Gabriel Tan grew up wanting to be an aircraft pilot, needing to be made aware of the design origins of products around us. But while serving in the Singaporean Navy, something changed, and he began devouring everything he could find on industrial and furniture design.
Tan was soon studying industrial design formally at the National University of Singapore, and he attended his first Milan Furniture Fair in 2006. A year later, he returned to Milan, this time as an exhibitor with startup design collective Outofstock, a collaboration among Tan and three other designers based in Barcelona and Singapore. After Milan, the group succeeded in producing a steady stream of furniture for clients in France and Denmark and interior design work for clients in Singapore.
In 2019 Tan moved from Singapore to Porto, Portugal, with his wife and two young sons. Currently, he runs his firm, Gabriel Tan Design, with offices in both cities.