“Enjoy life, enjoy design” is the motto of Steve Leung, architect and designer from Hong Kong, former President of IFI, International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers and currently a member of the board of directors of the Hong Kong Design Centre. Moreover, Steve Leung is the founder of the C Foundation, which promotes design education in China.
Design is the driver of change
“I think that design is not an art form, but much more than that – explains Steve Leung. It is a powerful tool that addresses social and environmental issues for the wellbeing of society, serving people and improving life quality in our community. Good design is a balanced mix of aesthetics and functionality, it is a constant search for original solutions to everyday problems.”
“I established my firm as an architecture, urban planning, and interior design studio – he adds. Over time I realized that interior design’s shorter ‘life cycle’ was more in line with my personality. That’s why my projects now are mainly related to interior design. Most of them are large-scale real estate projects in mainland China, such as show flats, exclusive villas and commercial offices. However, in recent years, I have also focused on the hospitality sector, with hotels and restaurants, perhaps also because of my passion for travel and food culture.”
How has Steve Leung’s idea of design changed from the beginnings to nowadays?
“Symphony Bay show flat in Hong Kong (1997) is among the first show flats I have ever designed and I am particularly proud of it. It is one of the first residential projects in Asia, where luxury has taken on a different dimension from Western classic style. After that work, my studio really took off, becoming more and more appreciated internationally. So much so that, in 2013, real estate developer John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck invited me to work with YOO, an international developer, as creative director for Asia. Shortly after, I established Steve Leung and YOO (SLY), a company that created a new lifestyle concept in the Asian market. To date, SLY’s first two projects are YOO Residence in Hong Kong, and YOO8, in Kuala Lumpur.”
“To further enhance the quality of projects, Steve Leung Exchange (SLX) has gathered internationally renowned architects and designers for major projects in China since 2014. Among the successful collaborations we can mention the show flat in One Shenzhen Bay, Shenzhen, with Kelly Hoppen, and the Ta-ke restaurant in Hong Kong, with Kengo Kuma.”
“In recent years I worked a lot also on product design for international companies such as Bisazza, Flou, Riva1920, Kohler Kitchen, Theodore Alexander, Visionnaire, Villeroy & Boch. I have had the pleasure to collaborate with some Italian companies and it has been really interesting.”
“I really admire Italian design for its incredible attention to detail and unparalleled quality of the production process leading to the creation of beautiful works of art. Another exciting collaboration was that with Sanlorenzo Yachts, the Italian shipbuilder known for its custom yachts. I collaborated with Sanlorenzo on two different projects and I began a new chapter in my career.”
What are the interests of the Design Community – on which you have been actively working since 2014?
“Over the years design has kept changing and has become a key aspect in our daily life. Therefore, I think I can help the design community by sharing my experience, knowledge and, above all, my passion. I hope to inspire future generations of designers, pass down my spirit and make the industry thrive. This the reason why, in 2014, I established C Foundation: along with nine designers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, we wanted to inspire younger designers and promote design culture locally. We believe that the next generations have great potential to unleash. We, as designers, have a moral duty to try to make the world a better place for everyone.”
Other projects by Steve Leung