Architect-designer Tim Li believes the best designs combine nature with architecture and bring out the cultural identity of the design. He is active in promoting Hong Kong art and culture through his role as chairman of art charity group Para/Site Art Space and as a museum advisory group member for the West Kowloon Cultural District Development.
Favourite architecture magazine
'Japanese Architecture. It features detailed documentation of architecture and design. And it
runs a design competition every year with interesting themes that stretch your imagination, such as the best design for urban leftover space. I remember one winner was Peter Wilson, who designed a space for hermits living under the bridge. I also like Domus. It features architecture and product design.'
Favourite living architect
'I.M. Pei and Tadao Ando. Pei's work has a kind of oriental timelessness. He excels in using space to highlight the harmony between man and nature. More importantly, he managed to persuade [ex-president Francois] Mitterrand to allow him to build the Louvre Pyramid despite all the voices of opposition in France. Ando is the architect of Japan. He exemplifies the philosophy of 'less is more'. He has the wisdom to keep humans and the environment in harmony.'
Favourite item at home
'A self-portrait I painted. One summer I didn't have much to do, and my wife suggested we made a portrait of ourselves. So we did. Now when I look at the picture, I think of the happy moment we shared that day. It's very personal.'
Favourite place to shop for the home
'I design most of my furniture and usually have the design made by shops in Chatham Road because they are inexpensive and quick. Designing my own furniture is like an experiment. I have control over the colour, texture, shape and style.'
'There's not really a no-no when it comes to designing for my clients. You have to let go of your ego because every client needs different things. I think the worst design is that in showrooms. It lacks an identity and doesn't feel like a home.'
What's on your wish list?
'A rooftop where I can chill out at night. Even better if there's a spa up there.'