5 Minutes With... André Fu, Maison&Objet Asia’s Designer of the Year
As the upcoming design solutions showcase Maison&Objet Asia exhibition nears, we speak to its Designer of the Year and take a look at his past, present and upcoming projects.
You may not have met André Fu, founder of design studio AFSO, but we’re sure you’ve seen some of his work. After all, the Hong Kong architect counts The Fullerton Bay Singapore, Louis Vuitton, Shangri-La Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts as part of his prestigious list of clientele.
To add on to his achievements, the upcoming Maison&Objet Asia exhibition — to be held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre from 8 to 11 March — has named him 2016’s Designer of the Year. This award, presented to four winners worldwide (one in Asia, one in America and two in Paris), honours the very best in the design world.
But Fu isn’t resting on his laurels, as 2016 is set to be yet another successful year for him. Here, we speak to Fu to talk about his win, childhood dreams and his exciting new brand, André Fu Living.
Congratulations on your Designer of the Year win. How do you feel about Maison&Objet Asia’s award?
André Fu I've always considered Maison&Objet a genuine testament to modern lifestyle and it’s always fascinating to see the creations of so many artisans under one roof. I trust it’s the spirit of the festival that makes this a tremendous title to be recognised with.
Was becoming an architect your childhood dream?
Fu Indeed. When I was a child, I loved drawing mazes for my childhood friends and since then, my interest in designing spaces grew.
What do you enjoy most as a designer?
Fu It’ll be the fact that my spatial creations are interacting with people on a daily basis. In my view, architecture has the ability to inspire people’s lives.
If you were to describe your style of design in three words, what would they be?
Fu Contemporary, tactile and sensuous.
What continues to inspire your designs?
Fu Being surrounded by people who’re passionate about their lives inspires me.
You’ve created masterpieces, from The Upper House to Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore. Was there a project that stood out most for you?
Fu Yes — it’s a new [Japanese] restaurant we’ve created in [Four Seasons Hotel] Seoul, named Kioku. It’s conceived as a modernist bamboo theatre, and it looks theatrical, yet quiet at the same time.
What would be your dream project?
Fu To design a venue for performing arts. It’s something that I haven’t explored, and theatres have also been an inspiration to me.
You’re launching a new brand called André Fu Living; tell us more about your latest adventure.
Fu It was a challenge to myself. We began the journey early 2015 and Andrefuliving.com went “live” early this year. The concept is to create objects or collections with selected artisans whom I admire.
The first product is an eau de toilette created in collaboration with scent laboratory, Fueguia, which is based in Buenos Aires. Fargesia, the name of the scent, will be showcased at Maison&Objet, and will be available to ship from 1 March through our website.
We’ll also be previewing a collection of bathroom fittings named Skyliner with US brand Cooper & Graham.