Profile of judges

Thomas Chu

Thomas Chu Kok Hong is the Managing Director of Boustead Projects Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of SGX Public Listed company, Boustead Singapore Limited, the oldest company in Singapore (since 1828).

Thomas graduated from The University of Melbourne, Australia, with B. Eng (Civil) Hons. and worked as a structural engineer in Singapore and with BHP Steel for 2 years in Singapore, Australia and USA and then moved on to Boustead Projects, a progressive and leading industrial Real Estate Solutions Provider in Singapore. He has been with Boustead  for more than 15 years, working his way from a Project Manager, right up to a Managing Director.

Thomas has immense experience in providing cost-effective and efficient industrial facilities for many local and multi national industrialists in Singapore, Vietnam and China.

Cheah Kok Ming

Cheah Kok Ming is a senior lecturer at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore. He leads the Design Technology & Sustainability programme for the undergraduate and March curriculum . He coordinates and builds a team of experts and practitioners that enriched the design pedagogy with parametric design, digital fabrication, architectural technology and sustainable design. He has also piloted a collaborative design studio involving Building Science and Architectural students in an integrative approach to architectural design. His studio explorations have produced design outcomes that won both local and international design competitions. He is the organizing chair for the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition and Symposium from 2011 to 2015. This is an annual event that seeks innovative paradigms to meet challenges of fast growing Asian cities. It involves the participation of students from renown international universities. The pedagogical thrust of the event creates a platform in which research by design on high intensity urbanism in Asia is explored and subsequently made accessible as a resource or ideas catalyst to a worldwide student audience via publication and web-based information. He has also served as the Deputy Head of the Department from 2008 to 2010.

In his 6 years of service, he has won a total of 5 Teaching Awards presented by the faculty and the university. In 2011, he received the Outstanding Educator Award from NUS. Prior to this, his contributions to practice-oriented pedagogy in Singapore Polytechnic were recognized with 4 teaching accolades.

He is a registered architect and his architectural accomplishment consisted of schools, museum and research building. He pioneered a buildable school design in 1995 which won the BCA’s Best Buildable Project. His conversion of the Empress Place Building to the Asia Civilization Museum won an Architectural Heritage Award in 2003. Most of his built works have been featured and published in professional journals and books, notably the ISEAS research institute which has contributed discourse on tropical architecture in several books.  He has been an examiner for 5 years in the Board of Architects Professional Practice Examinations since 2007. He is also the chair for Board of Examiners for the BCA Academy’s Diploma in Design course since 2008. He had been a member of the Green Practice Committee in the Singapore Institute of Architects and the Recycled Materials Taskforce in the Singapore Green Building Council. He is appointed by SPRING Singapore to review product standards in the Technical Committee for Architectural Works. He has been invited in 2012 to serve in the National Environment Agency Design Advisory Committee for the evaluation of Market & Hawker Centre design. He has been a jury for both local and international architectural design competitions.

Benjamin Lim

With much of his childhood based in iwa Design, Benjamin grew up with design all around him and was especially piqued when he saw a design on paper being translated into built reality. As he matured, he received tutelage from the best practical trainer the industry had to offer: his father.

At once having high standards, and also being very strict with his young charge, the elder Mr Lim honed his son's skills and cultivated his tenacity. Being a perfectionist himself, the Benjamin developed unique business acumen, foresight and a keen eye for details and aesthetics under his fathers's guidance, and was soon ready to join the company as a full-fledged staff member.

Despite his status, Benjamin worked his way hip the ranks at iwa Design; from a driver, then into a workshop, to site installations and finally met his first client as a project coordinator after two years, With this holistic look at the company's entire spectrum of operations, Benjamin was able to fully appreciate the interconnectedness of each department.

The opening of China's doors in 2001 also brought widespread change that rippled throughout the general business environment. He noticed a significant drop in the prices of high-end electronics, which was the primary industry that iwa Design was servicing at that time. To circumvent this, he diversified the company's focus into more upscale lifestyle, hospitality and luxury clients as well as chain stores for both local and international clients.

Ever since he started leading the company, Benjamin knew he had to transform iwa Design from a family-run business into a professional enterprise with solid corporate governance, strong systems in place as well as a motivated and disciplined staff force. He also believes in setting the fundamentals right, to have positive business ethics, these is no point in being successful if you are constantly haunted by your own conscience.

Today, iwa Design's credible reputation in Singapore has allowed it to expand its portfolio to Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Middle East, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. The company is committed to convert empty spaces into playgrounds of creativity and practical use, working closely with clients to deliver innovative, efficient and quality designs as well as complete turnkey solutions with fit-out services.

With his hard work and dedication, it is no surprise then that in 2012, Benjamin was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, by the Rotary-ASME.

Ryan Chioh

Ryan Chioh is the Managing Director of 

Ryan first joined in 1998 as the Managing Director of Far East Flora Holdings Pte. Ltd. Since his joining, Ryan has been the catalyst for technological change in the family business, Far East Flora Holdings Pte Ltd, which is a diversified horticultural company.

Always a firm advocator for technology, Ryan identified the direction for an e-commerce development and sees a business opportunity to offer’s extensive range of flowers and gifts online in 2001.  Seeing the need for an e-commerce website that would give customers the convenience of ordering online, Ryan blended his IT savviness and prudent business sense to steer the company’s website to become the leading portal for flowers and gifts.

Ryan also brought the company onto another level by spearheading the development of a CRM and ERP business solution, integrating the front-end and back-end operations so that there would be easier identification of customer base. The two key technology developments have since brought an approximate 30%-60% of growth in total sales between 2001 and 2005.

Ryan is also the key innovator for new product lines like Flower Memo® and Bag of Blooms.