Alison Henry, interior designer Age: In my 30s. Career path: I was born in New Zealand, lived in England for five years as a small child, and in Singapore for 11 years. I started high school in Singapore and completed in New Zealand. I went to Auckland University Architecture School and did a five-year degree in interior design. After graduating, I went back to London where I joined Richmond International. I was involved in a wide range of prestigious hospitality projects around the world, including London's Dorchester Hotel, the Oberoi in Melbourne, concept design for hotels in Russia, and work for the Orient Express Group. I worked for Richmond for five years before coming to Hong Kong in January 1991 to set up its office here. I worked on the Peninsula, decorating the ballroom, lobby area and suites, so that the new tower would blend in. After two years, I set up my own business, Alison Henry Design. I managed to retain the Peninsula work, designing the $150,000-a-night Kadoorie Handover Suite. I do high-end design, but also boats, homes, shopping arcades, hotels and restaurants. I worked on the Mandarin Oriental's Baan Taling Ngam Resort in Koh Samui, the Phuket Yacht Club, TOTT's at the Excelsior Hotel, The Coffee Shop at the Mandarin, the New York Fitness Centre and the Celine boutiques. I married (First Pacific Davies boss, David Davies) in 1994 and have twin girls who are almost a year old. Alison's day: I work five days a week, but since having the girls I try to work part-time - I have excellent staff who can carry on without me. My main role is to meet with the client and do the concept design. The concept depends on the function of the area, budget and time scale. Within a few weeks, we come up with a layout plan, mood boards, artist impressions, swatch samples and so on. I check on the project as it progresses and once it is completed, I do the final dressing out, the part I love. Not taking care of the final dressing is a bit like wearing a Christian Dior suit with a no-name shirt underneath. If I have designed a restaurant, for example, I would do the table settings or ensure the curtains hang right. Details are important, which is why I have started my own range of accessories. I spend half my working day in the office and half on site, at meetings and so on. Ambition: I dream of having a Design House with all the accessories needed for stylish living and perhaps even dressing. Salary: My salary depends on the company's profit. A good designer here probably earns more than $60,000 a month. Joseph Sy, architect and interior designer Age: 46. Career path: I was born and grew up in the Philippines. As a kid, I loved to draw. After high school, I went to the Santo Tomas University - the oldest in Asia. I did a five-year degree in architecture, winning an Architect Design Award and a two-year scholarship. I was also voted one of the top 10 most outstanding students. After graduation, I came to Hong Kong on holiday and landed a job with Dale Keller's interior design firm. In 1974, I moved to Eric Cumine Associates because I wanted to do more architecture. After 12 years, I went freelance and in the late '80s, I set up Joseph Sy and Associates. I am married with two daughters. Joseph's day: I am passionate about my job. I work at least a 12 hours a day, six days a week. On Sundays, I visit sites and check on things, although I try to keep some as family days. I start at 9 am, assigning work, reviewing drawings and attending endless meetings. I spend a lot of time on the phone. I really like concept design - it's something I live with; ideas come to me at any time of the day or night - but I can only really concentrate at weekends, away from the phone. I conduct initial meetings with clients, come up with the design concept and pass it to staff to develop. I select materials, lighting and other details for all projects; I am so particular that I could never delegate this. If I am very interested in a project - such as the 4,000-square-foot restaurant we're doing at the moment - and given a free hand, then I often do the drawings and initial work. It took me about 10 days to conceptualise the restaurant and another two weeks to do the drawings. It will take about three months to complete the project. Clients come to me by word of mouth. I would say that about 65 per cent of my work is residential, but we also do restaurants, offices and other projects. Most of my work is here, but I have done jobs in the Philippines and Jakarta. About 30 per cent of clients constantly change their minds, which can be testing. I fight for my ideas, but if they insist I have to give in. Ambition: I have won an Interior Design Association award and an Asia Pacific Interior Design Award so I suppose I would like to win another award. Salary: I draw less than most of my staff but the company obviously makes a profit.