#IamWilson — 5 Questions with Lydia Liu, Senior Designer

#IamWilson — 5 Questions with Lydia Liu, Senior Designer

Checking in with Lydia Liu, Senior FF&E Designer, Wilson Associates Shanghai


What do you love about Shanghai? Why did you decide to move there?
Shanghai is one of China’s biggest and most developed cities. After moving to Shanghai, I realized how much China has changed since I migrated to Singapore 13 years ago. Shanghai has totally blown my mind!

In May 2016, Dylan [Wills] offered me the opportunity to join his new design studio in Shanghai, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn a lot from the experienced people in the studio. And I have enjoyed nurturing a project from the beginning to the end, from concept to build.

What inspires you, and what are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
What I do outside of work are the things that can bring me inspiration. I like to visit exhibitions, whether it is design-related or not. I always love to know what is on trend, and get inspiration from designers’ creativity. I also love to visit book stores–what is special in China is the book store allows customers to sit down and read the books. Sometimes I can spend my entire afternoon in the bookshop with a cup of coffee.


Lydia-at-Degas

Lydia finds inspiration in art exhibitions, like a recent Degas show.


What’s the best hotel you’ve seen recently?
I went to Japan last June to visit TOTO’s Tokyo workshop and factory, and I had the chance to visit quite a few famous hotels in Tokyo. My favorite was the Andaz Hotel that was designed by Tony Chi. I loved the hotel’s eye-catching curve feature. There is a sculptural seat at the reception area and this design language was carried on in the all-day dining space as a ceiling feature.


Lydia-Park-Andaz-Tokyo

Lydia admires the curved sculpture in the Andaz Hotel Tokyo.


In October, I paid a visit to Hangzhou, China, and I was staying at the newly opened Park Hyatt hotel that was designed by Yabu Pushelberg. It was one of the best hotels that I have stayed in during the past year! I really liked how they chose and used the marble; there are lots of details in their design and I think the accent color they used in the public area is daring and fresh.


Lydia-Park-Hyatt-Hangzhou

The marble details in the Park Hyatt Hangzhou.


What projects are you working on right now? What’s your favorite part of the project?
The first project I worked on after I arrived in Shanghai was the Marriott Hongqiao, which we just completed. We worked on the refurbishment of the Level One Lobby, All-day Dining, and Executive Lounge. Currently I’m working on several other projects of various types, such as the Maritim Hotel Wuhu, a Zhengzhou serviced apartment, and the Shanghai Qinglan International Showflat.


Lydia-Lobby-Lounge-Marriott-Hongqiao

Refurbished lobby of the Marriott Hongqiao.


My favorite part of any project is pulling materials together to give the space a certain look and feel. Matching different textures, different colors, and different finishes sometimes might be tough, but when I finally find that special fabric that brings the design together, I think no one can understand the joy of that moment!


Lydia-Lobby-Lounge-Marriott-Hongqiao

Sky Library at the Zhengzhou Serviced Apartments.



Lydia-Lobby-Lounge-Marriott-Hongqiao

Mock-up room rendering for the Zhengzhou Serviced Apartments.


Choose one thing in your home that is very special to you – can you tell me about it?
There is one thing I cannot describe just how special it is to me–my cat, Pepsi. He’s a British short hair, with grey fur and brown eyes, and 6 months old. He’s a handsome little one! I am a cat person, and he is the reason why I love spending more of my free time at home. Sometimes just watching him jumping all over the place brings me so much happiness! He’s such a fun creature–I have way too many photos of him!


Lydia-Lobby-Lounge-Marriott-Hongqiao

Lydia’s cat, Pepsi.


Okay, so six questions. When and why did you decide to become an interior designer?
When I was young, my favorite thing to do was to visit friends’ and relatives’ houses–back then I knew nothing about layout or space planning–because I was interested to see what other people’s houses looked like. My mum still has quite a collection of my childhood drawings of my future dream house. I think that’s why I chose to study interior design—I had a fascination with interiors, and I am really lucky now to work doing what I love!

#IamWilson

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