Lim + Lu is an inter-disciplinary, architectural design studio founded by Vincent Lim and Elaine Lu. The duo started their practice after graduating from Cornell’s design school and they are currently based in Hong Kong, working internationally to provide architecture, interior, graphic, furniture, and product design services. Lim + Lu's designs are awash with individualism, flexibility and practicality. We caught up with them on a transatlantic phone call to find out what they’ve been up to.
Hey guys, welcome to Creativepool! Where in the world are you right now?
Thanks! We’re in a very chilly New York City.
Aha! So what’s the story behind your move from NYC to Hong Kong?
We moved to Hong Kong in order to be closer to family and resources. It’s also an exciting time to be a part of the design scene there as it’s started developing an awareness and it’s great to be part of the movement that pushes it forwards and helps shape it from here on.
We originally started Lim + Lu as a hobby but when we presented at ICFF’s 2014 show we received really good feedback and things kind of kicked off from there.
You guys have also spent time working with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Tiffany & Co. and Davidclovers Architects. Did you bring any disciplines from these experiences with you when you founded Lim + Lu?
Well obviously we both graduated from Cornell so we had the same schooling and direction preset within us. Our design foundations and conceptual thinking practices are very similar as a result, and we also share the same aesthetic style. But yes, our individual work did help us bring different things to the table. My work (Elaine) at Tiffany & Co. for example, was more interior focused so that was worthy time added to my practice.
Do you guys have a set design agenda as a result of your different experiences?
No, we have no set design style. In general, Vincent works more with solids and masses and Elaine more with lines and lightness. Together the two work pretty well together!
Your recent Happy Valley Residence amassed a lot of international attention, can you tell us a bit more about the house?
Yes! Happy Valley was a lot about fine tuning our practice and finding out who we are. As a result it’s very exemplary of us right now. The house is full of versatile, flexible living solutions that allow the user to adapt and become part of the overall design aesthetic. 99% of the furniture pieces in the house were designed by us and we’ve experimented a lot with different colours and different design styles. It’s not limited in this respect, which we think is why so many people engage with it so positively.
Amongst your Happy Valley Residence and Kasa Restaurant works have you had any time for product design? Is this still an area you guys are keen to pursue?
Very much so! In fact, we’re very excited to return to ICFF in May this year. We’ve been working on the prototypes of a lot of exciting products and we feel that in the three years since we last presented there, we’ve had a lot of time to fine tune who were are. This year we’ll be presenting as more mature designers and that’s very exciting for us.
Great! So what else have you got planned for 2017?
Well watch this space; we’re currently working on our Chelsea Loft project in New York which will debut early this year and as well as the ICFF, we’ll also be at the Paris Maison & Objet fair in September.
We’re also trying to make our products more accessible for the masses so a lot of our work this year will encompass that. Our Low Res Vase is a good example of how we’ve already begun exploring this area.
And finally, what are you most proud of creatively in 2016?
Happy Valley will always be up there for us because it was such an all in one project - we designed the whole lot and there are so many Lim + Lu furniture items in there.
Our Frame Table Half stands out as well, the full-size original of this piece was in dark wood with eight different square configurations but so many people kept asking us if we could do it in smaller and lighter versions to suit the Asian/European markets that we decided to rethink it. In our reworkings we made it out of lighter, stainless steel, all in all the process and the final piece exemplify who we are quite well.