Who is he? The award-winning interior designer behind the revamped Fairwood cafe and Maxim's fast-food chains. What's his story? The 49-year-old, who was born locally and has a degree in architecture from the University of Hong Kong, set up his own architectural firm, Steve Leung Architects, in 1987, at the age of 30. He traces his artistic roots to two uncles, who influenced him at a tender age: one was an architect and the other was a doctor who loved art. 'When my [doctor] uncle emigrated, he left me his collection of art books,' Leung says. 'I used to spend hours looking through them.' Architect turned interior designer? In 1997, Leung decided to set up a discrete, eponymous interior design company; he thought it'disrespectful' to use his reputation as an architect to launch into interior design. 'At the time, there was an overall impression that architects were superior to interior designers,' he says. Now, 80 per cent of his portfolio consists of interior design. The perfect team? Leung has teamed up with graphic designer Alan Chan for many projects. Their first was for local fast-food chain Fairwood (top right) and they have not looked back since. 'The client approached Alan to do the logo but Alan introduced me and persuaded them to do the branding [with us] as well,' Leung says. The team had four months from design to completion. Leung's idea was to give the fast-food chain a signature colour and logo that customers would come to recognise. He explains that because the transliteration of Fairwood into Cantonese was 'big happiness', the team developed the concept of the jumping man from the character for 'big' and chose bright orange. Since then, they have handled the interior design for and rebranding of the Maxim's fast-food chain (bottom right), which won in the casual restaurant category of New York's Hospitality Design magazine's awards in 2006. 'It is unusual for a competitor to approach the same consultants but we really appreciate it,' says Leung. 'The challenge was bigger because Maxim's is such an established institution in Hong Kong.' Leung says the design process was made easier because of Maxim's name, which in Chinese is, literally, 'beautiful heart'. This meant the logo and colour had to be a red heart. 'There were no two ways about it,' Leung says. Rebranding by the team included expunging the words 'fast food' and replacing them with 'MX'. Other projects? Show flats for the Sorrento on the Top of the Town project, above Kowloon Airport Express Station (2004), and Grosvenor Place, 117 Repulse Bay Road (2005); Headquarters Salon in Queen's Road Central (2004); Qeelin jewellery, in the Peninsula hotel (2005); Mence Beauty, in Eton Tower, Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay (2005); and Novotel Citygate, in Tung Chung (2006). Another project to watch out for, at the end of this year, is the new Chinese restaurant (yet to be named) at the Grand Lisboa Hotel in Macau.