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Stories from Design Bridge: Studio Exchange, London to Singapore

Sam Foster is a Senior Designer at Design Bridge. Originally based in London, in May 2015 Sam went on secondment to work in our Singapore Studio. A few months on, we caught up with Sam to see how is he finding life in Asia…

Hi Sam! Tell us a bit about your career so far
In 2012, after 2 and a half years working at a small design agency, I started at Design Bridge London. It was quite a step up, adjusting to working on big global brands including Lipton and Hellmann’s, with a much larger team than I was used to. I quickly learnt a massive amount from people across the agency.

How did you end up going to Singapore?
I had progressed to Senior Designer level when someone who had been working over in Singapore came back to the UK, leaving a Senior Designer-shaped hole in the team over there. I have always wanted to experience living and working in a different part of the world, and had been asked in the past if I would ever be interested in trying one of the other DB Studios. I was ready for a new challenge and so it just happened!

Was it an easy decision to make?
Yes, I didn’t have to leave Design Bridge! I’d never been to Asia before so that was part of the reason that coming out here was such an easy decision. I took it as a great opportunity to experience Design Bridge in a totally different part of the world.

SF_SingaporeView

Had you worked abroad before?
No, but having been here for just over 6 months now, I’d definitely recommend it! I think it will make me a much more versatile designer as I’m getting to experience new clients, new briefs and new ways of working, as well as meeting loads of inspiring people.

Are there any differences between London & Singapore?
I’ve not really noticed any differences with my new colleagues at DB Singapore. Everyone has the same work ethic, the same high standards and the same ‘work hard play hard’ attitude as in London! It’s great to work with such a wide range of people from different parts of the world – it feels even more diverse over here – and you get a lot of different mindsets and outlooks. I think you can learn a lot from that.

The Singapore Studio is much smaller than the London Studio so you do get to know everyone much quicker. The location is great too, really in and amongst a bustling part of Singapore. It even has it’s own version of ‘The Kings’ (The Three Kings, local pub and second home to many DB-ers in London) in ‘Blu Jazz’. There are lots of cool bars and great places to eat close by.

Singapore team drinks

IMG_6778

Little India, Singapore

Speaking of that, how is life outside of work?
It’s a completely different way of life. There’s a very relaxed pace in Singapore – there has to be with the constant heat! There’s a big expat community so a lot of people are in the same boat as me. Everyone wants to meet new people and make new friends so there’s a really open and social culture. I’ve also found the locals to be massively welcoming too – they’re often curious to know how I’ve ended up in Singapore!

Do you have any advice for people thinking about moving to Singapore to work in design?
If you’re looking for a new challenge and fancy a change of lifestyle then definitely do it! It’s a great eye opener for seeing the differences in design outside of western culture, and I think the experience is helping me to become even better at my job.

Finally, what are the best (and worst) things about living in Singapore?
The best is definitely having sunshine all year round! I’d also say the amazing and cheap food and, of course, that it’s a great location to explore more of Asia from. The worst thing has to be the expensive booze!

SF_Departures

Sam Foster cooking in Singapore

Sam in Vietnam

Thanks Sam!

Feel inspired and fancy a new challenge in Singapore? Check out the career opportunities in our Singapore Studio, as well as Amsterdam, London and NYC, on our Careers page.

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