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Remaking history E by Equinox St James features serpentine metallic sweeps in contrast to the more traditional marble-clad interior of the former bank want to live in an industrial space but I do want to learn to use metal in a way that makes people feel comfortable.” Hard surfaces crop up in much of Wang’s work – be they blocks of black slate set against a floating metallic mezzanine floor at Equinox St James in London, or pivoting onyx screens and a chainmetal chandelier, which set the hedonism-meets-grit tone at the Mott 32 restaurant in Las Vegas. But Wang always tempers her work with a fluidity and lightness that keeps it interesting. So the black slate soon bumps into warm oak panelling, and the onyx screens give way to showgirl-inspired feather lampshades. How does Wang stretch herself across two studios in two continents, and a myriad of projects? Regular trips to London from her Hong Kong base help, but communication is key. “The two locations influence each other,” she explains. “We do team trips every year and, while we split the projects geographically, I like the diffusion of sharing ideas.” Her travels inspire her in other ways, too. In New York, Wang gravitates to Brooklyn to avoid Manhattan’s street grid system and loves the perspectives from the High Line, while she rates Hong Kong for the best street food in the world. When she’s in the UK, Wang never misses an opportunity to visit a National Trust property (“You can learn so much from visiting an authentic 17thcentury kitchen”), but it is London that has the biggest pull for this globe-trotting designer. “Working in the city was a dream I didn’t think would happen so soon,” she explains. “But when Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park invited us to pitch, one of the requirements was to have a presence in London. Five years now and we feel very settled. I’m meeting people who make amazing things, who work with metal, or specialise in stone or fabric. There is an obsession with things being crafted that doesn’t really exist in Hong Kong. It brings an edge to our design.” The role of the artisan is also something that plays big at the Wang Studio. New technologies have enabled designers to be more experimental in their approach to traditional materials, which Wang welcomes with open arms. She references the British craftsman Stuart Fox, who works with classic finishes such as mirror but 36 / Jaguar Magazine

Design Wang’s world What do you draw with? A black pen. Do you like to work in a certain environment? I can work anywhere but I like to be with people. What is your best time of day? I’m a night owl. It’s very useful when I need to speak to the London offce. Do you have a travel routine? I try not to work on flights, I’m glad it’s still hard to get Wi-Fi on board. I read a book, watch a film or sleep. What is your most useful piece of tech? My iPhone. How do you unwind? I take a bath. I keep scents to a minimum but I’m really into good linens. A nice bathmat and robe are important. Do you have a favourite journey? The drive to Devon. The hedges are so tall and I love speeding down those narrow lanes. STANLEY CHENG (P.33 & P37); JAMES MCDONALD (P.38) “It is such a joy to find people who are open to experimentation” transforms the humble surfaces into timeless, otherworld textures. Curving glass panels or insetting feather designs, as he did for the Mandarin Oriental Penthouse project, he creates exciting new finishes that lift the sense of luxury to a higher level. She also champions lighting designer Chris Cox, whose nature-inspired sculptural work in luxe metals such as bronzed iron and antiqued silver plate has found its way into many Wang projects, including a delicate bespoke chandelier for a restaurant that was based on Japanese calligraphy. “It is such a joy to find people who are open to experimentation,” she muses. According to Wang, the concept of luxury is rapidly changing. Where once it meant opulence and grand proportions, now it means less formality and greater intimacy. It also means different things to people at different life stages. For Wang, a mother of three young children, luxury in her own home isn’t defined by the elegance of a sofa but by its ability to create the right environment for a person. “Luxury at home is moments to myself, or with my husband or children,” she explains. “It’s about the areas where we can do things well, whether it’s watching a film with my husband and feeling cosy, or bathing my children, while seeing them have fun.” In Wang’s world, it is tactility and the realness of life that make for the happiest results. Just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean it is good – it still has to justify its value. “My studio understands what should be expensive and what is worthwhile,” she explains. “It is important to spend money on things you touch, from door knobs and light pulls to throws and linen. Those things are worth the money because you can appreciate the materiality of them.” Equally, Wang is wary of splashing out for the sake of it, especially given the environmental implications that such indulgences often have. Nowadays, she and the » Jaguar Magazine / 37




Jaguar Magazine celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from beautiful design to cutting-edge technology.

In this issue, we explore the art of creativity from the Brazilian masters who devised the graceful art of Capoeira, to the Irish artists mixing new culture with old. You will also discover the creative line that links Victorian wallpaper to the iPhone. While the multi-talented actor and performer, Riz Ahmed, explains why it is the right time to reveal his true self to the world.


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