I have always wanted to be a designer ever since i was 10 years old. I like looking at things in general but reinterpretthem in my own way. I studied architecture in Architectural Association then London University and am a qualified RIBA Architect.
I started COC in 2016 but previously we have been known as Fablab Design. We have offices in Italy and Hong Kong as we work extensively in Asia and Europe. We are one of the few firms in Hong Kong that focuses on contemporary environmental designs and i am always trying to push my partners(we don't have corporate hierarchy and anyone contributes equally to the company) to come up with ground breaking elements and technology; my wife being a great muse to a lot of the designs eventhrough she is not in the design buisiness.
My most favorite design is when a design can utilize Art, Science and Technology in unity with a strong consideration of Biosynthesis with Nature Elements. I believe this is a very hard criteria to achieve but i think we have done it this time with our new lamps!
I love the concept of upcycle material such as recycle cardboards, styrofoams, reclaimed fabrics etc etc. I like using materials that are not usually associated with traditional construction industry. I also love using nature into my design such as plants and any organic lifeforms. I am also a huge proponent of sustainable energy and smart home technology. I love to fuse very archaic and basic material with ultra high tech solutions.
When i am diving or adventuring in nature. Also when i go to art galleries and see modern art and sculptures. I avoid as much as possible to see other designs as i rather keep my inspiration more original.
for sure we are thinking far more in unity with nature and more considerate in our impact on our planet. I believe the global conglomeration domination is dying out and small unique entrepreneurs will become the norm. One thing we have to start to consider is stop thinking buying fast design or fast fashion is the norm as the cost always comes to us in once way or another such as work force unemployment or pollutions.
I don't actually consider a specific style for myself although i can say i only do modern design. One of the things i always explore is movement and combinations as since i inspire a lot from nature, and nature is never static, this has become something very consistent with my way of thinking. I also get bored easily so this reflects part of my personality.
I live between Italy and Hong Kong and it has both a profound influence to all my designs. I always like to take cultural elements, not just aesthetically, into my design and reinterpret or update them.
If you know the work of the chosen designer, let him/her have as much creative freedom as possible after you have set the brief. We work then best when we are allowed to indulge as much as possible into our creative think tank.
I wake up at 6:30am, do sport, then work on projects, then take a break with sport, then work more. I really don't have a set schedule but all my activities are somehow intertwine with my process of work.
is hard to give advice as the design market is always changing. I know it is important to commercialized your work but try to stay true to your design vision. We are in a highly competitive industry but if you always "follow the trend" or do "what everyone wants you to do" sooner or later you will loose your grounding in the design industry. Be persistent and learned from failures. Always stay original.
like any industry the commercialism aspect is the worst part as this really robs creativity sometimes. Every industry want to have "sells figures" and usually this promotes only "famous established designers" or "sellable designs that the market want". Most companies/clients, especially the bigger ones, are usually very prone experimentation or risk taking. But what we can do as designers is to make something of our own, launch it on crowd funding platforms and proof to the world that our designs could be viable and marketable options if the campaign is successful.
try to go to factories and manufacturers and learn as much as possible on the dirt of design. This will improve vastly your knowledge in anything your create. If you can draw try to sketch as much as possible. Look around your everyday life and make everything your inspiration. Even food!!
I suggest wake up very early and start your day. Don't go to bed too late and make your work cycle normal. Rest is really important. Also multi-tasking is vital. Always give your self a harsh time limit. I always do this with partners. If we have a job that need to be finishes on Friday, our deadline is usually Tuesday as we know the last days will be issues we need to fix.
To work from the beginning of nothing, create something by hand and on site with workers, then finally even be part of the logistic process until the final launch of the design. You learn and interact so much more like this then just to allocate task to someone else.
We are launching the world first environment cleansing furniture collections and i am forming a new venture that design specifically these types of ideas. We are always taking on highly creative and challenging jobs and we are like sponges when it comes to new ideas!
I work with designers, artist around the world through online communication and we brainstorm each of our ideas and see which one suits best with any upcoming brief. We always merge somehow ideas from all of us into the final concept.
I started my design firm in 2006 after graduating from London University in 2001 while working for several firms in London and Hong Kong. I change my company design motto to be more focused in environmental and sustainable ideas in 2012 and since 2016 we have solely focus ourselves on pushing design boundaries in the aforementioned discipline.
I have been drawing and sketching as far as i remember and have always been indulge in art and design since i was a kid. Subconsciously i always knew i will be in this field and after winning a scholarship to Architectural Association in London i think my fate is sealed.
I solely focus on contemporary environmental design. Meaning all my work, be it art, architecture, interior or product are always modern and with a spike of sustainable tech. I love making 3D printed models as they are fast and show a better volumetric scale compare with CGI renderings. Usually when i get a new project or challenge i search profusely online on established design ideas related to the project and choose the one thing that is missing. from their i start to work on, or investigate something original so as to differentiate myself from the others. I think the best engine to copy from is mother nature!!
I am quite an outdoor guy so whenever i go for a bike ride, a walk, a swim....look around....you can always find things to inspire. Emotion also inspire creativity. If you feel sad or happy that can be used to make something interesting. Everything around you is a muse but always keep originality as your aim as nothing is original but if you inspire from pure elements other than established designs, it makes your work much more unique and with a great story behind.
Dreams to me is creative freedom. Enemies are time, budget, politics,conservatism. Any project, be it small or large when given to me with an open brief, is my dream project. Let me say it to all clients....its our job, as designers, to indulge in creativity, trust our instincts and let us be ourselves and you will get the best work ever.
Well there are many ways to go into our industry. If you want fast financial gain just copy and follow the trend....this is a way to be successful quickly. If you want to be original and unique in the industry be prepared you will struggle for years and be degraded timelessly or even fail. Whatever is your path is never wrong.
Do lots of competitions for exposure...i mean like 100s or 1000s. You might win a handful but is better than zero. Go out and meet people so they know who you are. Choose clients that share your value in design and be very very very persistent.
I am a crazy early riser. I get up at 5:30am, do some sport, jack myself into a hyper mode and start work at 8am. Then i don't stop till i feel like i am too tired. But i keep my 7 hours of sleep unless there is a deadline or something. I avoid as much as possible design news(i love technology news though) as i don't want to be corrupted by someone else great idea.
I do read a lot on technical articles on the latest design tech. There is no need, in my opinion to know what the latest design trend is as you will just know when you go out. Bars, restaurants, retails are the first to adopt trends and you will see them around you.
List all the problems you have at the beginning, then list all the solutions or wished you want to achieve. If you achieved 90% of them you will have an orgasmic feeling and that when you know you have done a good job.
None of my work are big but i like to tackle smaller projects with more finesse and personality. We just got offer to lead an Italian design house to update all their furniture collection and a museum in Praque. These are the big ones but treat every project as a big one and you will be able to keep your standard to all clients.
I am based in Hong Kong and Italy but i love to travel. I like to mix my trip up with days in 5* boutique hotel to camping and biking in some jungle or in the middle of nowhere. I also like to bicycle everywhere and i think bike sharing is the greatest thing since slice bread as you really know a city by this means of getting around. I try to keep my carbon foot print as low as possible not just because i am some sort of hippie green architect but by doing this you also make yourself more sporty!!!
I work with several partners. We all share a similar design vision. When it comes to business it is usual you have to compromise but never completely whore yourself to the money train. Have some principles in order to pursue some originality. Money is necessary but know that sometimes enough is enough....having 6 Ferraris is just plain silly!
I would love to do pro bono work is it is interesting to my design vision(sorry a bit selfish here). I go to design events sometimes but i rather keep myself busy with design. I prefer to meet other designers in some hipster bar or casual gathering as you can all get unmask and be yourself. A good design is the design that makes you look twice and think 3 times. I am always happy to collaborate with any creative individuals.
Since being involved with A Design Award i have expanded my network of clients and like minded designers a lot. Having more interaction with our industry makes it easier for me to choose clients. Keep up the good work guys.
I always have this "unsatisfactory emotion" that things around us can be more creative, have better aesthetic or provides "functional surprises" to users and i always believe the greatest inspiration is mother nature. This is why i believe as a designer we can make these changes to all elements around us.
I have tackled architecture, interior design, product design, custom artwork, installation art design and i actually just prefer to focus on more creative and art related contemporary projects, whichever field does not matter.
There is no specific rules to this but i think "free your mind" is the answer. In the real world there are many constraints be it financial, political etc etc but in order to truly be creative you have to fight or cleverly work around these issues and never betray your goal. Also inspiration is all around us so just observe and finally avoid looking at design magazine or books as this will just hamper your creativity. Get inspiration first hand on not on some preexisting design.
Again this is not an easy subject to analyze but the design, apart from serving the principle function of the brief, should also introduce elements of surprise . It should be functional and innovative at the same time.
If we live in a society where everything is just created for functionality then it will be very boring. Good design brings 'fun' to everyday objects and make people questions on what each object can be. This in turn will attracts consumer/company to invest on good design in order to bring a much higher value to everyday products.
I love the Magis Spun chair by Thomas Heatherwick as it is a furniture that is beyond functionality and so much fun. Latest architecture masterpiece i love is Stefano Boeri's Vertical Forest Building. Finally someone is able to introduce good elements of nature into the disgusting skyscraper that is always glass,concrete and steel, no matter how 'organic or parametric' they look. Designers who 'mimic' nature are always less successful then designers who work 'with' nature. I am sure a few parametric masters will hate me for this comment!
I don't think my greatest design will ever come as each design is my greatest within the confines of that situation. Some of my design might be more receptive and praised upon by the public but i do not consider them my greatest creation based solely of awards or recognitions.