For this year’s Design Shanghai we partnered with AD China for our Design Forum with the title “Exquisite experiences: Hotel design for true wellbeing.” The forum explored the developments in hotel design geared towards the wellbeing of the guests and in connection with the notion of luxury. The doors to the Shanghai Exhibition Centre opened on Thursday March 9 in the afternoon to welcome an eclectic crowd of architects, designers, and interested guests.The speakers were D.B. Kim, Joyce Wang, André Fu, and Larry Yuen.
André Fu is the founder of the AFSO Design Studio in Hong Kong. He was named Designer of the Year by Maison et Objet in 2016 and is considered one of the Top 20 Interior Designers by Wallpaper Magazine (2016). After his schooling years in the UK, he returned home to Hong Kong where he focuses his work efforts on luxurious interior designs. His work includes The Upper House in Hong Kong and Singapore’s Fullerton Bay Hotel.
Joyce Wang is also a talented designer from Hong Kong who founded her firm Joyce Wang Studio with offices in Hong Kong and London in 2011. Born in Hawaii, she divided her formative years between the UK, Europe and the US before returning to Hong Kong. In her studio she lives the credo of teamwork, play hard and work hard. Her designs range from hotels to restaurants and residential developments. One of these is Mott32, a restaurant in Central, Hong Kong, where past, present and future marry beautifully.
D.B. Kim is the former vice president of Wanda Hotel Design Institute. He who is originally from South Korea is a hospitality designer who has lived in Beijing from 2014 to 2016 before returning to the US. While in China, he lead the design team in the Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute that is part of the Dalian Wanda Group, the world’s largest commercial property owner and operator. Although most properties are in China, the group has developed also developed over 100 luxury hotels around the world for big brands such as InterContinental, Park Hyatt etc.. Before his experience in China, Kim had worked and lived in the US for more than 25 and was the driving force for designing hotels at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Based on his recent understanding, D.B. Kim noticed that Asian guests focus more on luxurious interior materials and quality design details.
Larry Yuen, Group President K&B, as the host of the event, zoomed in product designs especially in the roam of kitchen and bathroom designs and the general concept of luxury in hospitality. The meaning of luxury varies for guests from different parts of the world. For Asian travelers luxury is a personal experience, for Russians and Europeans it is more about privacy and intimacy.
The Design Forum is a platform for well-known designers and architects to exchange ideas and thoughts on the latest developments of the design scene in China, Asia and the world. Shanghai Design is an annual design event at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. The venue provides an excellent platform for architects, interior designers, developers, and interested individuals to learn about the latest trends and innovations in the area of design and architecture.