Creative Director, UPSTAIRS_ (Singapore)
Dennis Cheok’s journey in design began even before graduating from architecture school; working professionally on stage design, branding and sculpting, and culminated with his graduation thesis being nominated by the National University of Singapore (NUS) for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medal Award in 2007.
He first honed his design skills under the directorship of Colin Seah (Ministry of Design, Singapore); and upon invitation by Saporiti Italia in 2010, was honoured with a stint to study design at the prestigious Domus Academy in Milan, Italy.
In 2011, he founded UPSTAIRS_, a cross-disciplinarian design practice which focuses on conceptual ideation, collaborative processes and hands-on material exploration.
The studio’s creative output often shifts and diversifies between the interstices of space, objects, brand and print, and has garnered regional and international accolades for its innovative, narrative-driven design approach and immaculate execution.
UPSTAIRS_ has since won multiple regional and international design awards for its diverse body of work, including Multi-Disciplinarian Design Firm of the Year at Singapore Design Awards (2018/19); Interior Design Firm of The Year at Singapore Interior Design Awards (2020), and significantly, honoured twice as Interior Design Firm of the Year at Lookbox Design Awards (2017 & 2019).
Beyond his professional practice, Dennis Cheok finds passion in contributing to the realms of design education and exchange, and has lectured architectural design at National University of Singapore (NUS), interior architecture at SIT-Glasgow School of Arts, and is a frequent keynote design speaker in Singapore and abroad. He was also co-curator of the flagship events for SingaPlural, as part of Singapore Design Week in 2016, and Singapore Archifest in 2017. He currently serves as a nominated council member of Society of Interior Design Singapore (SIDS).