Kelley Cheng


Kelley Cheng

Senior Lecturer, Interior Design
Kelley Cheng
  • BA Hons (Architecture) National University of Singapore
  • BA Arts (Architectural Studies), National University of Singapore

Kelley Cheng is a modern day polymath who has immersed herself in the roles of editor, writer, curator, spatial designer, graphic designer, video director, interactive designer, and educator. Trained as an architect, she is the founder and creative director of design studio The Press Room, a publishing and design consultancy that designs everything from books, brands, products, exhibitions and spaces, to stage and film set design. From F&B businesses to an art gallery, her creations are diverse and unpredictable. 

An active educator, she has served as an adjunct lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, Glasgow School of Art Singapore, National University of Singapore and LASALLE College of the Arts, and is a visiting professor at the HangZhou Academy of Art. 

Kelley is also a regular name in international design judging panels including Red Dot Awards, Nagoya-Do!, Design for Asia Award, Creative Circle Award, James Dyson Award and more. She was celebrated as one of 2009 Great Women of Our Time and one of the 50 Most Inspirational Women 2010 in Singapore. In 2019, the National Design Centre presented her 20-year retrospective exhibition Proportion & Emotion: 20 years in Design with Kelley Cheng as part of a series celebrating the acclaimed veterans of the Singapore design industry, and in 2021 she was conferred the SkillsFuture Fellowship and the prestigious President’s Design Award, Designer of the Year 2020, both presented by the President of Singapore.

Research and practice

Professional practice (select)

  • Designed and curated President Design Award 2013 exhibition at the Istana (2013), National Design Centre (2013) and URA (2014)
  • Designed and co-curated exhibition Rotations – The Art of Tim Yip at Esplanade Jendela (2014)
  • Designed and curated Group Show Project 6581 – Parallel Perception Counter Connection at Japan Creative Centre (2014)
  • Curated Martell Air Gallery, the first augmented reality art gallery at Marina Bay, Singapore (2015)
  • Designed and curated exhibition 50 Years of Innovative Partnership for REDAS (Real Estate Developers Association Singapore) at URA Gallery, Singapore (2015)
  • Designed and curated the art and design segment for Tedx Singapore SG50 conference, The Undiscovered Country at Nanyang Auditorium, Singapore (2015)
  • Creative director for Singapore Writers' Festival identity design and marketing campaign, National Arts Council (2016)
  • Designed and curated President Design Award 2016 exhibitions at the Istana, National Design Centre, URA Gallery, NTU, NUS, SMU, Temasek Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic (2016)
  • Commissioned to design the new Speak Mandarin Campaign 40th anniversary logo and campaign (2019)
  • Retrospective exhibition at National Design Centre – Proportion & Emotion: 20 Years in Design with Kelley Cheng (2019)
  • Commissioned to design the website and exhibition of cultural medallion centurion artist Lim Tze Peng, Soul of Ink: Lim Tze Peng at 100 at The Arts House (2020)
  • Founded independent documentation and archival platform Studio SML
  • Commissioned to design the commemorative book for Singapore General Hospital’s bicentennial celebration Sanctuary & Stronghold: SGH at 200
  • Commissioned to design Caregivers’ Alliance Limited’s nationwide mental health campaign Hidden Heroes
  • Appointed cryptocurrency company as Head of Creatives (2022– 2023)
  • Commissioned by National Heritage Board to document Heritage Businesses in Kampong Gelam (2022–2023)

Professional service (select)

  • Advisory board of Singapore Contemporary Young Artists (2012–2014)
  • Regional experts panel, Hong Kong Design Centre (2012–2016)
  • Independent experts panel, Spring Singapore (2013–2014)
  • Advisory board, School of Design, Singapore Polytechnic (2014–2019)
  • Member of the Steering Committee, Singapore Writers’ Festival (2015–2017)
  • Advisory board/brain trust, Tedx Singapore (2015–2018)
  • Design Communication Industry Advisory Group, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2015–2019)
  • Advisory board, Singapore Press Holdings Chinese Media Group, Lianhe Zaobao (2017–ongoing)
  • Advisory board, Preservation of Sites and Monuments, National Heritage Board (2023–ongoing)
  • Judging panel, Red Dot Awards, Visual Communications category, Essen, Germany (2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Judging panel, Red Dot Concept Awards Singapore (2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Judging panel, Singapore Book Awards (2020, 2021)
  • Judging ppanel, C2A Creative Communication Award (2020)
  • Judging panel, the Design for Asia Award, Hong Kong (2021)
  • Judging panel, SIDS (Singapore Interior Design SIngapore) ‘25 under 40’ (2021)
  • Judging panel, Taiwan International Students Design Competition (2021, 2022)
  • Judging panel, Singapore Design Award (2021)
  • Judging panel, DP Inspire Awards (2022)
  • Judging panel, SG Mark (2023)
  • Adjunct lecturer, Industrial Design at School of Design & Environment, National University of Singapore (2020)
  • External examiner, NAFA final year project for Visual Communications graduates (2020)
  • External examiner, Glasgow School of Art Singapore, final year project for Visual Communications graduates (2020)
  • External reviewer, M.Arch (Year 1 and Year 2), at School of Architecture, National University of Singapore (2020)
  • Adjunct lecturer, Rosso Arts and Design Education, Shanghai (2021–ongoing)
  • External reviewer, M.Arch (year 1 and year 2) at School of Architecture, National University of Singapore (2022)
  • Workshop lecturer, Creative Thinking,  at Singapore Management University (2022–2023)
  • Visiting critic, School of Architecture, National University of Singapore (2022–2023)


Awards (select)
  • President’s Design Award, Designer of the Year (2020)
  • SkillsFuture Fellowship, Singapore (2020) 
  • Red Dot Ambassador by Red Dot Design Award, Germany (2020)
  • CityGreen Magazine winner of the 2021 APEX Award for Publication Excellence (2021)
Conferences and presentations (select)
  • Speaker, Pecha Kucha, Home Club, Singapore (2013)
  • Speaker, Singaplural conference by Singapore Furniture Industry Council, Scape Park, Singapore (2013)
  • Speaker, Orita Sinclair’s Knowledge Assembly, Singapore (2013)
  • Speaker, Future of the Local conference by and Intercontinental Hotel (2013)
  • Keynote speaker, Visualising the Semantic Structure in a Book, Maison & Objet Asia Conference, Singapore (2014)
  • Speaker, The Power of Ideas, Maison & Objet Paris Conference, Paris, France (2014)
  • Keynote speaker, The Music & Structure of Books, Republic Polytechnic freshmen inauguration (2014).
  • Speaker, Asian Design Conference, National Design Centre, Singapore (2014)
  • Speaker, Craft Trend in ASEAN, Bangkok, Thailand (2015)
  • Speaker, Print is not Dead, National Design Centre, Singapore (2015)
  • Speaker, Leadership in the Arts, Teaching Workshop 2016, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore (2016)
  • Moderator, Business of Design Week 2016 featuring Design for Asia Award winners (2016)
  • Speaker, The Accidental Entrepreneur, NUS-TsingHua Talk Series The New Economy, National University of Singapore, Singapore (2017)
  • Speaker, Love of My Life, A+ International Creative Forum, part of A+ Creative Festival, at Taichung, Taiwan (2017)
  • Guest lecturer on branding, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou China (2018–2019)
  • Speaker, Master Talk at Hong Kong Interior Design Association, Hong Kong (online) (2020)
  • Guest lecturer on branding, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan (online) (2021)
  • Speaker, Pune Design Festival, India (online) (2021)
  • Speaker, SEGD Singapore Chapter Crafting Experiences: Stories by Experiential Designers from South-East Asia, #01 - Environmental Graphics & Wayfinding Design (online) (2021)
  • Keynote speaker, at Singapore Interior Design Singapore Annual Conference, Singapore (2021)
  • Guest speaker, e-Open House, College of Design & Engineering, National University of Singapore (online) (2022)
  • Speaker, Women of the World soiree for International Women’s Day, Singapore (2023)