One of Taiwanese-American architect Dara Huang’s earliest memories of design is drawing as a four-year-old. “I was watching Bob Ross paint happy trees, and I was on the floor, scribbling with my crayons,” she recalls. “Eventually, those happy trees turned into buildings, as well as a career in architecture and design.”
Huang has since made her mark in the design scene with her modern, multilayered designs, and nature continues to play a strong influence in the architect’s work. “I get a lot of inspiration from nature, such as raw woods and stones. I always say that there is no better designer than God and Mother Nature,” she reveals. “Everything—from colours to purity—is already perfect the way it comes from the earth. It’s about how to engineer it in ways to make it tangible for living. It’s not just materials; it’s also about the ambience, lighting, a feeling, organic shapes and more.”
In 2013, Huang founded Design Haus Liberty, an international architecture and design practice based in both London and Hong Kong. “We work globally so we experience many cultural differences in every location we work in,” she explains. “It goes from work ethic to language (I don’t mean the actual language, but rather how you say something in terms of non-verbal communication); to materials and health and safety codes.”
Huang’s clientele spans between hospitality giants the likes of Four Seasons and Starwood Hotels & Resorts as well as luxury brands such as Cartier, LVMH, Harrods and Kate Spade. Besides working on residential projects and installations worldwide, she’s also in the midst of designing 1,200 stores all over China for three fashion brands.
“In terms of style, I think luxury is a global market now,” she says. “We’ve worked in places from Saudi Arabia to New York City so of course there are subtle differences in the design scene, but not much—with contemporary design, a lot of it is very much the same now.”
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