Bold, modern and innovative
Who is she?
Dara Huang is founder of Design Haus Liberty, an architecture and interiors design practice based in London and Hong Kong. She also co-founded Vivahouse, a prefabricated, modular housing product.
Tell us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of.
We’re proud of all of our projects, probably our biggest one is going to be a tower we’re currently delivering in Guangzhou that has 50 storeys for a fashion client. This will be their fashion headquarters where we are condensing 10 of their existing brands into one building. Every brand is designed differently, engages the brand and includes gallery spaces, day care, exercising, runway shows, sculpture gardens and vip dining and restaurants. This mixed-use space is about engaging and enhancing user experience and bringing the brand focus forward into the culture of the space.
We’ve worked with Kate Spade, Four Seasons, Cartier, Starwood Capital, and LVMH. We do all sectors — residential, commercial and landscape.
Projects where we can impact the brand and the user experience really excite us which are typically in the commercial space, such as hotels, restaurants and public realm spaces on an architectural scale. We love thinking about the environment and ambiance of the space where we can add value by designing the brand, materiality and user experience. You can really harness how design can get people excited about the place, curate a community and engage a wider audience. In turn, the knock on effect really adds value to the asset, which is what the landlord is most interested in. And it’s really nice to have a reciprocal relationship with the client, where you really trust each other and putting your best foot forward.
Are you currently involved with any project?
We typically have 20 projects on the board at any given time of different scales. We’re currently building 280,000 square meters of designed space in China including 1,200 retail stores so we won’t be far from any corner.
Describe your design style.
I would say we’re bold, modern and innovative. We like to create ambience and work with architecture, interiors and landscape to design total environments.
Where are you most creative?
I would say in architecture and design vision and concept.
What does your home mean to you?
It’s the place I feel the most relaxed and like to really unwind.
What do you collect?
At the moment, I’m collecting memories with my family. I am not very materialistic.
I think being an entrepreneur I really value non-monetary things like trust, loyalty, partnership, integrity. So collecting physical things isn’t something I’m in the habit of.
Where would you like to go most in Shanghai?
A clothes shopping area near the Shanghai science and tech museum because I love to design my own clothes and one thing Shanghai does well is bespoke. And if you give yourself enough time to try it on and make adjustments you can get some really good clothes.
What will be the next big design trend?
Turn-key environments. It means that due to serviced office spaces, hotels and residences are converging people rather than moving into spaces that are already fully dressed and have an ambience to reflect comfort, style and hotel-like settings.
People pick fully dressed environments they want and walk into it. Flexibility is key.