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Smart Set

Smart Set

Hong Kong design studio Fak3 melds intelligence and conscience to create individualised spaces

Fak3 isn’t just an interiors studio. Founded by Johnny Wong and Miho Hirabayahsi, the award-wining designers have cast their eyes toward architecture, urbanism and research among other things. Working in every kind of space — from hotels to retail outlets, private homes to dining establishments — Fak3 are also active in educating Asia’s future design pros.

Can you describe a little about what you do? You’re not a straight ahead interior designer.
My training is in architecture, from the Royal College of Art London. [Miho Hirabayahsi and I] approach our work in a bespoke way, focusing on hotels, serviced apartments, luxury residential and commercial projects. We treat each project as an opportunity to develop something uniquely relevant for our clients, optimising functional requirements while creating a poetic expression.

Do you have a particular aesthetic or style?
Our studio approaches a project as a blank canvas, and through close discussions with our clients a design language is formed. I don’t have a ‘style’ but a particular sensitivity to space, material and light.

You design for all kinds of space. How do they influence each other? Or do they?
We have a certain dynamics in our work due to the fact that our projects are so diverse, and knowledge can be transferred and on occasion innovate one another, through materials, new technologies and even functional programming of space.

What’s the biggest problem in Hong Kong design?
Sustainability is a major concern. This is not just a Hong Kong problem, but also a global one. We have recently completed projects focusing on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which is an internationally recognised certification, developed by the US green council. This stringent process in giving projects a low carbon footprint will change the landscape of the design industry in the near future.

What are you working on now?
At a hospitality level we are currently finishing off a 90-room boutique hotel in Hong Kong, which will open this year. We have been working with some major retail brands developing branded environments for them in Hong Kong, China and Korea(some with LEED) and it’s been exciting for us as we have started receive commissions to revitalise old buildings for developers.

What kind of space would you like to try designing one day that you haven’t yet?
My home.