. Designed for a charity auction, other notable t-shirt contributors include Wing Shya (Hong Kong), Terry Hall (UK), Mother (UK) and Geoff McFetridge (US).
More details on our project page here.

The DIY House by Asylum – Oct 2012

The installation is an exploration into the potential of an unexpected material realized through makeshift architecture. The ‘DIY House’ is a structure, which intends to utilize the material qualities of tape by cladding a framework to make a shelter. By utilizing an accessible and versatile material, the audience can appreciate the properties of a common and industrial household product such as the combined elements of the strength of the tape and the form of the metal, allowing the house to retain its balance and to stand.  Come visit the DIY House at Dream Interiors, as part of Saturday in Design showcase on 6 October, 10am – 7pm. More details on our recent announcement here.

Hublot Unveils World’s First Pop-Up Store designed by Asylum – Sept 2012

‘BIG BANG’, the world’s first Hublot pop-up store has been unveiled at the main atrium of Paragon Shopping Mall in the heart of Orchard Road. Collaborating with Mr. Chris Lee of Asylum, the pop-up store is a colossal structure that fuses art and functionality, inspiring a design that pulsates with the energy of Hublot. More details on our recent announcement here.

Design Awards Results – June 2012

Results from the biggest design awards are out and there were smiles all round here in the studio. Here are some of the accolades we picked up from the recent international awards:

The One Show: Bronze Pencil Winner

Venice Biennale, The Cloud of Unknowing catalog

D&AD: In-Book Category

Venice Biennale, The Cloud of Unknowing catalog

Communications Arts: Design Annual 53

1. Venice Biennale, The Cloud of Unknowing catalog

2. Johnnie Walker House Shanghai

3. apbcOffices Pavilion Tower Kuala Lumpur

Asylum’s All In – June 2012

We’re excited to be invited to do an inspirational talk at Adidas HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The obvious shopping perks aside, we’re hoping to exchange ideas with some of the most talented designers in performance and streetware category on the planet!

The Asylum Monograph – Available online – Mar 2012

Great news for our fans overseas! The Asylum Monograph is now available for sale online, exclusively at Gestalten. Interested in purchasing a copy (or ten)? Click here.

It’s Awards Season 2012 – Chris invited to judge at The Conquerer Awards and The One Show – Feb 2012

Asylum’s Creative Director Chris Lee has been bestowed the honour of selecting the most impressive and groundbreaking works of designers the world over. Invited as a Regional Judge for The Conqueror Awards, and the Design Judge at The One Show in New York, Chris will be on the esteemed panel with other leading design practitioners from across the globe. (No longer online)

Home Review Magazine – Dec 2011

Johnnie Walker House is featured in India’s Home Review Magazine.

Johnnie Walker House emerges ‘Best of the Best’ at Perspective Global Awards 2011 – Nov 2011

Sweeping up a total of 3 awards, Johnnie Walker House (Shanghai) blew the judges away and walked away with the top prize, ‘Best of the Best’ of all categories! Other wins include a Trophy for Johnnie Walker House (Shanghai) and a Certificate of Excellence for Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair – ‘By the No.’ exhibition, both under the ‘Best Commercial, Retail or Office’ category. Check out all the details here.

Asylum in Magazines – Apr 2011

Thanks to overseas publications, our works have gone international! Even though some magazines were in other languages that we’re often unfamiliar, we reckon the pictures definitely speaks louder than words.

Asylum on Television – Mar 2011

We were elated to be featured on television programmes such as Living Cities – Singapore on Discovery Channel, Design Superheroes on Channel News Asia and the newly launched, Monocle TV on Bloomberg. If you happen to meet any of our creative folks on the street next time, please remember to say hi!

Chocolate Research Facility in Tokyo Type Directors Club – Nov 2010

Chocolate Research Facility’s packaging is featured in Tokyo Type Directors Club 2010.

BBH (Shanghai) Wins President’s Design Award 2010! – 20 Nov 2010

Here’s another piece of good news that you wouldn’t want to miss! BBH (Shanghai) has won the President’s Design Award 2010 – the country’s most coveted design award. As cited by the jury, the design for BBH (Shanghai) combines an amusing yet thoughtful commentary on the demolition of the old Shanghai as a backdrop to the activities of the advertising agency. It is the state of flux experienced by the city that becomes the metaphor for the nature of the agency’s activities.

Asylum Swept 5 Golds at the Singapore Design Awards 2010! – Oct 2010

The Singapore Design Awards (SDA) is South-East Asia’s leading design award and it honours outstanding product, graphic, new media, interior, packaging and multi-disciplinary design projects from across the world. Judged by an international panel of judges from US, Europe, Mid-East and Asia, Asylum swept 5 Gold and 1 Silver awards this year and we are absolutely elated!

Gold (Corporate Brochure) – TripleOne Somerset Brochure

Gold (Retail Space) – Chocolate Research Facility – Wheelock Place

Gold (Retail Space) – The Salad Shop

Gold (Office Space) – Bartle Bogle Hegarty – Shanghai

Gold (Multi-disciplinary) – Chocolate Research Facility

Silver (Packaging) – Chocolate Research Facility – Spring/Summer 2010


An interview with Chris Lee in art4d – Oct 2010

An interview with Chris Lee in art4d.

BBH Shanghai in Page – 11 Oct 2010

We are featured in Pages November issue.

An interview with Chris Lee in Cyzo – 30 Sep 2010

An interview with Chris Lee in Cyzo.

The Salad Shop in art4d – Sep 2010

The Salad Shop is featured in art4d September issue.

Salad Shop in Cubes – 24 Aug 2010

We are featured in Cubes August/September issue.


An interview with Chris Lee in Brand Channel – 1 Aug 2010

Singapore’s Design Savant; An interview with Chris Lee.

KL Design Forum 2010 – 1 July 2010

Chris Lee was invited to speak at KL Design Forum 2010, an event for the architecture, interior design and the building industry.

Habitus Magazine Issue 8 – 11 Jun 2010

We are featured in Habitus magazine.

Groovision Collective Exhibition in Touch – May 2010

We are featured in Touch magazine.


An interview with Chris Lee in Straits Times – 24 Apr 2010

A man with designs on society; An interview with Chris Lee from Asylum.

Chocolate Research Facility in Tokyo TDC Exhibition 2010 – 24 Apr 2010

Chocolate Research Facility A/W 2009 series was exhibited alongside other award-winning works at the Tokyo Type Directors Club exhibition 2010 held in Tokyo.

Chocolate Research Facility wins top award in Asia! – 7 Dec 2009

We’re proud to announce that CRF was awarded Design For Asia Grand award last Friday (4th Dec) in Hong Kong. The DFA grand award commends the best designs based on their design excellence, influence in Asia and commercial success. Other recipients include Toyo Ito and Arup Associates.

Business of Design Week (BODW) 2009 – 5 Dec 2009

If you happen to pop by the Land of Good Dim Sum in December, why not consider trotting over to the BODW Forum on the 5th? Chris Lee will be speaking at Asia’s leading conference dedicated to design, innovation and brands, together with an unrivalled group of the world’s foremost designers such as Jean Nouvel (France), Toyo Ito (Japan), Ben Van Berkel (The Netherlands). Log on to to find out more!

President’s Design Award 2009 – 20 Nov 2009

Today is perhaps the happiest day for all of us at Asylum and we can’t wait to share the good news with all of you guys out there! Chris has been awarded Designer of the Year for the President’s Design Award 2009 Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs. Now there’s another reason for us to pop more bottles of champagne over the weekend!

How the Hell Did That Get In? – 17 Nov 2009

Swing by YelloJello Retrobar on 17 November at 6pm as the judges reveal the secrets to winning the prestigious D&AD Awards! Helmed by local advertising bigwigs together with Chris Lee, revel in a night of mayhem as they uncover how it takes more than luck to win that pencil.

Launch of 4 Fingers BonChon Crispy Chicken – 4 Nov 2009

Revolving around the theme based on underground movement, we created an atypical brand identity for the new Korean fried chicken outlet. Founded by 4 friends who have travelled extensively around the world and profess to know the best places to eat, drink and play, the name “4 Fingers” was thus born. Resonating with cult movement to uncover non-mainstream ‘Best Kept Secrets’ and share discoveries with like-minded people, the graffiti style inspired by the streets of New York, was used in creating its brand identity ranging from its brand collaterals, interior design to the website. Head on down to Ion Orchard (#B4-06) and we say they’re “Amazingly Delicious!”.

Blueprint Asia – Architecture + Design – November 2009

Finger In The Pie? Read the interview with Chris Lee as he unveils the secrets behind the coolest gastronomic branding concepts around the island.

Chris heads off to judge Tokyo TDC – Oct 2009

Chris Lee heads off to Tokyo to judge the prestigious Tokyo Type Directors Club awards, along side with John Warwicker (Tomato) and Yugo Nakamura (

For more information, please visit

New Packaging – September 2009

We are featured in New Packaging. Steal a glimpse of New Packaging at

I have designs on you – 11 July 2009

Come to Old School this Saturday, 11th July (3-4pm) to hear our Creative Director present a talk entitled “The insanity of being a designer in Singapore”. Chris will be sharing some of Asylum’s past and recent works coupled with some words of wisdom!

Asylum in Spark – Inspirational Graphic Design – May 2009

We are featured in Spark. Inspirational Graphic Design. We couldn’t have been more thrilled being invited alongside award-winning London-based agencies, Big Active and Studio8 Design. “Spark. Inspiration Graphic Design is a collection of visual short stories. The authors are innovators from a media-savvy global age, who challenges traditional modes while exploring new territory…”

Preliminary Results are Out! – 4 May 2009

The preliminary results for the industry’s most respected creative awards have been announced and Asylum scores 2 nominations in D&AD and a merit in New York Art Directors Club. As mentioned previously, 4 finalists in One Show too. Nominated works include Artisan Cellars, Chocolate Research Facility and Frolick.

The highly anticipated results will be out on 4th May for One Show and 11th June for D&AD.

Asylum in Time magazine – Apr 2009

Chocolate Research Facility marks Singapore on the map for Best Place to Experiment with Chocolate in “The Best of Asia 2009” feature. View article in Time.

Chris heads off to judge D&AD – Apr 2009

Chris Lee heads off to London to judge the most internationally respected and prestigious creative awards for the second time. Held at the country’s historical and largest sheltered exhibition venue, Olympia, the esteemed panel of jury members for 2009 include Tony Chambers, Editor-in-Chief of Wallpaper Magazine, Adam Powers from BBC and Rosie Arnold from BBH among many others.

For more information, please visit

Asylum has 4 Finalists in the One Show 2009 – Apr 2009

With more than 26,000 entries from nearly 60 countries, 500 finalists have been picked by an international jury of award-winning art directors, copywriters and creative directors. Asylum is one out of a handful of Singapore creative agencies picked for packaging and environmental design projects Frolick, Artisan Cellars and Chocolate Research Facility.For more information, please visit

Asylum in Time magazine – April 2009

Chocolate Research Facility marks Singapore on the map for Best Place to Experiment with Chocolate in “The Best of Asia 2009” feature.