A driven entrepreneur with a passion in creative landscaping, Vincent Chia founded Tropic Planners & Landscape Pte Ltd in 2002 in Singapore. Started with a handful of employees to a strong team of more than 150 employees, the company offers a comprehensive range of services that caters to all aspects of landscape design, construction and maintenance.
Today, the company not only focus on local projects but has ventured into overseas markets such as Japan, Malaysia and Cambodia. It is also an award winning landscape company at many reputable garden competitions and is known for several prestigious projects in Singapore such as National Orchid Garden, Jewel Changi Airport and Gardens by The Bay.
We interviewed Ms. Crystal Carasig and Mr. Gibrone Cano, both CAD operator at the company and RIKCAD perspective contest winners in 2020.
–Why did you take an interest in RIKCAD?
When my colleague first introduced it to me, I thought it was a typical 3D modeling software.
When I saw all the sample works from Japan, I was amazed at how the perspectives looked so realistic with all the materials used especially the plants.
I was so enthused that I felt the need to learn the software because it will be very helpful for me to easily visualize the design I want to express.
When I joined Tropic Planners & Landscape Pte Ltd a few years ago, I was introduced to RIKCAD and at that time it was still in Japanese version.
I got interested in the fact that the quality of the rendering was really good, and that it has various other functions that are essential for creating drawings. Overall, I found the features in RIKCAD very useful.
–Was learning the operation of RIKCAD difficult for you? Were there anything that you struggled with when you first use RIKCAD?
At first, it was difficult because I was not familiar with the tools and functions of the software and furthermore it was in Japanese.
I always had to struggle in navigating around the drawing screen and the palette.
However, when RIKCAD International version was released, I found it very easy to use and was able to familiarize myself with the tools as the interface is in English.
Likewise, it was very difficult at the beginning for me because it was all in Japanese language which I did not understand at all.
I was only able to make a garden design through a lot of trial and error which took up much time. When the English version was released, it was really satisfying for me because I was able to use it easily without having to translate the instructions from the Japanese to English.
–What software do you use other than RIKCAD when proposing a project?
AutoCAD and Photoshop.
Photoshop, Indesign, Audtocad, SketchUp, Twinmotion and Revit.
–Please tell me briefly about the workflow of a project.
Before RIKCAD, I used AutoCAD for 2D floor plan, then export it to Photoshop to render.
But now I use RIKCAD in every project because it is an all-in-one software which helps to save much time.
All design schemes such as plan, elevation, sections and perspectives are drawn by hand. If the project is approved by the client, I will proceed to the next step of translating all the manual drawings into digital drawings using Photoshop to render. Then I use Indesign for presentation to the client, Audtocad for tracing, scaling and detailing, SketchUp to do the 3D model, and finally, Twinmotion for final rendering like perspective and video (Walk-thru).
–Could you tell me some merits in using RIKCAD?
It is a user-friendly software and it can produce realistic perspectives and presentable 2D plans, detail drawings, etc. It is a time saving software for designers.
RIKCAD software is really helpful to me in working on my projects as it makes my work easier and faster.
For example, when I render floor plan and perspective, it gives High Quality of the rendering. RIKCAD can also calculate the quantity of plants and details of each plant or specie that are input into the project.
–How do you usually propose a plan? Any advice for people just starting out?
Usually, I start from a design concept with mood images. Then I use AutoCAD to draw 2D plan. After that I will edit and render it in Photoshop or Sketchup (if needed a 3D drawing).
It takes some time to get in and out of different software and revise it one by one. With the use of RIKCAD, presentation given to the client is easier and at the same time easier for them to understand. For people just starting out on RIKCAD, just continue practice using it as skill comes from consistent and deliberate practice.
I usually produce plan in RIKCAD by tracing it in the 2D tool box by just dragging and dropping it manually and then add some materials and render it after the tracing.
–Please tell me if you are particular about your own design and proposing document.
I’m very particular about clients’ satisfaction on the design and I always make sure that the design is implemented accurately and is sustainable.
I also am very particular about submitting high quality design to clients, even for fast phase design procedures I try to keep the quality consistent as well as for documents proposals and particularly in presentation documents.
–Congratulation on winning a encouragement prize for garden design in RIK Perspective contest 2020! Please tell me about the concept and key point of the work.
I never expected to win the Encouragement Prize for Garden category. Thank you very much to all the jurors and to the RIK team. I also want to thank our team in Tropic Planners & Landscape for encouraging and supporting me in joining this year RIK perspective contest.
I chose this small residential house located in Quezon Province, Philippines, for the RIK perspective contest 2020 to show a typical tropical garden with a local Asian-touch which I think is common in the Philippines provinces.
A backyard carefully framed to generate the notion of Asia tropical garden. This well-wooded patio complements the architectural style of the house. It naturally extends your home, to cater the usual family get together, creating a relaxing and restful space. Featuring lush, vibrant vegetation with different textures, height and colors, it invites the users to enjoy the simplicity of nature.
▲The Wooden Patio RIK perspective contest 2020 Encouragement Prize in garden design category
–Congratulation on winning an honorable mention in RIK Perspective contest 2020! Please tell me about the concept and key point of the work.
Thank you very much to the people who believe in me and it is an honor for me to receive the honorable mention.
The office at Tropic Group greets people with lush greenery upon arrival. The extensive green wall blooms with vibrant colors of foliage stands as the center of attention in the office. This creates a soothing and relaxing feeling and takes stress away from the hectic work life. The green wall highlights the office and brightens the atmosphere. It provides a sense of quietude that lightens the mood and vibes of the working space.
With the hard work put in by Tropic Planners and Landscape Pte Ltd in building the design perfectly, I was able to implement the design into reality. Congratulations to the Tropic Team too!
▲Tropic Green Office RIK perspective contest 2020 Honorable Mention
▲Photo of the actual property
–How long did it take to design the work with RIKCAD? Any difficulties during preparation for the contest? e.g. composition, angle of perspective, settings.
It took me about 2 to 2.5 weeks to come up with the whole design including the design of the external part of the architecture.
I had difficulties in getting the right composition of the sun angle/rays and the rendering settings to get the effect I wanted to show.
The work took 5 days because I wanted to reach the lighting effect to make a mood and the feelings like one is in a garden with some tropical plants. I did not face any difficulties during the preparation for the contest and it was really exciting and satisfying when I saw the result of the rendering and the final output with RIKCAD delivering such high-quality perspective.
–What are you expecting of RIKCAD in the future?
I know that RIKCAD can expand its libraries especially now that there is an English International version going to different countries around the globe.
I’m expecting RIKCAD to add more plants in the library and to have a standard and organized listing. I’m also expecting to see more entourages like the people, animals, etc. To see more walk-through software collaborations in the future.
Though we can add our own plants and materials, I’m expecting more of those in the library.
date June 26, 2020
Tropic Planners & Landscape Pte Ltd
No. 34 Woodlands Sector 2
Tel: +65 8303 1055
Fax: +65 6762 0300