In 2020, the International Seminar Series at AIFF 360 will feature some of the most inspirational designers from around the world. Hong Kong-based interior architect Andre Fu will be joining us on Tuesday 29 September to talk about the craft behind his extraordinary spaces.

Founder of internationally acclaimed design studio AFSOAndre Fu became known overnight when he redefined hospitality with the design of the world-renowned Upper House hotel in Hong Kong. His creations range from a furniture collaboration with Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection to contemporary art galleries in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Hospitality is perhaps his most renowned métier, with interiors featuring in major hotels and restaurants around the world including Villa La Coste in Provence, The Berkeley London, Upper House hotel and The St Regis in Hong Kong, as well as Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

Upper House Hotel, Hong Kong. Image Courtesy of AFSO

Born in Hong Kong, Fu was educated in England from the age of 14 and holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Cambridge. Fu says that ‘living, studying and travelling between both countries over thirty years is why my own tastemaker sensibility reinterprets traditional notions of national identities.”

Fu’s work has won increasing recognition with numerous awards. In 2016, he was named Designer of the Year for Maison & Objet Asia, and was honoured in Wallpaper*s list of ‘Top 20 Interior Designers’. In 2019, Elle Décor China named him “Interior Designer of The Year”.  This year saw the publication of a book exploring his work, Crossing Cultures with Design, published by Thames & Hudson, written by design curator and journalist Catherine Shaw.

The Lounge at Upper House Hotel, Hong Kong. Image Courtesy of AFSO

In the lead up to Fu’s exclusive virtual seminar at the International Seminar Series at Decor + Design 360, we asked him a few questions to tap into his cerebral approach to design…

How would you define the ‘Andre Fu aesthetic’?

I believe my aesthetics embrace cross-cultural nuances, modernity and relaxed luxury. It is about crafting compelling settings that embrace and reflect harmony, beauty and warmth.

The St Regis Hong Kong. Image Courtesy of AFSO

What’s one design rule you live by?

Design is highly personal to me – it is about finding an organic response through a rigorous and holistic process of cultural immersion, research and analytical thinking. In short, everything I create should have a timeless quality to it, allowing it to endure for many years.

The Bar at the St Regis Hong Kong. Image Courtesy of AFSO

Which artist or designer from history would you choose to be in isolation with?

Gio Ponti – I have always spoken publicly about my appreciation of Ponti’s world of creativity, from his furniture creation to his all-encompassing property Parco di Prinicipi in Sorrento.

Why is interior design important for the world right now?

It is a vital moment for us to re-consider the way in which we are living, and wellness in design is a key aspect that I am focusing on – I strongly believe that spatial design shall once again return to the essence of the experience. It is about creating spaces that celebrate mindfulness, that are pure and balanced.

You’ll be taking part live in Decor + Design’s first virtual International Seminar Series in September. Can you give us a sneak peek at what you’ll be talking about?

An insight into my new book ‘Crossing Cultures with Design’ by Thames and Hudson and a sharing of my upcoming hotel The Mitsui in Kyoto, due to unveil in November this year!

Join Andre for this unique insight into how he approaches hotel design, from his hand-drawn conceptual sketches to detailed design and custom furniture. This exclusive seminar will be both pre-recorded from Andre’s studio in Hong Kong and live for a Q&A.

Register now for AIFF 360, Australia’s virtual furniture trade marketplace, September 28th – October 2nd, 2020.