Tag Archives: Hong Kong

2013 Market Winner: AECOM Hong Kong Office by AECOM

As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

We spoke with Jane Chen, Vice President of AECOM Shanghai, about time constraints, designing for core values and enhancing corporate culture.

When did you decide to pursue a profession in design?
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a designer. But I didn’t know the difference between different majors. So I applied for Landscape Design. So my major is Landscape.

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How did you find your love for design? Is there anyone who played a major role in that?
I loved painting, and I didn’t want to be an engineer or a scientist. I wanted a job that I can always have fun. That is why I chose design related majors when I applied for colleges.

Did you ever stray from this path or think about changing course?
In fact, I started as an Architect after graduate from Landscape Architecture. After 15 years of being an architect, I stray from this path to Interior Design.

What about this project represents why you choose to be a designer?
I believe a good interior design, particularly for corporate interior, is tailor made to best suite the image, culture and operational requirement of the client. Our HK office is the Asian Headquarter of AECOM, and our design is to best represent the images and core value of AECOM.

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What is your first memory of the project?
It is a renovation project. My first memory of it was my first site visit, low ceiling, dark spaces, sea of working stations…

Tell me something that was unusual about the project.
My client is my boss’s boss’s… boss. He is the head of AECOM Asia! But it was fun working with him.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned during this process?
Good design can change people’s working behavior, can reveal/ or enhance corporate culture and core values.

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Tell me about the selection process for this project. What do you think made them select you for this work?
We did our own Shanghai office first and everybody loves it. Ha!

How do you think interior design is different in China than in other parts of the world?
No time for design, short construction schedule.

What are the challenges in designing for your own space?
Everybody knows me, if some of users don’t’ like the design, they know who to blame on!

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2013 Market Winner: Le Salon Croissanterie et Restaurant by 4N Architects

As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Danny Ng, Principal at 4N Architects, talked to us about becoming interested in architecture, creating the best possible dining experience and seeing the faces of happy customers.

When did you decide to pursue a profession in design?
I decided to become an artist or designer when I was teenager. I fell in love with design and music, and I wanted to peruse a career as a singer before I went abroad to study. Then, I became more familiar with architecture and I fell in love with it. The reason why I chose architecture is because it’s challenging nature in terms of study and work, as well as the love of combining the artistic and scientific mind-sets.

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Is there anything about this project that affected you personally?
The focus of every project is not the project itself, but the people around it, within it, and we design for them. We were very impressed and touched by the enthusiasm towards the client’s great food, Mr Tony Cheng. His dedication and determination to push for the best possible dining experience for customers, as well as the best-equipped kitchen despite its small size was remarkable. This was for the best interest of the chef and the production of best cuisine possible. We are also very grateful for the client’s trust and belief in our design team, allowing us to explore the design without many limitations and great freedom the lead and make decisions about the project design. Trust from your client is a vital element in achieving great design.

What was the happiest moment of the project?
The happiest moment is when the project was finally completed and started to operate – when we could see everyone with happy and admirable faces, most importantly from the client and their daily working team and customers. That is the moment we felt proud of the project and ourselves.

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Tell us about the selection process for this project. What do you think made them select you for this work?
We met with the client (Mr Tony Cheng) through a friend. We got floor plans and basic information about the site, and the brief concepts for creating an upscale fine dining French restaurant as well as a croissant café at the location. The site was within a newly built shopping centre, but we were not able to see the site at first. After some research and concept generations, we sat down with the client and pitched our ideas across the table. We tried new media during our presentation, using mare than simple visuals and verbal, we used a recorded background from a world-renowned teahouse in Paris. This allowed us to pass through the Parisian concept across the table with a sense of humour as well as more details.

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Canstruction Hong Kong 2012

For the first time, Canstruction® came to Asia and chose Hong Kong as the launch city. Canstruction® combines the competitive spirit of a design/build competition with a unique way to help feed the hungry. Competing teams showcase their talents by designing giant sculptures made entirely out of canned food. At the close of the exhibition, all of the food used in the structures is donated to local food banks.

Our Shaw Contract Group team in China participated in the event. With their support, the team collected over 20,000 cans of food for the Hong Kong community. All of the cans will be distributed to two major food banks and five local community pantries.

The team's Canstruction sculpture

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Creative Journeys

What do a limber dancer and laser lights have to do with carpet? It turns out a whole lot.

It’s a freezing December evening in Beijing, but 120 architects and designers have braved the frigid winds barreling down from Siberia to discover how color and light inspired Shaw Contract Group’s latest collections.

We’re chatting over glasses of chardonnay when suddenly the lamps go out and an ethereal figure in sequins appears in the center of the room. With a graceful wave of her arms, green lasers flicker and spread in a cloud of smoke. As she moves her arms, they appear to push the lasers – now purple, then pink – like bolts of glowing cloth. The crowd is silent, breathless and snapping photos of the performance with their smartphones, instantaneously posting the pictures to Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

This seamless display of movement, color and creativity echoes the design process at the heart of Shaw Contract Group.

After the performance, Marcy Ewing, a member of Shaw Contract Group’s design team confirms that notion. The collections on display grew out of months-long explorations of the world. Healing elements found beneath the earth’s surface inspire the “Unearthed” collection. High beams photographed in motion and Aurora Borealis shimmering across a pitch-black night sky are reflected in vibrant linear compositions in “Light Series.” An exploration of natural dyes and dyeing processes inform “Dip Dye,” reinterpreted ancient wash and dye techniques.

 

Ewing is here to launch these collections globally, with a focus on Asia-Pacific. With Shaw’s China-based production plant set to open in Nantong next year, feedback from the leaders of China’s design world is essential, she says. “We really want to understand the needs of our customers here and they really want to understand our process, so it’s amazing to have the opportunity to talk face to face.”

Chinese designers agree. As director of the Beijing-based design firm Inkmason, Kin Lam says that the creative journeys behind Shaw Contract Group’s patterns have helped lead him and his team to results clients want and appreciate. “These stories elaborate the bigger picture and allow us to evolve ideas into different dimensions,” he says.

For proof, he cited a recent design project for a Chinese technology company that Inkmason created, based on a minimalist Chinese garden. When Lam saw how the pattern in one of Shaw Contract Group’s carpet collection mimicked traditional Chinese brushstrokes, he was able to develop the concept into a complete package the client loved. “For any designer to be successful your creation has to have reason,” he says. “Shaw Contract Group’s designs all have logic and that links everything together.”

Shaw Contract Group’s ability to inspire the design conversation goes beyond the visual. Many designers here say they are noticing an increasing interest among China-based clients in environmental sustainability and they are happy to oblige. “A lot of companies now want green products, which are not only good for their brand but beneficial to their employees too,” says Steven Li, WTL Design’s Executive Director, as he sips a glass of wine. WTL has worked with Shaw Contract Group on several projects and expects many more as awareness of the need for environmentally sustainability grows here.

“We’re talking the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “This is just flooring material. Tomorrow it could be paint, the next day ceiling supplies – it all adds up to a more green China.”

See more images from this event on Shaw Contract Group’s Flickr page.

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Dragons: Too tired to fly? Take a boat!

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, after all. And when dragons aren’t flying or threatening the Iron Throne, apparently they travel by boat. Dragon boats are traditional Chinese watercrafts, finely crafted using teak wood. For 2,000 years in China, these boats have been raced by small teams of rowers. The sport of dragon boat racing continues to be popular today.

Last month, the Dubai Diggers participated in the 8th International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships, held in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. The Diggers earned gold medals in the 200 and 500-meter premier mixed races.

Shaw Contact Group and Arki Group, our service provider in Dubai, teamed together to sponsor the Diggers at the World Championships. We extend our congratulations on a job well done!

Watch video from the World Championships

 

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