Recently a Hong Kong property tycoon mentioned to me that real estate is a very local business. Professionals in the building industry need to travel to the construction site to personally carry out the projects, even company executives and owners. Quite often, we think of architecture as international: the world's tallest towers, global practices, overseas projects, cross-continental collaborations and so on.
But today, localisation impacts design to a significant degree. Eminent architects often insist on using local materials and craftsmanship for their projects. The same thing happens in interior design. Though varying in style and levels of luxury, one thing today's hoteliers and hospitality brands – and especially boutique hotels – have agreed upon, is that properties in different cities are expected to embrace and reflect the local culture. This has quite often become a crucial point in the design brief. After all, travellers appreciate experiencing the uniqueness of a destination they fly for hours to reach, rather than be greeted by a uniform decor that could appear in any city. It can be achieved through a garden, a roof style, and right down to subtle details.
As a Hong Kong-based publication, Perspective aims to put Hong Kong and Asia's creative scene under the spotlight and this was how the 40 Under 40 Awards were born. Marking its 12th edition this year, the programme is dedicated to promoting young Hong Kong and Asian talents in the architecture, art and design world. We're proud to see that many alumni have taken off from Asia to the international stage with tremendous success in their careers. Congratulations to the 2018 winners and we wish you all even more success!
Italy plays an important role in this issue. We travelled to Milan to cover the world’s largest design fair Milan Design Week. In this issue's special report, you will find powerful trends, furniture collections from both well-known brands and small design studios, new kitchen and bathroom releases, and installations, not necessarily by traditional design houses. No matter whether you attended this year's fair or missed the show, we've got plenty of inspirations for your next project.
In the conversation with Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, one the country's most celebrated, he opines that architecture is an emotion. The Roman designer's influence extends worldwide and includes Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport Terminal 3. His designs are widely endorsed by professional peers as well as being Instagram-popular – take this issue's cover structure the Zenith Music Hall in France, for example. "My final client is humanity – human beings," he says.
Late last month, the 16th Venice Biennale was held in the floating city, with the theme Freespace. Hong Kong presented a very local exhibition, Vertical Fabric: density in landscape, which featured 100 towers by 100 local and overseas architects. The exhibition showcased the different designers' approaches and illustrated the density of the city that more than seven million people call home, a local and international place with which we feel familiar, but that is also ever-changing.