Our community is made of LAABers from diverse backgrounds with a shared vision of making the world a better place through designs. We are creative but pragmatic, critical but modest, obsessed with alignment, and serious about jokes and pranks.
We collaborate laterally and across disciplines of architecture, interior, engineering, graphic design, furniture design, and sociology. The diversity of our backgrounds forces us to step out of our comfort zones to ask questions that were once taken for granted. It pushes us to think critically and be mindful of the strengths and limitations of our own disciplines.
We begin our designs with an empathetic understanding of the site—its environment, history, structure, culture, and people. From there, our design process goes back and forth between dialogues, research, drawing, making, and prototyping. Linear procedure is the easy way out but detour offers surprises. Each project is a manifestation of our collective creativity acted upon situated knowledge of a given space and time.
Most of our projects are based in Hong Kong, a city we called home. Our designs are informed by the limitations and opportunities presented here; and in turn, our works and stories are slowly reshaping the physical and narrative landscapes of Hong Kong.
Our studio is located in a hidden lane in Sheung Wan, the most historic neighborhood in Hong Kong where cafes, bars, and restaurants open side by side old repair shops, antique stores, and art galleries, sheltered under the benevolent shadow of hundred-year-old banyan trees. We believe that life and design are very much intertwined—we take coffees as seriously as designs.
We believe the “hand” is as important as the “mind” when it comes to creativity and design. Our fabrication lab is equipped with wood sawing machines, a CNC router, a laser-cutting machine, and a spray room. We make our architecture models and test prototypes in-house to inform our design.
A room that honours all the successes, and more importantly, failures, of our design and making.
Our MAT LAAB houses a wide range of materials, from the common fabrics and wood veneer to the rare finds of cactus leather and cork flooring.
Our studio is mostly run by three Hooman Directors—Walnut, Chestnut, and Ipe—named after the wood that matches their respective fur. They ensure our design quality, team morale, and productivity.