You were previously a designer and you have now set up Design Anthology and are a publisher. How different is designing a space to designing a magazine?
Actually not that different. When designing a space its important to have a story or narrative (or theme) that makes the design cohesive, this is also often true of a magazine. When you’re designing a space its about a journey from the first point of arrival throughout the interior and each sequence. When we’re laying out a story we like to keep that sequence in mind so the reader will experience the space as close as possible in a 2D way. Also, emotion is important in the design of both. Its not just simply about visuals. Good interiors make you feel a certain way, and we like to design the magazine to lead our reader on a journey. Its like a digital detox, a mini holiday.
You have been in Hong Kong a while and now interact with a lot of Hong Kong designers. How has the design scene changed in Hong Kong over the years and what more do you think needs to be done?
There are a number of very talented designers here who have their own distinct voice and style, which makes their work a pleasure to follow. There’s a signature there, but always a pleasant surprise. It would be nice to see more designers here have their own voice and not follow trends so much, but that is also reliant on their clients.
In your magazine you feature a lot of designers and talk about their style. How would describe your own style?
I like the words timeless and personal. Its not really about a certain style, but I’m really not interested in trends at all. I don’t care what this year’s colour is, or motif, whatever. I am a big fan of vintage (20th century pieces), and I love antiques. My style is pretty mixed to be honest. I feel that if you love something it will just work with what you already have. So my own home has new pieces, custom pieces, vintage and mid century. I don’t know if it works but I’m comfortable with the mix.
Do you have a favourite place or neighbourhood in Hong Kong right now?
I’ve always loved the neighbourhoods around Star St in Wan Chai and Gough St in Central, but I have to say I love where our office is. Wong Chuk Hang has a lot of real grit and character to it and in many ways sums up Hong Kong. We see hard working locals unpacking seafood with their singlet tops rolled up over their belly, and on the same street the young fashionistas who work for Lane Crawford who are just way too cool. There are a lot of creative types around and a few friends have offices here too so I love the sense of community.
(Image taken by: Lit Ma)