Ed Ng, Terence Ngan of AB Concept on Great Interior Design


Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept Tell Their Magic Interior Design Story

Form and Function is our home to explore the journeys of Hong Kong’s physical makers, the architects and interior designers who create defining spaces we use to party, eat, and live in. Behind every building and room in our architecturally-marvellous city is a master of their profession.

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan founded AB Concept almost two decades ago, and since then, they have been transforming the design industry. Their work redefines elegance and luxury in hospitality, wellness, F&B, commercial, and residential properties. AB Concept has a head office in Hong Kong, with branches in Milan and Taipei.

The multi-talented designers, best known for their sensual, multi-layered style, and architectural use of space, are behind stunning private homes, hotels, restaurants, and clubs, that hold narrative-driven interiors, blending different cultural influences. Some of their most notable work includes designing interiors for Four Seasons Hong Kong, K11 Musea, and The Chinese Library.

The duo behind the international luxury design powerhouse speak to The Beat Asia to reveal their wonderful journey imagining and crafting powerful spaces for luxury consumption. 

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept Tell Their Magic Interior Design Story

What was the question in your careers and interior design industry that inspired the answer to creating AB Concept?

Ed Ng (EN): AB Concept, in our company name, stands for About Being. Back then, when I was still a student in design, the mega trend of design revolved around style and different forms of minimalism. Sometimes, it feels like a sin if you try to be decorative.

Terence Ngan (TN): So I’ve also started a similar trail. However, along the way, I’ve started to discover a whole new world of colours, materials, and combinations of form. This all comes from everyday experience and looking into cultures, histories, and human crafts, which became the nutrient of my design and slowly became what we do now. The way we see design as a lens for human experience at all levels and across cultures.

What makes a great interior?

EN: This depends on the purpose of the space you’re designing. If you are designing for a residential space, there is nothing wrong as long as you surround yourself with colours, materials, and items that you love and feel comfortable staying in.

Hotels, restaurants and bars are similar in that they should also be comfortable for guests while portraying the owner's or brand’s identity. We would go beyond just providing solutions and comfort to design emotional journeys within our projects, taking care that rational responses are always combined with attention to feeling, alongside function and form.

Essentially, translating intangible emotions into tangible realities where guests could feel the emotion without needing to explain.

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept Tell Their Magic Interior Design Story

What design principles are key to you?

EN: In answering the earlier questions, I mentioned that the "AB" in our company name is About Being. I believe this really says it all.

Design is a craft to enhance the quality of life. It allows us to be ourselves, to be together, to be present, to be moved, and inspired.

We design for experience and memory together. In every project, we ask ourselves two questions: How do we want people to feel? What will be remembered from this experience an hour, a day, a week, and a year later?

How does Hong Kong identity, culture, and history come into play with your creations?

EN: Hong Kong's fusion of East and West is a constant source of inspiration for me. I enjoy blending traditional Chinese design principles with contemporary Western influences, creating a harmonious balance that reflects the city's multiculturalism. This fusion not only celebrates Hong Kong's unique cultural identity, but also allows me to create designs that appeal to an international audience.

With such a natural influence, I became interested in learning about different cultures, aesthetics, and how they merge through design to create a unique emotion. Like a chef, we explore different ingredients in combination to create an experience that is more powerful than its parts. As with cooking, design is a passionate pursuit and expression of love. It can awaken our senses in a moment and leave an imprint on our minds forever.

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept Tell Their Magic Interior Design Story

What project are you most proud of in your portfolio, both locally in Hong Kong and overseas?

EN: Every project I have completed is another project that I am proud of. We always want to create a design that also makes sense for its country, city, and history. Something that could become part of the city and be approved by the local residents.

A few of our recent projects include Bars ARGO and Noi, located within the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong. As well as the W Algarve and the upcoming Paper Moon at The OWO Raffles Hotel.

What are you working on in Asia in 2023 that you can share with us?

EN: We have been working on our new home in Karuizawa, a personal project that started over the past two years due to Terence and I settling in the lovely town.

There are a few restaurant projects in the works, such as Paper Moon at the OWO Raffles Hotel, and many hospitality-related projects in the region, particularly in Japan.

In April 2023, at Salone del Mobile, we launched the Hagu dining chair, our first collaboration with Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. The comfortable upholstered seat of the Hagu chair is a perfect complement to the graceful and open arm-shaped oak back, which wraps you in a loving embrace and beckons you to remain for a while.

Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Form and Function interviews here.

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