Designer André Fu shares his love for gardens, modern art and more
Born in Hong Kong and trained in England at the age of 14, designer AndrÃ© Fu holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cambridge and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Cambridge. He attributes his design style – a quietly thoughtful, carefully considered but analytical approach with a refined aesthetic – to his cultural upbringing spent traveling between two countries for thirty years. âFor me, it’s about combining a seamless alignment of cultural sensibilities and design, modern luxury and craftsmanship to shape the world around us,â he explained.
AndrÃ© first came to prominence when he redefined notions of hospitality with his design for the world-famous Upper House Hotel in Hong Kong. His creations range from a furniture collaboration with the Objets Nomades collection by Louis Vuitton to contemporary art galleries in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai to major hotels and restaurants around the world for the biggest brands.
AndrÃ©’s work is increasingly recognized with numerous awards. In 2016, he was named Designer of the Year for Maison & Objet Asia and was honored in Wallpaper * s list of “Top 20 Interior Designers”. In 2019, Elle Decor China named AndrÃ© âInterior Designer of the Yearâ and he successfully launched AndrÃ© Fu Living (AFL) with a holistic collection of lifestyle products. 2020 saw the publication of a new hardcover monograph titled ‘Cross cultures with design‘which explores AndrÃ©’s defining influences and the development of his unique aesthetic and relevance to the international design scene.
This week, AndrÃ© Fu joins us for Friday Five!
I have a deep love for gardens and landscape architecture, from bonsai trees to the authentic Japanese moss gardens of Tofukuji temple in Kyoto and the exotic cactus landscapes of Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. I have long been a passionate admirer of Japanese Zen gardens for their serenity and purity of their forms, and I was inspired to create the Japanese garden at The Mitsui hotel in Kyoto. The landscaping of the traditional zen garden gives a sense of history with the careful placement of stones and stone decorative elements, creating a natural view that reflects the seasons through flowers and herbs, scents, gentle breezes , the sound of water and the song of insects. The sublime artisan gardens provide an alternative way to understand the meaning of Japanese hospitality, architecture and culture.
In 2020, when digital communication took on much greater importance, I really relied on my iPhone to participate in the design discussions with clients that took place on WhatsApp as well as in Instagram Live forums and dialogues.
My pencils are so important to me. As a child, I loved to draw and I drew crazy mazes that my classmates worked on. For me, the creative process always starts with a pencil sketch and that also expresses my love for authenticity in my approach to design. I believe in hand drawing because it is the most direct way to connect the mind with the hand. It is also the most effective way to express an idea.
Modern art is a great inspiration to me, and my spatial work is imbued with the inspiration I have drawn from the world of modern art – from the poetic quality of Mark Rothko’s paintings to the power sculptural works by Brancusi.
5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is my home and it’s a vibrant city with an extremely vibrant cityscape, an intriguing skyline and cross-cultural influences that are really important to me in my work. From morning hikes in the hills of Tai Tam National Park to having breakfast at Cheung Hing, a traditional tea house in Happy Valley, Hong Kong has so many aspects that are important to my life, happiness and well-being .
Work of AndrÃ© Fu: