5 Minutes with Catherine Cheung Design Director of The XSS..

 Founder and Design Director of The XSS Catherine Cheung  discusses with us the direction she feels design is moving in and the Key Influencing elements on The XSS at the moment.

What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

Sustainability is essential, both in order to meet human requirements and to preserve the life support system of the planet. By undertaking a green philosophy, these needs can be met not only in the present, but also on behalf of generations to come.  Additionally, there is an ever-growing focus on the balance between aesthetics and functionality. Both are interlinked in the creation of the perfect design.

What are the key influencing elements at present?

My design concept aims to extend architectural elements into interiors in a sustainable manner. I aspire to deliver high performance designs with a long-lasting aesthetic. Form and space are my primary focus, rather than décor.

What sort of projects are you working on at the moment?

We are working for an extraordinary commercial project at IFC, Hong Kong and a luxurious residential design at The Peak, Hong Kong.

A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

Design has always had a great impact on my thought process, ever since studying the subject at university. I enjoyed thinking about the functionality of real projects, rather than solely seeking academic results. Even now, I believe firmly that design is not just a career, it is part of my life.

Name 5 key essentials for 2012 and beyond

Acquire global recognition

Strengthen Asia Pacific Market

Crossover with design talents

Explore fresh terrains

Mature the internal design team

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Always put clients first, and the relationships that you form with them. Design concept is based on the client’s needs. Observe the connection between the user’s habitat and space nature and let this tell the story. Design concepts are created from this.  I’d also rather set ground rules that are realistic and achievable.

How important do you feel Design Awards are as recognition of designers talents and achievements?

They are very encouraging and play a great supporting role within the industry.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

As with many other designers, there are still many new challenges ahead. I like to keep my goals in mind, otherwise I worry that I won’t reach them!


The car you drive?

White Roadster Mercedes-Benz SL500

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

Berlin; it’s a world city encompassing a diverse range of creative industries and blends of old and new culture and buildings

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

Hotel: design boutique hotel (for its aesthetics)

Restaurant: gourmet’s luck (for its practically)

The place that gives you the most energy?

My office – I am an energetic head leading my team and embracing demanding work

And the place that enables you to totally relax?

My bathroom – for both body and soul relaxation

Your favourite food and drink?

Any cuisine in reward for my hard work

Anything else interesting?

I love fashion and have a trendy sense of style