Voon Wong and Benson Saw, the designers behind VW+BS, have just celebrated their 10-year partnership in business. VW+BS started in 2001 when the duo displayed a series of lights at Designersblock in London. Their different backgrounds ensure a different perspective to each project. “Benson’s engineering and product design background (Science in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University) makes technical problem-solving that much easier, while I come to the table with a spatial awareness of each project,” says Wong, who attended the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Architecture and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and worked for a number of prestigious architectural practices, including Zaha Hadid. While Wong and Saw are based in London, they are often working in different cities, as well as countries. However, irrespective of where they are working, each takes on separate elements of a project and they come together to critique each other’s ideas. “We have been working together for 10 years, so there is a lot of shorthand in our communication,” says Wong.
During their decade together, Wong and Saw have worked on architectural projects as well as products, including lighting. Their largest architectural commission was a renovation to a 19th century house in Berkshire, UK – De La Beche Manor – which included adding an extension that was designed as a contemporary barn.
One of VW+BS’s signature designs is the Loop lamp. This design launched the practice on to the international design scene in 2004 and was nominated for the prestigious Compasso d’Oro the same year. Conceived as two steel discs that part to shed light, the Loop lamp is both a light and a sculptural object for the table. “It has really been used as our ‘calling card’ ever since. I think the combination of engineering and design has made this light so iconic,” states Voon.