Ten Questions for Eugenia Cheng
Founder | Principal Designer
What is your background?
I have a mixed-cultural background. I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Taipei, returned to Hong Kong for school, then moved to London to study at Chelsea College of Art & Design and The Bartlett UCL, worked for Hilson Moran and BDSP. After a decade in UK, I moved back to Hong Kong where I now live and worked for the prestigious Tino Kwan Lighting Consultancy. In 2017, I started LightOrigin Studio.
How do you describe what you do?
I work closely along side architects and interior designers to illuminate their design, and create an environment that evokes emotion and to bring their visions to life.
What was your first lighting inspiration?
Dan Flavin's untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim) 3, 1977. Who knew one could create such compelling spatial experience with the play of light, shadow and colour?
What is your design philosophy?
A balance of Light and Shadow. Less is more. And always have design dialogue with whomever you are collaborating with.
What lighting experiences moved you?
Dan Flavin's work(s), Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, Tadao Ando's Church of the Light, and Jean Nouvel's Institut du Monde Arabe.
Who and when were you introduced to design?
From my father. He was an advertising creative director with an amazing sense of space, detail, colour, and light. Inside the first architectural book he bought me when I was young, he wrote, "A marketing campaign can last for a few weeks to a few months, but good architectural design can last 30-40 years, if not forever. Travel the world, look around you, and open your mind."
What is your take on lighting technology?
As architecture and technology is advancing, so has the lighting industry. With LEDs on the rise and readily available, more luminaires aim to achieve low power-high efficiency, which is great for sustainability. It is also important to intertwine natural and artificial lighting for both environmental and human factors.
What are the lighting design challenges you encounter?
With the fast-paced momentum of the modern world today, the challenge(s) is striking a dialogue between design, cost and time, form and function, quantity and quality. Communication is vital.
What do you love to do when you are not designing?
Strolling around town with my husband and our dog Poe, exploring new places, seeking out new design trends, materials & lighting. I also enjoy the tranquility of being in the ceramic studio and creating on the throwing wheel.