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 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.
Our society are always limiting our creativity with rules such as sale figures, innovation rejection, timing, financial limitation etc etc and it has extremely hard to convince and work around these limitations.
We are working on a new building that is exploring the next generation in ECO technology and agriculture. We are also working on a new concept related to Virtual Reality as we believe this will be the next revolution. We are also conceiving some 'fun' furniture piece that harks back to traditional Chinese culture but with a big modern twist.
Just like art it can bring many creative individuals' visions to the world thus making our world a much more fun and dynamic place to live in. Vibrancy in life is a key and any successful society in our history has always thrived in this.
I think our industry needs to embrace more Upstart creativity and focus less on just a few superstar designers. We should also focus more on smaller projects rather then monumental urban planning. Clients should also embrace innovation more and embrace more risk. I also think crowdfunding will really help kick off some true innovation in design, and not just small products. Imaging crowd funding entire vertical farming hubs/eco energy in an entire city where buildings can benefit the society rather then just developers.
Environmental Innovation and Virtual Reality spaces. Also large scale architectural 3D printing will become the norm for buildlings. I also see more and more 'normal individuals' can become designers as there are so many APPS that can help.
Highly important, working with inventors or scientist can really help implement great projects. As a designer we should always know what is the latest tech trend while also not forgetting some traditional elements.
Color is important as i don't agree with the White, Black and Grey is the only way to design. Material are practically the umbilical cord of a design but i think Restraint and simplicity is a key to great design.
Actually movies and documentary have more effect on my design. Of course as books, and a bit cliche, the fountainhead is a good motivation read for us designers but a film that really inspired me was 1988 Japanese Animation Akira!