pan tianshou in retrospect

Pan Tianshou has been a great influence to many including Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010), one of my favorite contemporary Chinese water-color painter. Selected from the Pan Tianshou Memorial Museum in Hangzhou, the exhibition features 36 works including landscape as well as flower and bird paintings, and also calligraphy, accompanied by a number of valuable documents. Visitors can explore Pan’s artistic career from his early works including Bamboo, and also his landscape paintings based on Wu Changshuo’s style, adopted during his teaching years in Shanghai and Hangzhou in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition, the exhibition also includes his well-known finger-paintings of vultures and lotus plants, and several extra large-scale masterpieces such as Transporting Iron Ore by Sailboat, Buffalo in a Summer Pond and The Almighty Gaze. Visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art now as the exhibition lasts till 5 February 2011.


the marq

Hermes has announced it's first decorated home be located in The Marq on The Patterson Hill in Singapore. The five-bedroom apartment ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet will feature a combination of furniture, fabrics, rugs, carpets, wallpaper and made-to-measure upholstered items. The apartment is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012. A successful brand does not only create but to find an environment where it can be applied, lived and breathed. Hermes has broken boundaries letting her brand essence be part of the living world and not just a piece of decoration be adorned from afar.

unesco honors SCAD

We're thrilled to hear that UNESCO had honored SCAD Hong Kong. Earlier this week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization awarded SCAD an honorable mention for the revitalization of the former North Kowloon Magistracy Building in its 2011 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. The awards honor private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region.

"SCAD is proud to have accomplished so much during our first year in Hong Kong," said John Paul Rowan, vice president for SCAD Hong Kong. "Our community of talented students, professors and staff all contribute to making SCAD Hong Kong the great place that it is. We look forward to many more exciting years in the former North Kowloon Magistracy."

The university's internal SCAD Design Group led the revitalization project with the experience of renovating more than 100 historic facilities guiding it. Over the course of 18 months, SCAD invested more than HK$250 million of its own capital in the revitalization and start-up of SCAD Hong Kong without further investment from the Hong Kong government. When SCAD completed the renovation in 2010 it was the first organization to complete the revitalization of a building under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme.

"The adaptive reuse of the former North Kowloon Magistracy as an international university of the arts has breathed new life into a decommissioned 1960s government building," noted Tim Curtis, head of the culture unit for UNESCO Bangkok. "The project demonstrates the possibilities of adaptive reuse and is a model for successful public-private cooperation under the framework of Hong Kong SAR's policy for retaining and optimizing the value of heritage buildings."

We're really proud of SCAD, and believe they've set a standard for the re-use and conservation of significant buildings in Hong Kong. We hope that Hong Kong takes note of their lead as all eyes fall on the remaining sites around the city that have potential for being much more than high-rise shopping malls or residential developments, such as Central Market, Bridges Street Market, Central Police Station and Police Married Living Quarters.

lab series

The BMW Guggenheim Lab was just opened on 3 Aug lasting till 16 Oct in New York on Houston Street at 2nd Avenue. The theme for the first two-year cycle of the BMW Guggenheim Lab is Confronting Comfort. It's planned that the lab will be established also in Berlin and Asia later on. The Lab aims to explore how urban environments can be made more responsive to people’s needs, how people can feel more at ease in urban environments, and how to find a balance between notions of modern comfort and the urgent need for environmental and social responsibility.

the opposite house

Not only do we love the name, but the spaces look incredible. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, The Opposite House is a new boutique hotel concept in Beijing created by Swire Hotels, a new spin-off from the mall-building mega-developer Swire Properties. oppositehouse_00.png





a little whitespace

Our studio is named Whitespace for a very good reason but often people ask us or wonder what 'white space' really is. We've taken a moment here to highlight a few articles and visuals that hopefully shed some light on an often overlooked but vital element of graphic design. white.jpg

A List Apart writes that “Whitespace,” or “negative space” is the space between elements in a composition. More specifically, the space between major elements in a composition is “macro whitespace.” Micro whitespace, is—yes, you’ve guessed it—the space between smaller elements: between list items, between a caption and an image, or between words and letters. The itty-bitty stuff."

On his site, Sherif Tariq writes, "So why is white space so important? Part of the reason is pshychological, and part of it is physical: the text needs room to breathe. When text crowds all the way to the edge, it leaves us feeling crowded and cramped. Long passages of text, written edge to edge can actually tire the eyes".

White space was well understood and defined by former Harper's Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch and more currently, Fabien Baron. His own layouts for the same magazine in the Nineties was filled with whitespace or 'negative' space in photo shoots and typography.



Even Fabian Baron's house, built by minimalist architect John Pawson, is a lesson in the beauty and serenity of whitespace. (by way of



The use of white space signifies simplicity and no one understands this better than John Maeda. "It is our culture’s tendency to want to fill in the very white space that designers understand to be a critical aspect of the design experience – nothing is as important as something and “when there is less, we appreciate everything much more.”

Whitespace to us is not only a design element but also a philosophy — connected to the way we see the world around us, and express our own studio objectives as well as those of our partners and clients. White space is simplicity and clarity, focus and restraint. White space is inspiration and freedom to think and create.

green goes up

Urban planners and architects have long understood that in crowded cities with limited land space, the only direction to develop is up. This has resulted in taller and taller buildings, so much so that the record for the world's tallest building changes almost yearly. However, it wasn't until the last couple of years that we've seen environments at higher altitudes. This blending of landscape and building architecture has led to some very interesting creations.

The first two images are of Namba Parks in Osaka, Japan and the latter three are of the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.



I scream for ?

The Rono Ice Cream shop facade in Tokyo could easily be mistaken for an upscale jewelry store or a fancy spa/salon entrance. Rarely do you see an ice cream shop devoid of vibrant colours and pictures displaying the countless number of flavors. rono_ice_cream1.jpg

This was Japanese designer Hiroyuki Miyake's inspiration when creating the atypical interior space. The lack of character, texture, and colour in the design is not so much minimalist-motivated as it is product-driven. His "less is more" approach effectively focuses the customer's attention on the ice cream itself, where you'll find the only splashes of colour in the entire store.



Pop Modernism

Gone are the traditional Freudian chairs of years past, a permanent fixture in almost every psychiatric office. Patients can now rejoice at the sight of the Morphogenesis Lounge Chair created by architect and designer Timothy Schreiber. Before manufacturing began, Timothy used CAD software to visualize the product and analyzed every structural nuance to ensure the right balance between form and function. His self-proclaimed "pop modernism" style utilizes clean/simple lines and minimalistic designs resembling the ever-so-popular Apple aesthetic.


chanel mobile art

Chanel teams up with Zaha Hadid to bring art to Hong Kong in the form of a futuristic mobile pavilion. Called Chanel Mobile Art, the intrigue is growing, as workers are seen putting the slick pod-like structure together on top of the old Star Ferry carpark. Inside, 20 international artists including Michael Lin, Araki, Sophie Calle, Sylvie Fleury and Yoko Ono, put their own unique take on Chanel's iconic quilted bag, described as poetic, cheeky and inspirational. Sure to draw a crowd, the exhibition opens Feb 27 through April 5. Next stops on the world tour include Tokyo, New York, London, Moscow and Paris. zaha.jpg