'We all have to be fortune tellers': Ed Ng on the changing nature of hospitality design

We always need to design for the future because people are always changing the way they live, work and relax
– Ed Ng

Hospitality designer Ed Ng has said the increasing length of time between the design and completion of large-scale projects poses a growing challenge to the industry, because “all designers have to be fortune tellers.”

In an interview with CLADglobal’s quarterly magazine CLADmag to mark the opening of Mei Ume restaurant in London – designed with his AB Concept co-founder Terence Ngan – Ng argued that “we always need to design for the future because people are always changing the way they live, work and relax.”

“However,” he added, “if it takes years for a project to materialise, and if the finished space must be relevant for years after that, it becomes very hard.”

Citing an example, Ng said: “We’ve been working on a project for the Conrad Hotel in Hang Cho, China for close to eight years. One of my staff literally started the project when she was single, has since been married and now has a son preparing for primary school, and still the project is ongoing. Eight years is a long, long time in design. Even the specification of some of the fabrics we wanted no longer exist! And of course, your aesthetic changes. If I were to ever feel that I’d change nothing about my work from eight years ago, there’d be something wrong with me.”

Mei Ume, which is AB Concept’s first project in London and took three years to complete, is a luxurious Asian restaurant located within the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square – formerly the headquarters of the Port of London Authority.

Ng said his aim was to create a comfortable and tactile space that stimulates appetite and curiosity.

“A restaurant is not meant to be a museum,” he said. “Guests should feel free to touch the walls, feel the materials, explore the space. It’s a sensory experience. I think of all hospitality design, Terence and I feel F&B is the most fun. You can really be creative, and it’s where you get all the limelight!”

Speaking about his collaboration with Ngan, Ng said “I think it’s a very interesting partnership because, while Terence is trained as an architect, he looks at things like materials and tactility in very close detail. Likewise, I’m an interior designer, but I also look at things in a very bold architectural way, including the form and the space. Terence and I have pretty big overlapping interests and that’s why we work so well together.

“At the same time, I think one of the most valuable things for a partnership is being able to be really blunt and brutal when there is something you don’t feel is right.

“Without needing to be diplomatic, you can say something is rubbish, and you’re listened to. You can be very to the point in a way you’d never be with a client or with your employees. This kind of candid challenge can be very useful.”

AB Concept have created hotels, spas and restaurants for the likes of Rosewood Hotels, Mandarin Oriental and W Hotels. Forthcoming projects include the W Algrave hotel in Portugal, the Paper Moon Giardino seafood restaurant in Milan and renovation of the F&B spaces at the Beijing Hotel: a monumental 100-year-old building next to the Forbidden City.

The full interview with Ed Ng can be read in the latest issue of CLADmag, which is available online and on digital turning pages.

The magazine also features interviews with architects Alison Brooks, Steven Holl and Odile Decq, landscape specialist Adriaan Geuze and designer Alice Lund, among many others.

hospitality  Ed Ng  AB Concept  Terence Ngan  design 
Related stories
02 Jan 2018

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan complete stylish Asian restaurant in historic London landmark

FEATURE: Interview – Ed Ng

Hospitality designer Ed Ng has said the increasing length of time between the design and completion of large-scale projects poses a growing challenge to the industry, because “all designers have to be fortune tellers.” In an interview with CLADglobal’s quarterly magazine CLADmag to mark the opening of Mei Ume restaurant in London – designed with his AB Concept co-founder Terence Ngan – Ng argued that “we always need to design
CLD,ARC,DES,PHR
Ed Ng said that is becoming a greater challenge for designers to predict the desires and needs of people who will use the hotels of the future / AB Concept
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7785     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: TechnoAlpin
TechnoAlpin is the world leader for snowmaking systems. Our product portfolio includes all different types of snow-making equipment for outdoor and innovative holistic solutions for indoor applications.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Father and daughter John and Elora Hardy in Bali
"We want people to feel there’s hope and possibility and magic in the world"

John and Elora Hardy live a wildlife in the jungles of Bali. Magali Robathan finds out more about their work

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Water is placed in the home according to Vastu principles
"Vastu can be dated back to at least the 6th century and is deeply rooted in the physical and spiritual fabric of Hindu society"

Chris Godfrey of global architecture practice Hirsch Bedner, on bringing a spiritual dimension to residential architecture in India

The hotel’s historic Art Deco features were carefully restored
Respecting the hotel’s heritage was key, says Maria Vafiadis
"We were very conscious of the heritage we were dealing with"

MKV completes the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane redesign

features
Ben van Berkel believes practices will all become ‘arch tech’ firms
"We’re living in the age of the iPhone, yet the architecture and construction industries are still in the Walkman phase"

On the launch of his tech startup

Construction on the museum is scheduled to begin later this year
Theoni Xanthi Partner XZA Architects
"The design concept is to create a museum that evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory"

The vision for the New Cyprus Musuem

cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
cladkit product news
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates