Q&A with judge Steve Leung

Steve Leung is one of the most respected figures in Hong Kong’s A&D community. He was a deserving winner of the Pinnacle Award for lifetime achievement at the A&D Awards in 2016, having collected the prestigious Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year Award in 2015. We put some questions to the founder of Steve Leung Designers and here’s what he had to say…

  1. Why did you choose to become an architect / designer? Was there a moment, a person, a movie or something that steered you in this direction? Has it lived up to your expectations?

    My uncle was an architect and he often brought his work home: I grew up fascinated by the sketches he used to draw late at night. At the age seven or eight, I decided I wanted to become an architect.

  2. Do you think of yourself as an artist?

    I believe design is not just an art: instead, a “good design” is a balanced mix of aesthetics and functionality, innovation and it stands the test of time. It has to serve a precise purpose and always be human-centred, resolving the needs of the target users to improve people’s quality of life.

  3. Tell me about the architectural or design project that you are most proud of and why.

    I am an optimistic person and I love challenges. Every project teaches me different and valuable lessons, inspiring me to overcome difficulties and to strive to always do better in the future.

  4. Tell me a little about the work of the C Foundation and what that means to you.

    Back in 2014, together with nine designers from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, we founded C Foundation with the aim to cultivate young designers and foster design education within the region. We believe that our young generation has so much potential to unleash, and that the as designers we can devote our part to make the world a better place.

  5. How will architecture and design have to change/ adapt to deal with an ongoing-Covid or post-Covid world?

    These unprecedented times are surely providing us with the extraordinary opportunity to re-think the mission of design and our role as designers. For example, as WFH policies have been widely employed worldwide, I believe that this will have a huge impact on how design will be shaping dedicated work spaces within our houses able to replace the traditional office environment. Smart technologies will also become more common, with IoT to change the way we conceive design, unfolding infinite and unexplored possibilities. Smart design will ultimately lead towards a higher degree of customization in each living space, allowing a better quality life experience.

  6. Are there other issues you feel strongly about?

    The world is evolving and we are living a more sustainable design and eco-friendly lifestyle. This global direction is having a strong influence on the crucial role design is playing in tackling with environmental challenges. Last year, our Hong Kong headquarter has been awarded with the WELL Certification – Gold Level by the International WELL Building InstituteTM (IWBITM), becoming the first design firm in Hong Kong to ever be acknowledged with such a milestone accolade. Not only workspace but overall like residential, learning institutions, public space etc., we shall be incorporating health and wellness concepts and design elements.

  7. Thank you for being a judge for A&D Awards 2020. What are the factors that give an entry the winning edge from your viewpoint?

    It’s good to be a part of the jury again for A&D Awards, joining hands with my peers to support the growth of the global design community. This year, I will be looking for a visionary approach able to re-shape our traditional way of thinking and living through creative, smart and sustainable solutions. I am eager to see design projects leading towards a real impact on the built environment and our society.

  8. You won a Pinnacle Award for lifetime achievement in the A&D Awards a few years ago. How special a moment for you?

    I was really grateful that my passion for design as a lifetime devotion brought a certain influence, and most importantly happiness to people. Design is connecting life and the community, connecting topics that we care… I cannot thank enough for those who walk the journey with me, making it memorable and fun.

  9. What is the last thing you need to do as architect / designer before you hang up your ruler and set-square?

    Throughout all these years, design has been continuously evolving, becoming a crucial aspect in our daily life. My desire is to give back to the design community, sharing my own experience, knowledge and, most importantly, passion. I hope to inspire the future generations of designers, pass on the spirit and make the industry flourish.