2021 Winner

Mr Ray Yuen

Title: Principal, Global Design Leader - Interiors
Company: Woods Bagot
Design Philosophy:

As a designer, my main priority is to create experiences that are unique, social, sustainable and driven by an empathetic integration of the latest technology. Sensitive to location and mindful of the nuance of each client’s personal brand, I seek to design spaces that are extensions of the values and distinctive quirks of each business I have the privilege of collaborating with.

I treasure the design journey I am able to take with clients, communities, and – importantly – end-users because it enables me to identify shared aspirations in order to generate meaningful experiences that are people-centric and respect local culture. Propelled by a shared sense of empathy, I work to celebrate diversity across cultures and create spaces that reflect our shared values.

An embodiment of this approach is my recent work leading the design of a multi-storey, vertical campus for a highly creative, multinational technology company in Tokyo. I am proud of the project’s ability to reflect the company’s iconic sense of community in a space that reflects the culture and context of Japan – drawing from Shibuya’s vibrant youth culture, continuous flow of people, glowing video screens and tangible buzz. Thirty-four original artworks by local artists draw the city into the tower and help make the spaces feel genuinely Japanese.

Knowing the value of teamwork has been key to the success I have experienced in my career. I pride myself on creating a respectful working atmosphere for my team –encouraging them to express their ideas, inspiring them to create, and coaching them to push the bounds of their imaginations. Crucially, I work hard to let my team know that they are appreciated and supported – especially during the pandemic. I have been fortunate to lead/mentor a regional team of 50+ interior designers with different backgrounds and nationalities.

Together with my team, I am able to create places that bring a sense of belonging to people who inhabit them – ultimately building a better future.