From its Wanchai studio, Design Sector has been designing interior spaces from homes, to offices, to shops. Proud nonconformists, DS creates individualised interiors that reflect the resident’s, business’ or product’s personality as well as function as efficiently as possible. Square Foot has a brief chat with Design Sector project designer Man Wu.
Your website says you design furniture as well. Does customising the furnishings give the final product a more complete feel?
Yes, simply because the colours and styles match more seamlessly with the interior decoration. We can control materials, and a lot of our clients do ask for this kind of complete work. You want the furnishing — tables, chairs and such — to match in the final product and it’s nice to match the material finishes when a design includes built-in furniture.
What do you think that need to change about the process of design in Hong Kong? Is there enough of an understanding by consumers about the job of design?
The Registered Minor Works Contractors system by the Buildings Department is really helping our industry become more regulated and more professional so that consumers have a better understanding of the process and help them make the best choices for them of interior designer when they need one. At one time the assumption was that we, designers, were the same as contractors and the RMWC clarifies that designers are more qualified for certain things. It helps consumers figure out which one they actually need.
You seem to work in a lot of fairly new developments and buildings. Are they easier to work in than older structures?
They are, mostly because the structural beams and pillars have become smaller, and these beams are more often now located in spots that are less likely to obstruct the space planning. In my experience older buildings may have better overall usage and higher ceilings, and that’s one of the downsides of newer buildings. But older buildings often put beams in odd places that just make it hard to maximise the space.
What kind of themes or trends do you see coming for the rest of this year?
I think the simple styles that have become popular lately will continue on into the next year. Maybe you’ll see a few more colourful elements and accents added to overall designs. It applies more to the movable furniture and the décor pieces, like cushions and rugs. A simple basic design is also more cost effective if someone wants to make changes. All you need is a new sofa, or sofa cover, or wallpaper and not wholesale redesign.
If you could work on any of the industrial spaces that are beingrezoned by the government, what would you like to do with them if you could try anything?
I hope there could be room for projects related to childcare, education or training centre. A lot of designers would love to see some of those converted to loft apartments. But those would be upscale residences, and the average person is okay with 800 square feet. But for people with children those spaces would be more valuable as space for usage for children.