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Monday, April 22, 2024

Interview with architect and designer Dara Huang

Architect and designer Dara Huang is the Founder of an award-winning design firm, she has multiple global accolades, featured TV appearances, and a furniture collection – she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Dara Huang is the Founder of award winning architecture and interior design firm Design Haus Liberty, whose global portfolio covers various sectors, including residential, commercial, hospitality, and retail. Dara is also a successful furniture designer and has appeared as a judge on Channel 4’s The Big Interiors Battle.

Architect and designer Dara Huang

With a master’s degree in Architecture from Harvard University and a career that began at Foster + Partners in London, Dara has affirmed her globally recognised expertise having received multiple awards and honours including Property Weeks 40 under 40, BBC China’s 100 Women, Prestige Hong Kong’s 40 under 40, and three RIBA competition recognitions.

Dara’s inaugural furniture collection, Dara Maison, yet again showcases her multifacted expertise, bringing together iconic statement pieces that combine sculptural beauty with functional design.

DHLiberty

Here, Dara discusses her design aspirations and inspirations, and how the many facets of her work intersect, resulting in cohesive design.

What is your earliest memory of design and architecture?

My earliest memory of design and architecture traces back to my childhood. I loved drawing in my childhood and this led to a career in architecture. Growing up, I was exposed to diverse cultures and their unique architectural marvels. I remember being fascinated by the way different spaces made me feel and how design could profoundly influence our experiences.

DHLiberty

Where did you study?

I pursued my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, and then I had the privilege of attending Harvard University for my master’s degree in Architecture. My time at Harvard was transformative and deepened my passion for design and architecture.

Dara Huang

What kind of architect did you aspire to be?

From the beginning, I aspired to be an architect who creates spaces that evoke emotions and elevate human experiences. I wanted to combine functionality with aesthetic beauty, designing spaces that not only serve practical purposes but also leave a lasting impact on people.

Greenwich Peninsula by DHLiberty

Who are your design/architecture inspirations?

My inspirations are drawn from a wide spectrum of sources.  Architects like Peter Zumthor, Herzog De Meuron, OMA and SANNA have greatly influenced my work with their groundbreaking designs. I also find inspiration in nature, contemporary art, and the diverse cultures I’ve encountered during my travels.

DHLiberty

What does Design Haus Liberty represent as a studio?

Design Haus Liberty represents a commitment to innovation and timeless design. We are dedicated to creating spaces that reflect our clients’ visions while embracing the latest advancements in architecture and interior design. Our studio is driven by the belief that design has the power to shape lives and communities.

Dara Maison

How do you continue to carve your own path in the industry as a studio and an individual?

We continuously push boundaries and explore new design horizons. We approach each project as a unique opportunity to challenge conventions and create something extraordinary. Personally, I believe in staying curious and constantly learning, which allows me to evolve and bring fresh perspectives to our work.

Greenwich Peninsula by DHLiberty | Aucoot Estate Agents

As an architect and an interior designer, how do you manage working across both design disciplines?

Working across both disciplines allows me to achieve a holistic approach to design. I believe that architecture and interior design are interconnected and should seamlessly complement each other. Our studio ensures that our architectural and interior design teams collaborate closely to deliver cohesive and harmonious projects.

Greenwich Peninsula by DHLiberty | Aucoot Estate Agents

You are also a furniture designer and recently launched your own collection Dara Maison. Can you tell us about the designs and how they are inspired by and/or relate to your wider project work?

Dara Maison is an extension of our design philosophy. The collection is inspired by our passion for timeless beauty and functionality. Each piece is meticulously crafted, with an emphasis on quality, sustainability, and versatility. These designs are meant to enhance the spaces we create, offering clients the opportunity to bring a touch of luxury and practicality into their homes and interiors.

Greenwich Peninsula by DHLiberty | Aucoot Estate Agents

What has been your biggest design commission to date?

One of our most significant design commissions was working with The Four Seasons. Crafting spaces for such an iconic luxury brand was both an honor and a thrilling challenge. It allowed us to create an environment that not only met their high standards but also exceeded guest expectations.

Dara Maison

If you hadn’t become an architect and a designer, what would you be doing?

If I hadn’t chosen this path, I believe I would still be closely connected to the world of creativity and innovation.  If I wasn’t an architect I would be an artist and paint. Perhaps I would have pursued a career in contemporary art or another field that allows me to explore and express my artistic sensibilities. My fascination with design and aesthetics is deeply ingrained in who I am, and it would have found its outlet in one way or another.

W: dhliberty.com  | IG: @dhliberty 

Rebekah Killigrew
Rebekah Killigrewhttp://www.rebekahkilligrew.com
Editor | ww.architecturemagazine.co.uk | www.interiordesigner.co.uk

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