9 years and going strong, Esther's become a key player on our Singapore team. The designer gives us a sneak peek into her day-to-day life and shares some of her favourite moments from nearly a decade of exhibition design.
What does a day in the life of Esther look like?
Most days start the same—I go to the office via public transport, usually grabbing some breakfast on the way in. My main role at GSM is 3D visualization and spatial design, so many days will see me at my desk messing around in Sketchup or other forms of CAD programs. But the Singapore office being a small and compact team, some days I’ll find myself going to meetings with curators and clients, trying to hash out what their exhibition will look like, doing onsite supervision of our designs in the museum galleries or collaborating with mounters and fabricators to ensure seamless visitor experiences.
The first time's always special. What was your first GSM project?
I joined GSM about 9 years ago, fresh out of school. My first-ever task was to design and layout a showcase for the revamp of the National Museum of Singapore. The showcase displayed artifacts found on a beach and site of a massacre by the Japanese in WWII. Working with the curators to learn why these strange, twisted artifacts held so much meaning was a humbling and fascinating experience—there is so much to learn from the stories of the people who lived and died during such a brutal period in history.
Let's say you could trade jobs with anyone at GSM. Who would it be and why?
I'd trade with Montreal-based Production Director Karine Chartrand. I had a chance to meet up with Karine in London while she was overseeing the take down of travelling exhibition STAR WARS™ Identities. It would be interesting to visit the many cities this exhibition has traveled to, not to mention, the exciting challenge of working with new teams and venues to bring the exhibition to life in cities all around the world.
You're alone on a desert island with one GSM project. Which one, and why? The Malay Heritage Centre—another one of the early projects that I worked on. It presents the history and explores the identity of Malays who live and have lived in Singapore since the the coming of Raffles. One of the galleries displays model boats built and designed by the Malays—I could learn how to build a boat and escape the desert island!