“Design was and still remains to be the most powerful thing I know.”
I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of Hong Kong born interior designer Joyce Wang – an amazing talent and one of my favorite young designers. Joyce is the winner of INTERIOR DESIGN “Best Of Year” Award, 2011 and Design Within Reach “M+D+F” 2010. The famous AMMO restaurant in Hong Kong designed by her – photos below – was named as one of the 5 best designed restaurants in Hong Kong. Having landed in the interior design scene only three years ago, Joyce Wang has already set the tone of what has yet to come in the next few years. “For years the design scene in Hong Kong has been dominated by men such as Andre Fu and Steve Leung. Joyce Wang is on a mission to change that.” Go Joyce!
How would you describe your style?
I stay away from a particular style. My practice is still extremely young and cannot lay claim to a signature style. More so, I love
learning from new briefs and finding inspiration from new clients; you might say this approach keeps us rejuvenated and on edge.
What inspired you to get into design?
It began at a very young age. When I was five, I realized my most vivid memories were of places and the feeling I felt when I was in them. I wanted to be part of the process of crafting spaces and curating those memories for others. Design was and still remains to be the most powerful thing I know.
How did you get your first assignment?
My first client was an entrepreneur who made his success when he was 26. He wanted to pass this torch of opportunity when he took a chance on us to re-design one of his luxury hotel properties – The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.
Looking back at your first project what decorating knowledge do you wish you had back then designing the interiors?
That if you can draw it and articulate it, your design can most definitely be fabricated and built. This knowledge either breeds ego or humility into a designer.
Is there a designer that has influenced you?
Designer Ken Adam who was the mastermind behind the film sets for Goldfinger and Dr. Strangelove.
Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the colors palette. What is your first source of inspiration?
The context and crafting meaning out of it. It can be the context within which the client has commissioned work from me, or the context which the space is located within.
How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.
My own body has always been a reference point for crafting proportions and deciding on dimensions. Design should begin from a human scale and my body is conveniently available.
What do you enjoy most in your work?
Empowering people to execute challenging ideas. For example for a recent restaurant design named AMMO, I had communicated the design of 3 custom staircase chandeliers to be crafted entirely out of plumbing pipes and plumbing parts. Initially, the fabricator looked at me with a black stare. After going through some trial and error collaboratively, he was not only able to build it but looked at me with a smile and said “Send more of your exciting designs my way.” Itʼs a trust and bond I value deeply.
What do you love to do when you are not designing?
Swimming, daydreaming, eating chocolate.
Who are your favorite artists?
Lucien Freud, Dan Flavin, Fabienne Verdier.
Your favorite books?
Roland Barthes’ “Mythologies”; David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” and Roald Dahl’s short stories.
Your favorite places in Hong Kong?
What does success mean to you?
Keeping a tight family together and being able to do what you love.
My signature question – what are the most important design elements?
Privacy. To me, a sense of privacy is the ultimate luxury.
photos: Edmon Leong