Can An Architect Trained By Zaha Hadid Rid The World Of Food Waste?

Every year, The Singapore Women’s Weekly shines the spotlight on 18 outstanding, high-achieving working women in the Great Women Of Our Time awards. These inspiring pioneers and game-changers are making an impact in different arenas in Singapore. In this series, we introduce the nominees in this year's awards. Here is the second nominee in the Design & Style category:

Yu Nong Khew, 35, Founder of Khew + Cornelius

Architect, designer, researcher, and artist. It’s clear that Yu Nong has worn many hats during the course of her career.

The 35-year-old is a trained architect who has worked for almost a decade designing beautiful towers, user experiences in virtual and physical spaces, and sustainable smart cities with several big-name architecture firms.

This includes one helmed by world-famous Zaha Hadid, who was the first woman to receive the illustrious Pritzker Architecture Prize.

“It was an once-in-a-lifetime experience working with Dame Zaha,” Yu Nong gushes. “As an undergrad, I always noticed more men in the industry, so I desperately wanted a female mentor.”

She goes on to relay what she thought about working with the legendary architect who sadly passed away in 2016.

“The thing about working with Zaha was that she was so ungendered, you never thought of her as a man or woman, because she had such a big personality,” says Yu Nong.

From architectural gold, Yu Nong then turned her sights towards the opposite end of the spectrum.

“I always knew I’d have my own business,” she shares. “But never thought it’d be in trash!”

As co-founder of design studio, Khew + Cornelius, the petite powerhouse has always been interested in how she could marry her love of design and her desire to give back to society.

“I’ve been working on a solution to cut down on the waste so I looked at my immediate surroundings and thought what can I do? I looked at the food that we throw away on a daily basis and decided to tackle the issue of food waste,” Yu Nong explains.