Tony LAU Chi-Hoi, Founder and Creative Director of NowHere® Design Ltd. is a renowned designer who holds professional qualifications like HKDA (Exco) and HKIDA (Pro). His works focus on interior architecture, property branding and sustainable design. He is awarded CSD design award and Gold Award of A’ Design Award (Milan, Italy)., also a distinctive finalist of International Green Interior Awards (Australia) etc.. As the Committee Chairman of Hong Kong Designers Association GDA 2015-16 , he leads NowHere® to obtain ISO qualification and over 120 international design, sustainability and CSR awards, including the Gold Award: Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE) , the “Oscars Award of Hong Kong environmental-conservation” and Bronze Award of BOCHK Corporate Environmental Leadership Awards. www.NowHere.HK
NowHere® Design Limited ("NDL") interviewed on Wednesday, 28 March.
NDL : I am the Founder and Creative Director of NowHere® Design Ltd. is a renowned designer who holds professional qualifications like HKDA (Exco) and HKIDA (Pro) with almost 20 years of experience. My works focus exclusively on interior architecture, property branding as well as sustainable interior design, and has been awarded numerous awards and honorary titles. I am awarded over 120 design, sustainability and CSR awards, including Gold A’ Design Award and CSD design award etc.
NDL : I did not choose to become a designer; the design career chooses me! My passion of painting, drawing, designing has been found within me ever since. As I grew up, teachers, family members and peers kept telling me that I am talented at art and design, that’s why I took up further studies in interior architectural design.
NDL : 1)The client’s corporate image; 2)Functionality and user experience: especially being barrier-free and accessible to all users; and 3)Aesthetics. For the design process, I visit the site, conduct research about it, analyze the general picture, define problems and needs of the client. Come up with design concepts and themes, develop the detailed style and finally, carry out the technical execution of the construction. I utilize both manuscript sketches and AutoCAD to produce 2D graphics and 3D renderings, also build physical models to illustrate the project.
NDL : Indescribable joy and even ecstasy, almost going hyper during the first brainstorming and execution; lost and might somehow depressed when the project is completed. However, the initial sense of happiness surges when I receive positive feedback from clients or being awarded.
NDL : My experiences working with a renowned international gourmet liquor brand is remarkable to my design career. I cultivated a sense of a comprehensive property branding. Moreover, One of them is the Mexican Consulate. The project was a 3-year cultural festival called “Mexican September”, held around a decade ago. I took up branding design and management of the event, as well as the site decoration etc. It was an awesome experience!
NDL : I plan to take up more projects, propelling the development of a sustainable SMART CITY in Hong Kong and other cities worldwide. I have incorporated energy-efficient SMART systems to my Gold A’ Design Award-winning project- LaPuro Medical Beauty Centre. I aspire to apply the same methodology to even larger-scale commercial and interior architectural spaces. I would also like to design products like home accessories.
NDL : My career started at a difficult time, during economic depression. I started on my company on my own, without fame nor connection. I always put what Mother Teresa said as my motto- “do small things with great love”. You have to love what you do and put through.
NDL : Remember hard work pays off; a designer should possess the mentality of the leader- look forward, think out of the box and be persistent. Do not be afraid of obstacles. You may always sharpen your skills and accumulate experience along the way of your career, despite unfavorable conditions such as adverse economy. Do equip yourselves with ample aesthetic substances and creativity. Do utilize digital tools but do not be dictated or constrained by them. A good designer should be irreplaceable by computers and deliver his works through hand-sketched manuscripts.
NDL : I work around-the-clock. During my spare time, I serve the net, meditate, eat, enjoy movies and music.
NDL : I want both- at present I’d like to create what’s hip this season, and have my work become a memorable classic in the future! My goal is to start a revolution and create the trend!
NDL : I judge based on the project’s originality, aesthetics, functionality, the meaning and concept, as well as its market value.
NDL : I never consider my designs fully “ready”. Even upon completion of construction stage, I will always look back and review my past works. There is always room for improvement.
NDL : The seemingly most insignificant projects are the “biggest”. There was a remarkable voluntary residential design project, done for a lady who survived through a severe traffic accident. Unfortunately, she was paralyzed and had to stay on a wheelchair. She was allocated to stay in a government housing apartment, which was almost inaccessible. I was only given a tight budget of only $5000HKD, and I had to make sure my design complies with all the rigid laws and regulations of housing, construction and fire safety.Me and my team spent our non-office hours tailor-making slopes, tracks, movable lighting fixtures and adjusted the partitions of the apartment and crafted furniture that satisfies her daily needs. I take pride in solving problems using creativity. I enjoy thinking differently and seeing things from the user’s perspective.
NDL : Ieoh Ming Pei, the true legend of architectural design. Take the glass-and-steel pyramid for the Musée du Louvre as an example, his cutting-edge interpretation to the museum that display the best of history and art, is ever-so-inspiring.
NDL : Born and raised in Hong Kong, its unique geographical and geopolitical location has imposed great influence on my design. It’s a spot where the East meets West, where freedom of speech and creativity thrives, where new technologies are developed and spread. As a witness of the handover of Hong Kong back to China, I feel that Hong Kong designers’ works and thinking changes according to the adjustment of the new political climate. Postcolonialism is easily seen, which makes Hong Kong designers unique- a blend of family-and-society-oriented traditional Chinese moral values; plus the Western perception which values individuality.
NDL : Pursuing Truth, Goodness and Beauty in art; realizing the artistry of design based on Faith, Hope and Love. Also, as mentioned above, “do small things with great love”.
NDL : As the voluntary visual art instructor at Hong Kong Red Cross John F. Kennedy Centre, I have to stress the importance of humanitarian design. The school offers education with full stream curriculum and provides therapeutic, nursing and boarding services for those disabled children. Equipping these students with talents of art and design will broaden their further education and career path, thus contributing my skills and profession to those in need. Furthermore, my team and I provide long-term design consultancy service to the school, enhancing their hardware and campus into a fully accessible space for everyone. I am also a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, School of Professional and Continuing Education. I’d like to see aspiring design students developing their full potential and bridges from academia to the business world. I conduct volunteer works with my students helping various charity NGOs. Bringing assistance and exposure to the future designers. As an active member of multiple design associations in Hong Kong, I help to promote design culture within and beyond the city, also raise the public’s awareness to respect design and intellectual property rights.
NDL : It was a remarkable experience! I received recognition in my work, as well as wide international media exposure. It is a fantastic platform to showcase my vision behind my design projects, which highlights the humanitarian and sustainable qualities. It is my true pleasure to be the Designer of the Day!NowHere® Design Limited Profile
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