Simple yet refined design that is practical with an artistic touch

Yang Di
Steve Leung is an internationally renowned architect, interior and product designer born in Hong Kong.
Yang Di
Simple yet refined design that is practical with an artistic touch

Steve Leung

Who is he?

Steve Leung is an internationally renowned architect, interior and product designer born in Hong Kong. He scooped the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year Award in 2015. Leung’s works reflect unique characters with a contemporary touch, taking inspiration from Asian culture and arts.

The Steve Leung Design Group has been recognized as the World’s No. 1 Residential Design Firm in Interior Design Top 100 Giants for four times in 2016-20, and ranked Top 20 in overall global ranking in 2020.

Tell us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of.

I did a show flat for Symphony Bay (HK) in 1997, my first show flat design attempt. At that time, more than 90 percent of the luxury show flats were designed in a Western classical style. However, I think that luxury can be expressed in different ways. When designing the show flat, I tried to use a more contemporary approach, with the employment of natural elements. It was a completely new approach to the market, but it was surprisingly well-received. I was glad to be able to bring something new into the residential field.

Over 30 years, SLD has done a great deal of projects, becoming a more diversified and specialized design practice. I believe that design has the power to break boundaries and we continue to explore more collaborations across different spectrums.

Are you currently involved with any project?

At the moment, we are involved in several overseas projects, such as an upscale serviced apartment and hotel rooms for The Address Harbour Point at Dubai Creek and a Chinese restaurant for the Mandarin Oriental in Ho Chi Minh City. We aim to bring to the public a new lifestyle and hospitality experience.

I am also engaged in some private projects, where I can enjoy complete creative freedom. Last year, for example, I personally designed Ooak Lamma and Ooak Niseko: the former a private leisure space, and the latter a private resort in my favorite Japanese skiing town. The design of these two projects is very personal, a clear reflection of my life philosophy and design approach, expressed through simple, elegant and functional lines complemented with a touch of sophisticated artworks.

In the next few years, I plan to develop Ooak, which stands for One Of A Kind, into a lifestyle brand able to represent my own motto — “Enjoy Life, Enjoy Design” for those interested in grasping a quick glimpse of Steve Leung’s lifestyle. 

Describe your design style.

I see design as an expression of my attitude toward life — this philosophy is always neatly reflected through my design thinking and logic. My design approach is also mirrored by my way of living, which is simple yet refined, practical yet with an artistic touch

The design I always pursue has to be human-centered, a balanced mix of aesthetics and functionality, able to meet the final user’s needs.

Design is not a mere form of art; it is much more, a powerful tool able to tackle societal and environmental issues for the greater good of our society, improving the lifestyle of our community.

Where are you most creative?

Creativity is my way of living. I feel creative in almost every aspect of my life. I think you can find great sources of inspiration even in the smallest detail if you are open to look at the ordinary from new angles.

I like being challenged and think out of the box, solving problems with new approaches. Even when it comes to my business relationship, whether it is about my design teams or partners, I do not like to stick to the usual rules to achieve the best outcome.

What do you collect?

I love to collect modern and contemporary art pieces, especially from Asian artists, but I do not like to define myself as a professional art collector. I select each piece of my collection thoughtfully, genuinely appreciating their beauty.

What will be the next big home design trend?

As the urban population keeps growing, there is the general tendency for city dwelling to be smaller, especially in very crowded areas like Hong Kong. This is when design becomes a truly effective tool able to fully maximize the limited spatial resources, turning small areas into comfortable, multi-layered houses.

On the other side, as WFH policies have been widely employed worldwide, I believe that this will also have a huge impact on how design will be shaping dedicated work spaces within our houses to replace the traditional office environment, reshaping traditional dynamics between our homes and workplaces and improving the standards in terms of space sanitization and more advanced ventilation systems. Additionally, smart technologies will become more common, with a lot to change the way we conceive design, unfolding infinite and unexplored possibilities.

Smart design will ultimately lead toward a higher degree of customization in each living space, allowing a better life experience and strongly influencing the way we design today.

In the last few years, the world has been evolving toward a more sustainable design and eco-friendly lifestyle. This global direction positively affects the crucial role design is playing in tackling with environmental challenges.

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