Designing with global conciousness and flair

Yang Di
Born and raised in Singapore, Edmund Kok, a Shanghai resident for three years, is most inspired by fashion, color, materials and architecture.
Yang Di
Designing with global conciousness and flair
Courtesy of BLINK Desgin Group / Ti Gong

Design director of BLINK Design Group, Edmund Kok tailors his designs with an innovative flair, global consciousness and clean silhouettes.

Who is he?

Born and raised in Singapore, Edmund Kok, a Shanghai resident for three years, is most inspired by fashion, color, materials and architecture. Design director of BLINK Design Group, he tailors his designs with an innovative flair, global consciousness and clean silhouettes.

With 30 years of experience creating visually stunning interior architecture spaces for hospitality, residential, restaurant and corporate interiors, his works are visible in the Four Season Penthouse Macau, Ritz Carlton Residences Singapore, Hyatt Regency Jiading Shanghai and the award-winning Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund.

Drawing from his diverse experience, Kok aligned his design philosophy with Blink's DNA to create more collective opuses.

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

Most of my projects are in China, such as the Hyatt Regency Jiading Shanghai, which crowns the 196-meter landmark tower designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The iconic new destination sits at the heart of Jiading's developing central business district. Drawing inspiration from the energy of the locale, the luxury hotel offers guests a hidden respite in the clouds – featuring 304 well-appointed guest rooms, sky-high dining experiences and 3,500 square meters of elegant public spaces.

Are you currently involved with any project?

We have a lot of projects in our pipeline this year. I'm currently working on the Banyan Three Dongguan, as well as a handful of luxury residential projects in Shanghai and Beijing.

Describe your design style.

An important factor is understanding the purpose of the hotel and types of guests that will be staying there. Designing a bespoke cultural experience for a leisure traveller, resort hotel guest or a business client requires different approaches.

Equally important is understanding the hotel brand, and how it is differentiated in the market, which enables the designer to infuse the essential brand elements in designing a space that is comfortable, functional and practical.

Keeping the hotel's signature style and considering the local culture of the place helps define what kinds of interesting forms we can inject into our design. Creating a space where comfort and style are both equivalent is key.

And let's not forget the Blink DNA of giving a signature look and feel with every project we put our hands on.

When are you most creative?

I'm kind of a random person, and I get my inspiration from all kinds of objects, fashion, colors, materials, architecture and anything that catches my eye. I find a lot of inspiration from simple things such as daydreaming as well.

What does your home mean to you?

The pandemic has changed the way we live. Prior to it, I could travel whenever and wherever I liked, and whenever I missed my family and home in Singapore – the place where I can relax and chill with family and friends.

What do you collect?

I'm a big fan of shoes.

What will be the next big design trend?

As interior designers, we all essentially do the same thing, but the key difference is understanding we all think independently and approach design differently. Each of us wants to leave a strong, lasting impression and create something to be appreciated, not only by clients and guests but also by fellow designers. We need to stay creative and make trends rather than follow them.

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