Dean Chew

Dean was raised in a family where both parents were architects. At an early age, he developed a keen interest in illustration that later evolved into a fascination for architecture. Upon graduating from the University of Western Australia with first class honours in Architecture, Dean proceeded to hone his design skills as an intern with Tan Guan Bee Architects and Andrew Tan Architects. Subsequently, he joined Kerry Hill Architects and Enviro Tec in Jakarta before deciding to expand his personal horizon and architectural expertise. He joined FUUR as a partner in 2007 and has since become the third Director of the firm.
Dean has also established the music label Darker Than Wax.

Dean-Chew_P3I Am Driven By | The desire to connect with people on various levels, the desire to create a positive movement that in turn inspires others, and the desire to stay true to a craft and develop it with honesty and integrity.



A Key Talent | I believe I am blessed with a strong visual eye to begin with, and years of multi-tasking as well as my architectural background have allowed me to develop a lateral way of working that is at once intuitive and systematic. But the most important thing I have learnt from years of accumulated experience is that it is integral to have a belief system, a holistic view, which governs everything you do. You can travel sideways and get distracted, but to have longevity, one should never lose sight of the overall picture. Re-calibration is essential, especially if you are a creative person – that’s how you can constantly refine and evolve.

Principles I Live By | Stay true to your roots, be constantly curious and humble. Most importantly, work on your craft. Talent can only take you that far – the rest is hard work, humility and finesse.

How I Use My Mind | Through my years of regular meditation and holistic practices, I realize I am becoming more conscious of my mind and its decision-making processes. Increasingly, I am relying more on my intuition and a certain degree of serendipity to inform my work and craft. It’s a very fascinating process when you become aware of this, and everything starts becoming become more lucid and fluid.

Dean-Chew_P1Lessons I Have Learnt | Patience, observing, staying in the middle path, remaining humble but not being pretentiously modest, being a sponge and absorbing ideas from everywhere. And of course, practice breath control – you will be surprised how much of your work depends on that.


Dealing With Doubt | I think I have a rather light-hearted spirit, which helps to smoothen the edges quite a bit. I actually never had major moments of negativity or self-doubt or descended into stagnation. I am constantly engaged, which is very different from being ‘busy’. I think the main issue with the modern world now is that many are caught in that cycle of being busy, or always having the need to ‘do’ something, which may not necessarily lead to anything at all. That in turn could lead to fear and negativity actually. I do feel that when one does face such a moment, it is important to stop, cease all distractions momentarily, isolate that particular moment and dissect it in the clearest possible way before moving forward.

Performing At My Peak |A positive frame of mind, a healthy diet, meditation and a strict exercise routine.

Dean-Chew_P2The Meaning Of Life | Extremely difficult to define but I think that’s not really the point either. If anything, it’s about staying on the middle path, being aware of yourself in the very moment and participating in the process.



The Best Advice I’ve Received | Best piece of advice I have ever received is actually from a reading of the Spanish artist Joan Miró – “The more true you are to yourself as an individual, the more universal your appeal will be.”

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