Sense of agency refers to the feeling of control over actions and their consequences.

Pete and Lishan started Agency in 2016 after spending the good part of a decade at renowned design firm IDEO.

We chose to stay, build and invest in design capabilities in Singapore, and have grown in our ambition and confidence about the potential for the practice of strategic design to flourish in the region.

Agency was named after our intent; the empowerment we want our clients to feel and the impact we want our work to have.

Our Vision

To activate human-centred design as the compass to innovation in Asia. We make impact tangible, achievable and sustainable for organisations seeking change.

Our Mission

To enable organisations to make brave leaps towards the future, with human-centred tools and methods designed to systematically reduce uncertainties.
Our Values

What drives our work

Informed Optimism

Leading with curiosity and possibility, but always grounded in human-centred truths gathered from rigorous research. It is easier to critique rather than explore the problem and advocate for what could be.

Bias Towards Tangibility

As designers, we are obsessed with real world application, not the realm of theory. This gives us the confidence to embrace and navigate ambiguity.

Relentless Collaboration

Innovation cannot be achieved in silos. We collaborate even when it is inconvenient or difficult in order to go further and faster to achieve the breakthroughs we seek.

Brave Honesty

Great work requires honest feedback, but that is not always easy to do. We strive to always lean into difficult conversations with respect, candour and openness.

Healthy Discontentment

We are guided by an unwavering conviction to do the right thing and to do it well. We are constantly challenging ourselves and rolling up our sleeves to iterate and improve.

Space To Change

In order to grow, we need to intentionally design the space for perceived limits to expand, enabling the capacity for businesses to act.

Meet our team

We have assembled a team of individuals who are strategic generalists capable of problem-solving across a wide array of briefs, while being excellent in their core disciplines. This allows us to take design from conception to implementation. We intentionally design bespoke project teams that complement our client's existing team's strengths and needs.

Leadership Team

Pete Overy
To his colleagues, Pete is like the real-life Morpheus who creates the space, time, and resources necessary to make alternate and desired futures for clients come to life. With over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of service design, organisational change, and implementation, global leaders come to him because of his expertise in breaking things apart and putting them back together again in new and innovative ways. Leading the pioneering team at IDEO Singapore and Co-founding AGENCY, Pete strives to ensure that everyone - from clients to teams and the end customer - has an impact and enjoys the process along the way. Inspired by his love for Star Wars, there are a few things that he likes better than telling a good story, especially one that helps to frame new opportunities and builds new universes for clients.
“You see things; and you say ʻWhy?ʼ But I dream things that never were; and I say ʻWhy not?ʼ”
- George Bernard Shaw
Co-founder & Managing Director
Lishan Soh
Known for her ‘lie detection skills’ and keen intuition, Lishan believes that businesses behave a lot like human beings. Trained as a journalist and design researcher, she wields her empathy skills to humanise complexity found in people and organisations alike. With 14 years of experience spanning service experience design, organisational design, new product development and communications strategy, her expertise is in unearthing the underlying beliefs and behaviours that create ‘win-win’ situations and symbiotic relationships for everyone. Part of the pioneering team behind IDEO Singapore and now a co-founder of AGENCY, Lishan is passionate about creating the right culture for people to feel confident about making the judgment calls necessary to uncover new and unexplored territory. She has worked with every industry that provides ‘essential services’ to humans - such as sex, beer, money and health. When she’s not on the field, you can find Lishan’s alter ego ‘the florist’ making floral arrangements as a side hustle.
“Dissonance / (if you are interested) / leads to discovery.”
- William Carlos Williams
Co-founder & Research Director
Katherine Dale
After over a decade of helping Fortune 500 brands integrate digital into their overall business strategy in the U.S., Katherine has found passion in focusing on human-centred design’s role in the creative process to build products and services that improve the lives of those who use them. Most recently, she was the Managing Director of a global experience design agency where she grew and managed the Singapore business, established new global client relationships, and built and led a talented team by investing in their professional development as well-rounded leaders. As AGENCY’s Business Director, Katherine advises our leadership team while finding balance between the needs of our people and the needs of our business. With over 15 years of experience in business operations, process management, and client relations, Katherine is focused on supporting the overall running and growth of AGENCY’s people and business. Outside of the office, this California native and ex-New Yorker is a full-time mother, a wannabe pro-wakeboarder, and an Italian-at-heart wine connoisseur and pasta maker.
“The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process.”
- Barbara Coloroso
Business Director
Jarrod Ryhal
Jarrod is a maker and creator at heart, who loves blending visual thinking and storytelling with the rigour of a human-centred design approach. He has a background in fine arts and graphic design and over 15 years combined experience at both a global brand agency and innovation consultancy. His project work spans multiple industries with applications across many different mediums, interactions, and touchpoints. This variety of experiences helps him balance a healthy mix of intuition and formal know-how with design teams as they unlock meaningful change for businesses and the people they serve.As a Design Director at AGENCY, Jarrod is dedicated to guiding, mentoring, and supporting agents of change—teammates, clients, and partner collaborators—through their unique design journey. He’s passionate about discovering, iterating upon, crafting, and sharing creative-excellent solutions—always keeping people’s needs front and centre. Outside of working hours, you’ll find him enjoying his most recent lifetime role as a proud girl dad. Coming from “The City of Big Shoulders” by way of the Sunshine State, he has also fostered a deep love for outdoor adventures, collecting and curating various oddities, and being an overly-enthusiastic video home system era connoisseur.
“The most important thing is that you love what you are doing, and the second that you are not afraid of where your next idea will lead.”
– Charles Eames
Design Director
Jeremy Sy
Interested in all things creative, Jeremy has always been fascinated with the mysteries of the human mind. He built his first career — as a strategist in the advertising industry — on the back of these two intersecting passions, serving stints in the Philippines, the US, the UK, China and Australia. Shifting gears in 2013, Jeremy moved to Singapore to build and lead strategic consultancies that focus on trends, foresight and innovation. These roles led him to discover a passion for helping organisations grow by enabling innovative, human-centric thinking among their people. As AGENCY's Growth & Strategy Director, Jeremy’s mission is to drive AGENCY’s growth by helping its clients grow in an effective and sustainable way. Outside of the office, Jeremy is studying to be a licensed psychotherapist and he is a die-hard fan of DC Comics and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“It’s very easy to look at the world and think, this is all so cruel and so mean. It’s important to not become bitter from it.”
– Ru Paul
Growth and Strategy Director
Bee Bee Ooi
As Agency’s Finance Operations Director, Bee Bee is a resourceful, dynamic and passionate detective, who makes any problem seem small, and uncovers new ways to tackle the most complicated of challenges. She brings over a decade of start-up agility and adaption, along with depth in lean operational management, to unlock an environment that is seamless, inspiring and supporting for every single member of the team at AGENCY from newbies to the most senior. She brings a balanced approach to improving the culture,
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
– Steve Maraboli
Finance Operations Director

Our Agents

Mathijs Sterrenburg
Mathijs has a near-unpronounceable Dutch name, so most call him Math. Coming from the land of windmills, tulips & cheese, he brings along 10+ years of multidisciplinary design experience. He has worked for organizations ranging from start-ups up to Fortune 500 companies within tech, serious game development, design & branding as well as having taught design in Amsterdam. He’s always on the lookout for opportunities which result in positive societal or environmental impact, one way or another.
“The best design tool is a long eraser with a pencil at one end.”
- Marty Neumeier
Senior Design Lead
Chloe Lam
Chloe puts people to shame with her incredible 'Do you mean like this?' translation, mapping, and framing skills. Her ability to effectively turn theory into actionable insights and tangible design stems from her academic training as a Cultural Studies researcher and over six years of experience in brand experience design. Her diverse expertise spans consumer research, retail strategy, service design and prototyping. Now, as a Design Strategy Lead, she's adept at balancing the 'design thinking' and 'design doing' so teams and businesses can spend less time being stuck and more time creating real impact for people, together. When she's not with the team at AGENCY, you'll find Chloe teaching, gardening, or taking long walks around the island.
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.”
- Roald Dahl
Design Strategy Lead
Joel Ong
Joel has always been in the 'people business' as a restauranteur, with over 16 years working with leading hospitality brands across Los Angeles, Singapore, and Jakarta. He believes that the key to good business is designing simple and intuitive processes that enable people to make good decisions and focus on what matters. But to him, this doesn't just mean serving his end customers well but caring for and building up the people that he manages. Adept at taking brands from design concepts to execution, including operations and P&L management, he's now excited to apply his human-centered business savvy into designing innovative products and experiences that positively impact society. When not playing competitive strategy games, he can usually be found obsessing over food, the stories behind how food is made or finding people to share food with.
“It's not important what people think when you come in, it's much more important what people think when you leave.”
- Jurgen Klopp
Business Strategy Lead
Wei Han
Juxtaposedwith a methodical demeanour, Wei Han has a penchant for seeking chaos only to find peace in recognising patterns in systems and behaviours. His experiences stretch from making investments through structured diligence and data-driven analysis at one of the world’s largest investment firms to building ventures in ambiguous zero-to-one setups at the frontier of new technologies. This paradoxical range helps him to translate strategic visions into tactical roadmaps while building bridges between design, business, and technology to turn ideas into viable products.
“The greatest danger to our future is apathy."
– Jane Goodall
Business Design Lead
Annabel Su
With a background in Sociology, Annabel has always been interested in understanding people and digging beyond the surface to uncover different perspectives and stories. Starting her career as an Account Executive, she eventually found her way into Research and Insights, working with clients like Unilever, Fonterra and MetLife to connect the dots between consumers and businesses, and has not looked back since. Outside of work, Annabel enjoys a spot of bird watching, and can probably tell you way more (than you’d like to know) about the different birds you see around Singapore.
“Our unhappiness and our strangeness, our anxieties and compulsions, are quite often what lead us to do rather interesting things.”
- Jon Ronson
Senior Design Researcher
Dora Augustin
Dora has more than 8 years of working experience in the creative industry. After working on a variety of projects in the field of advertising, B2B marketing, enterprise blockchain, government services, and digital products, she has learned to quickly adapt to the ever-changing industry landscape. She strives to understand the big picture while contributing towards specific deliverables through close collaboration with others. She wants to explore the potential of technology in creating positive changes on people's lives by having better experience and easier ways of doing things.
“The most essential prerequisite to understanding is to be able to admit when you don't understand something."
- Richard Saul Wurman
Senior Interaction Designer
Erick Dizon
An experienced service delivery lead in regional and global capacity, Erick supports AGENCY’s service and interaction design by lending his rich industry perspective to craft delightful experiences at every touchpoint, digital or otherwise. Before AGENCY, Erick spent the last two decades in tech organisations leading service delivery teams, managing P/L and interfacing with corporate clients on both local and global coverages. He is committed to impeccable delivery standards from discovery and conception all the way to deployment and implementation.
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
- John Wooden
Senior Interaction Designer
Serene Yap
Serene is a multidisciplinary designer who finds strange discomfort writing about herself in third person. The following is an attempt to overcome that: With over eight years of experience designing services, products and experiences for start-ups, MNCs and government bodies such as DBS Bank, Network Rail (UK) and the Ministry of Justice (UK), Serene’s mission is to create better futures through collaborative design, developing solutions that enable people to live a little better, a little happier and a little more intentionally. To her, working in a field that endows her with opportunities to create value in society is a privilege and something she takes pride in. She is also a kopi peng siu dai kind of person, and you can occasionally find her writing silly songs on her ukulele.
“The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.”
― Victor Papanek
Senior Service Designer
Darren Loo
With a few years of experience in social media marketing at Goodstuph and HappyMarketer, Darren is excited to build his communications design practice away from the traditional pathway of graphic design, which he was trained in. And it’s his passion for science fiction and anthropogenic futures that guides him. Darren believes that designers have the opportunity and skillset to build these potential possibilities for clients by tapping into their own experiences to communicate a story through the design. With the right process in place, he loves how something small can be designed into a bigger universe. Darren views design not as a means to an end, but the pathway to making a bigger impact. His heart also lies in printmaking, which he tinkers with in his spare time.
“By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately and well.”
- Robert Bringhurst
Communications Designer
Gracia Fei
Gracia is an interaction designer who lives in the intersection of interaction, service, experience and communication design as well as design research. She loves to work on projects that are fundamentally about empowering people in the sense of making complex things knowable, making intimidating things conquerable and making dreary things fun. She believes in the value of taking silliness seriously in every step of the design process. She is also an illustrator, and takes great joy in using visual communication to bring clarity and flavour to every stage of design.
“Mom, I am a rich man.”
- Cher
Interaction Designer
Maria Borrero
María is a service and strategy designer defined as curious and empathetic person who always looks forward to connect knowledge to reach better solutions in a critical and analytical way. She has a great interest in psychology and neuroscience, since she believes these are fields that allows her as a designer to understand better the behaviours and real needs of people, so she always seeks to connect this to create services and experiences that can generate a positive impact. She has previous experience with service, graphic and research design developing consulting projects in different sectors such as health, retail, legal, financial, construction, insurance, food and beverage, among others. Prior to AGENCY, she was leading an in-house design project in Columbia whose main objective was to create a methodology oriented towards people's wellbeing with a great interest on mental health.
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Service Designer
Zou Ling Xue
Ling Xue is perpetually curious about the how and why of a good narrative, especially in the forms of visual and motion graphics. After graduating from NTU with a BA in Animation and Visual Effects, she has garnered experience in digital communications, audio-visual production and B2B content marketing.
You cannot alter your fate, my prince. However, you can rise to meet it if you choose.
- Wise Woman of the Emishi
Multimedia Producer
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