Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40, 2010

Alex Choi, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Alex Choi
Alex Choi Design & Partners, Hong Kong

With a client list that includes internationally-renowned brands such as Aveda, BMW and Philip Morris, Alex Choi ranks among Hong Kong's most sought after interior designers. Born and raised here, during his degree in interior design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Choi went to London on a scholarship where he worked for Rick Mather Architects and helped head the interior design team for the prestigious Keble College project in Norwich.

After returning to Hong Kong, Choi worked on a variety of high-level projects under the architectural firm Foster Asia, that included the new international Hong Kong airport. In 1997, he founded Alex Choi Design & Partners, which has gone on to receive both international and local acclaim.

Andre Fu, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Andre Fu
AFSO, Hong Kong

Founder of Hong Kong-based boutique design studio, AFSO, Andre Fu is one of the city's most sought after young interior designers. Since he graduated from Cambridge in 2000, Fu has cultivated a reputation for an innovative and distinct style, largely through his work on prominent hospitality projects throughout Asia. These include The Upper House Hotel Hong Kong, Piacere (an Italian restaurant), Nadaman (a Japanese restaurant) for Shangri-la Tokyo, The Fullerton Hotel, Cassia (a Chinese restaurant at Singapore's Capella Resort) and the Agnes b La Loggia flagship store in Hong Kong.

Not restricting his design skills to interiors, Fu has also been involved in the design of Apple's new i24 Gizmo for I-pod and a concept music chair, both of which were launched at the recent 100% Design Tokyo.

Bjarke Ingels, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Bjarke Ingels
Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen

Representing a new wave of young architects whose work answers social problems posed by modern life, Bjarke Ingels has received numerous awards for projects that reveal an acute understanding of architecture and a talent for combining elements of humour, social responsibility and innovation in his designs. Ingels' recent residential project, The Mountain, has received world-wide acclaim with a variety of awards, including the World Architecture Festival Housing Award.

Founding partner of his firm Bjarke Ingels Group(BIG), Ingels is also actively involved in architectural education and has been a visiting professor at Rice University's school of architecture and at Harvard University's graduate school of design, and currently holds a guest lecturer position at Columbia University's graduate school of architecture, planning and preservation.

Recently, BIG has been establishing its presence in Asia with the Danish Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010, a low-energy tower for the Shenzhen Energy Company in Shenzhen, and a plan to set up a new office in Hong Kong.

Danny Cheng, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Danny Cheng
Danny Cheng Interiors, Hong Kong

Danny Cheng graduated from the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Toronto, Canada. After scooping an Arido Award (Honourable Mention) during his final year of study, he returned to Hong Kong in 1996 and co-founded Element Design and, six years later, branched out with Danny Cheng Interiors.

With simple design and a client-driven approach, Cheng counts prestigious brands such as Band & Olufsen among his clients, and his work has featured frequently in a wide range of interior design magazines.

Federico Masin, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Federico Masin
Baukuh and HBA, Hong Kong

Designing projects from his home office in Hong Kong, Federico Masin, the Asia-based partner for Italian firm, Baukuh, proves that even the smallest of firms can have a big impact. Even more impressive, for Masin, designing buildings with Baukuh is a hobby — undertaking large-scale architectural projects on his weekends and in the evenings, he hopes to one day make architecture his full-time gig, but for now is employed as an interior designer for local firm HBA. Recent works, both completed and in development, include LCoc, Beijing Kitchen and Delli.

Filipe Balestra, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Filipe Balestra
Urban Nouveau, Rio de Janeiro

Not only has Filipe Balestra worked alongside the likes of Rem Koolhaas and Thomas Sandell, he has also spent much of his working time on humanitarian projects. Balestra collaborated with residents of a poor neighbourhood in Rocinha, Rio De Janeiro, to design and build a much-needed public school. He is now one of two principal architects involved in a project to regenerate slum areas in India, wherein residents are again actively involved in a process that seeks to improve existing neighbourhoods and continue their histories, rather than completely destroying them to make way for standard housing blocks. Residents can choose from three basic housing designs, which they can modify as needed. As Balestra says himself, he is working for 「architecture in the 21st century, (which) should act as a catalyst for solving the challenges we face as a global community.」

Ida Sze and Billy Chan, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010 Ida Sze and Billy Chan, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Ida Sze and Billy Chan
Ida & Billy, Hong Kong

A design duo formed during their architectural schooling, Ida Sze and Billy Chan make up the creative force behind Ida & Billy, a partnership that collaborates for competitions and a few select projects. With both employed full time by larger firms, the work done under Ida & Billy represents 『passion' projects, and opportunities for both to articulate their shared vision of simple, practical striking design. Recently taking first prize for the 2010 Shanghai Expo Hong Kong Pavilion Concept Design Competition, their exhibition Live Nature for the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture received much attention, as did their entry for the Chinese University of Hong Kong's new School of Architecture building design competition, which was shortlisted in the final six.

Jason Carlow, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Jason Carlow
C:A+D, Hong Kong

Founder and principal of C:A+D, Carlow Architecture and Design, Jason Carlow has worked as an architect, designer, artist, carpenter and teacher in Boston, New York, Berlin, Seattle and now Hong Kong. Graduating cum laude in visual and environmental studies from Harvard University before receiving a Master's degree in Architecture from Yale University, his work is inspirational and at times experimental — particularly in his projects predominately used in exhibitions — where innovative techniques and materials are readily employed to create truly unique structures.

Notable works include his Scale Screen, Wave Floor, Control Tower and the Urban Picnic project. In his recent work, research and teaching Carlow has focused on exploring the relationship between digital and traditional modes of drawing, modelling and fabrication.

Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010 Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens
Grovens Living, Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based interior design outfit Grovens Living was founded by Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens, born out of Gray's hobby to renovate and remodel high-end interiors. After it became clear that she possessed a natural knack for the work, it became her full time job and she has since completed a variety of residential projects in Hong Kong. Grovens Living's trademark style is classic and modern, with an emphasis on clean, ergonomic lines and a neutral palette to create simple, chic, liveable spaces where meticulous attention is paid to the smallest details and functionality is king. With no formal architecture or design training, the duo instead rely on their keen eyes and instincts to guide design choices.

Junya Ishigami, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Junya Ishigami
Junya Ishigami & Associates, Tokyo

Using his architectural knowledge and skills to create pieces that could more accurately be described as art, Junya Ishigami's work may not always be functional, but it is invariably interesting and unique. His Balloon project —

a 7m x 14m x 13m helium-filled rectangular metal object that sat in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art's atrium — evolved from a concept that sought to reveal the beauty of a naturally buoyant object. His Table project, once again sitting on the more abstract side of architecture, aimed to extend our perception of space.

Ishigami's work is not limited to the experimental; in 2004, he founded Junya Ishigami & Associates, which has worked on a variety of high-profile projects, including Yohji Yamamoto's flagship store in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. Ishigami has an MFA in architecture from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and currently lectures at the Tokyo University of Science.

Konie Lam, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Konie Lam
Kon Design, Hong Kong

Since founding Kon Design in 2005 with partner Lok Wong, Konie Lam has received numerous awards for her work in interior and branding design. She has worked on a range of residential, commercial and hospitality projects with a combined floor area of over 100,000 sq-ft. Recent notable works include Workshop versus Pavilion, One Beacon Hill, New Star Headquarter and Riviera.

Ryuchi Ashizawa, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Ryuchi Ashizawa
Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects & Associates, Tokyo

After graduating from Waseda University with a degree in architecture, Ryuichi Ashizawa perfected his trade under the guidance of Tadao Ando at Tadao Ando & Partners between 1994 and 2000. In 2001, he established Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects & Associates and has gone on to receive several high-profile awards both in Japan and internationally. These include the JCD Design Award; first place at the Urban Open Design Competition, Chicago; the Present of Future Space Award, Moscow; first place at the 2008 International Architecture Awards, Chicago; and prizes at Good Design Awards, Japan, just to name a few. His most important works, Vajra, SHH and Setre Chapel, all aim to reconstruct the relationship between environment and architecture.

Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010 Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens
Grovens Living, Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based interior design outfit Grovens Living was founded by Jo Gray and Jeff Ovens, born out of Gray's hobby to renovate and remodel high-end interiors. After it became clear that she possessed a natural knack for the work, it became her full time job and she has since completed a variety of residential projects in Hong Kong. Grovens Living's trademark style is classic and modern, with an emphasis on clean, ergonomic lines and a neutral palette to create simple, chic, liveable spaces where meticulous attention is paid to the smallest details and functionality is king. With no formal architecture or design training, the duo instead rely on their keen eyes and instincts to guide design choices.

Junya Ishigami, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Junya Ishigami
Junya Ishigami & Associates, Tokyo

Using his architectural knowledge and skills to create pieces that could more accurately be described as art, Junya Ishigami's work may not always be functional, but it is invariably interesting and unique. His Balloon project —

a 7m x 14m x 13m helium-filled rectangular metal object that sat in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art's atrium — evolved from a concept that sought to reveal the beauty of a naturally buoyant object. His Table project, once again sitting on the more abstract side of architecture, aimed to extend our perception of space.

Ishigami's work is not limited to the experimental; in 2004, he founded Junya Ishigami & Associates, which has worked on a variety of high-profile projects, including Yohji Yamamoto's flagship store in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. Ishigami has an MFA in architecture from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and currently lectures at the Tokyo University of Science.

Konie Lam, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Konie Lam
Kon Design, Hong Kong

Since founding Kon Design in 2005 with partner Lok Wong, Konie Lam has received numerous awards for her work in interior and branding design. She has worked on a range of residential, commercial and hospitality projects with a combined floor area of over 100,000 sq-ft. Recent notable works include Workshop versus Pavilion, One Beacon Hill, New Star Headquarter and Riviera.

Ryuchi Ashizawa, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Ryuchi Ashizawa
Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects & Associates, Tokyo

After graduating from Waseda University with a degree in architecture, Ryuichi Ashizawa perfected his trade under the guidance of Tadao Ando at Tadao Ando & Partners between 1994 and 2000. In 2001, he established Ryuichi Ashizawa Architects & Associates and has gone on to receive several high-profile awards both in Japan and internationally. These include the JCD Design Award; first place at the Urban Open Design Competition, Chicago; the Present of Future Space Award, Moscow; first place at the 2008 International Architecture Awards, Chicago; and prizes at Good Design Awards, Japan, just to name a few. His most important works, Vajra, SHH and Setre Chapel, all aim to reconstruct the relationship between environment and architecture.

Sou Fujimoto, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Sou Fujimoto
Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo

Sou Fujimoto, a native of Japan's northern Hokkaido island, has a wholly unique style which he calls 『primitive future'. Futuristic in that his work represents a new and modern kind of architectural vision; primitive in the simplicity of his structures, which Fujimoto likens to a cave — a raw space where individuals must eke out an existence.

Through his designs, Fujimoto pursues new shapes and spaces that exist between nature and the artificial world. Since establishing Sou Fujimoto Architects in 2000, the firm has won a slew of highly-coveted awards, including first place at the Architectural Review Awards for three consecutive years, winner of the private house category at the 2008 World Architectural Festival and the 2008 Japanese Institute of Architecture Grand Prize, just to name a few.

Victor Lee and Jacqueline Yeo, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010 Victor Lee and Jacqueline Yeo, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Victor Lee and Jacqueline Yeo
Plystudio, Singapore

Through their work, the founders of Singapore-based 『spatial design practice' Plystudio, Victor Lee and Jacqueline Yeo, hope to redefine our relationship with space. Involved in projects that run the gamut from architectural to interiors and urban design, the duo focus on using space as a critical medium for investigation, as a mode of thinking and tool for working.

Their portfolio includes residences, hotels, commercial developments, shop houses, interior designs, exhibitions/installations and urban planning. Beyond this, the pair is actively engaged in promoting the design industry through writing, research, curatorial participation and other efforts. In 2005, for example, they turned their house into an open installation space for their [WALLlessLESSwalls] exhibition.

Yasutaka Yoshimura, Architecture / Interiors, 40 under 40 2010
Yasutaka Yoshimura
Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects, Tokyo

One of the common themes of Japanese architect Yasutaka Yoshimura's work is his use of space and light. A trademark of his style — windows that vary in size and shape — produce sections of light that interact with the interior architecture in an intriguing and beautiful way. This can be seen at his Nowhere But Sajima house, where natural light, architectural lines and the site's surroundings are in perfect harmony, and in his Nowhere But Hayama project, winner of the 2009 Design For Asia gold award and his House of Eaves, winner of the Kanagawa Architecture Award.

Yoshimura founded Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects in 2005 and has since also been an instructor at Tokyo University of Science, Waseda University and the Kanto Gakuin University, as well as continually running architecture workshops and submitting works for exhibitions throughout Japan.

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