What's that? The name of the award-winning company owned and run by homegrown product designers Mo Mou (left) and David Leung, who specialise in household items, electronic gifts and corporate-identity design. The team's product design and imaging work for Metier Atelier saw their client secure a place at Milan's renowned international home show, Macef, last year as the first and only Hong Kong company to exhibit in the main exhibition hall. What's their story? Mou, 34, and Leung, 38, were course mates at the then Hong Kong Polytechnic. Both had won scholarships in 1993 and spent 10 weeks in Germany on a work placement. After graduating in 1994, they went on to specialise. Mou served a short stint at a toy-design company before concentrating on gifts and premium items at firms such as Vice Versa and Mosion. Leung ventured into toy design and worked in various companies including VTech, Blue Box and the now defunct Warp Power. In 2001, both had their own businesses and decided to work together. 'What's That was set up by a college friend. We took the name and he joined us as a sleeping partner,' Leung explains. 'What's That originally produced cute animal products but Mou and I felt that was not what we wanted to do.' In 2004, Mou and Leung completely took over the operations of What's That. Has their ethos changed much? 'At first we both wanted to design for a niche market but after 10 years we decided we wanted something with a wider appeal and which was affordable,' says Mou. Leung believes they have matured rather than compromised. 'We realised it is the whole deal. You can't have a product without marketing and production.' In 2005, their Well tea set (above), which was inspired by the shape of a well and came with a tea warmer and other accessories, won the Hong Kong Design Association's bronze award in the domestic accessory category, the iF Design China award and the gold award for product innovation design at the China Industrial Design Awards (CIDA). This success was followed by a stainless-steel bathroom accessory collection, 'Solitude', which won silver at the CIDA and the iF Design awards in 2006. Where can I find their products? They are mostly for export to the US, Europe, South Korea and Japan but a collection of their products is being exhibited at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin until June. In addition to Metier Atelier, they have designed for local firm 2% and Taiwan company Colin Ross. In the coming months, expect to see two new products, the Stoolfa and Sapling, under their company name at lifestyle stores. The Stoolfa is a stool that, when turned upside down, becomes a child's sofa. The Sapling, which, as the name suggests, resembles a young plant, allows a parent to sit behind their child to share reading and play. The company is starting its own product line, OFESS (which stands for object, function, esthetics, surprise and satisfaction), this year.