Peta Tomlinson

Peta Tomlinson is an Asia-focused journalist who has lived and worked in Australia and Hong Kong. Making the most of her global mobile office, she contributes to South China Morning Post on topics including design, property, lifestyle and special reports.
Peta Tomlinson
Peta Tomlinson is an Asia-focused journalist who has lived and worked in Australia and Hong Kong. Making the most of her global mobile office, she contributes to South China Morning Post on topics including design, property, lifestyle and special reports.

Latest from Peta Tomlinson

Singapore non-profit’s low-cost Malaysian school design transforms education for migrant children

Etania Green School in Sabah, conceived by a Singapore-based non-profit, shows how good design can help inspire young thinkers. It’s hoped it will be the first of 30 schools to be built for thousands of children left stateless.

19 Mar 2019 - 12:53PM
Singapore non-profit’s low-cost Malaysian school design transforms education for migrant children

Etania Green School in Sabah, conceived by a Singapore-based non-profit, shows how good design can help inspire young thinkers. It’s hoped it will be the first of 30 schools to be built for thousands of children left stateless.

How technology can ensure you never lose your keys or passport ever again

One estimate claims we waste a year of our lives looking for things we mislay

18 Mar 2019 - 10:05PM
How technology can ensure you never lose your keys or passport ever again

One estimate claims we waste a year of our lives looking for things we mislay

Why hi-tech, interactive fitness workouts in the home and office are next big trend

Cycles, treadmills, rowing machines, smart mirrors and apps can connect to real-time and on-demand exercise classes

11 Mar 2019 - 11:23AM
Why hi-tech, interactive fitness workouts in the home and office are next big trend

Cycles, treadmills, rowing machines, smart mirrors and apps can connect to real-time and on-demand exercise classes

How new wellness technology will help us lead healthier, stress-free lives

Wearables that vibrate to restore calm, ‘smart, self-care lights’ and a waterbed that keeps you cool at night are among the latest innovations

11 Mar 2019 - 11:21AM
How new wellness technology will help us lead healthier, stress-free lives

Wearables that vibrate to restore calm, ‘smart, self-care lights’ and a waterbed that keeps you cool at night are among the latest innovations

How Instagram is influencing interior design trends – for better and for worse

The social media platform has changed the way we value design, but it’s also raised questions about originality and authenticity. Following the trend may create ‘kitsch’ projects that will have no longevity.

19 Feb 2019 - 8:28PM
How Instagram is influencing interior design trends – for better and for worse

The social media platform has changed the way we value design, but it’s also raised questions about originality and authenticity. Following the trend may create ‘kitsch’ projects that will have no longevity.

Designed for the circular economy, this furniture will never end up in landfill

Start-up industry disrupters such as Van de Sant, Pentatonic, ecoBirdy, and Vepa/Ocean Plastic are circular-economy pioneers who upcycle waste resources, including marine trash, into tables and chairs which customers can return for reuse.

7 Feb 2019 - 6:48PM
Designed for the circular economy, this furniture will never end up in landfill

Start-up industry disrupters such as Van de Sant, Pentatonic, ecoBirdy, and Vepa/Ocean Plastic are circular-economy pioneers who upcycle waste resources, including marine trash, into tables and chairs which customers can return for reuse.

Design trends for 2019: small, sustainable, ‘Scandinese’, curves and Pantone’s latest colour

Interior designers have scoured the world’s trade fairs for upcoming trends. Recycled plastic, wood and metallic finishes will be popular, as will wall rugs.

2 Jan 2019 - 2:22PM
Design trends for 2019: small, sustainable, ‘Scandinese’, curves and Pantone’s latest colour

Interior designers have scoured the world’s trade fairs for upcoming trends. Recycled plastic, wood and metallic finishes will be popular, as will wall rugs.

Hi-tech trends for 2019: the year of 5G, AI, self-driving cars – and a real ‘RoboCop’

A robot crime-fighter, Knightscope K5, is now in use by Microsoft and Uber to patrol car parks and large outdoor areas in the US

19 Feb 2019 - 10:54AM
Hi-tech trends for 2019: the year of 5G, AI, self-driving cars – and a real ‘RoboCop’

A robot crime-fighter, Knightscope K5, is now in use by Microsoft and Uber to patrol car parks and large outdoor areas in the US

Winning ideas for pedestrianising polluted Hong Kong business district artery Des Voeux Road Central

Dutch-led consortium’s proposal for Des Voeux Road Central, centred on themed tram stops linked to amenities and Central heritage sites, wins design contest; competition drew 43 entries from 11 countries.

4 Jan 2019 - 9:58AM
Winning ideas for pedestrianising polluted Hong Kong business district artery Des Voeux Road Central

Dutch-led consortium’s proposal for Des Voeux Road Central, centred on themed tram stops linked to amenities and Central heritage sites, wins design contest; competition drew 43 entries from 11 countries.

The ‘humble hero’ architects who built better education into a school design

The building recently awarded one of architecture’s most coveted trophies is no twisted tower or glitzy skyscraper. It’s boarding school accommodation for poor children in rural Brazil.

20 Dec 2018 - 7:04PM
The ‘humble hero’ architects who built better education into a school design

The building recently awarded one of architecture’s most coveted trophies is no twisted tower or glitzy skyscraper. It’s boarding school accommodation for poor children in rural Brazil.

Hi-tech Christmas party tricks: karaoke that keeps ‘tone-deaf’ singers in tune and holographic games are shape of things to come
  • An automatic cocktail maker, a robotic bartender that serves drinks as it cleans, and lights with rhythm will impress guests – and help gatherings go with a bang
28 Dec 2018 - 7:02PM
Hi-tech Christmas party tricks: karaoke that keeps ‘tone-deaf’ singers in tune and holographic games are shape of things to come
  • An automatic cocktail maker, a robotic bartender that serves drinks as it cleans, and lights with rhythm will impress guests – and help gatherings go with a bang
Smart paints to colour our world – capture energy and stay connected

Solar emulsion that produces clean energy from sun and water vapour in the air and ‘spray on’ antennas offering internet connection among innovations

3 Dec 2018 - 4:58PM
Smart paints to colour our world – capture energy and stay connected

Solar emulsion that produces clean energy from sun and water vapour in the air and ‘spray on’ antennas offering internet connection among innovations

The write stuff: paperless and hi-tech ways to make a note of things

Research shows the average person has 48.6 thoughts per minute, so it’s lucky firms are devising ever more hi-tech digital gadgets so we can record them all

26 Nov 2018 - 10:53AM
The write stuff: paperless and hi-tech ways to make a note of things

Research shows the average person has 48.6 thoughts per minute, so it’s lucky firms are devising ever more hi-tech digital gadgets so we can record them all

Why parents seeking the best school should look at the decor, design and ergonomics

A study has shown the link between well-designed schools and improved academic performance. Some architects and school boards are taking note, and building well-lit, airy and sustainable school buildings.

28 Nov 2018 - 11:29AM
Why parents seeking the best school should look at the decor, design and ergonomics

A study has shown the link between well-designed schools and improved academic performance. Some architects and school boards are taking note, and building well-lit, airy and sustainable school buildings.

Let it go! Time to de-clutter your life and ‘delete’ old technology

Many of us fill up valuable space at home by storing redundant mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers ‘just in case’

12 Nov 2018 - 2:49PM
Let it go! Time to de-clutter your life and ‘delete’ old technology

Many of us fill up valuable space at home by storing redundant mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers ‘just in case’

How to get rid of the millions of harmful ‘house guests’ – you can’t see
  • Researchers find up to one million mites in beds, plus mould and bacteria in house dust – all of which are bad for our health – but hi-tech help is at hand
5 Nov 2018 - 11:28AM
How to get rid of the millions of harmful ‘house guests’ – you can’t see
  • Researchers find up to one million mites in beds, plus mould and bacteria in house dust – all of which are bad for our health – but hi-tech help is at hand
To filter or not to filter? Hi-tech devices tap into clean water debate

Fears over chlorine and fluorine and excessive heavy metals found in supplies in Hong Kong housing estates spark demand for purifiers to improve quality

29 Oct 2018 - 3:13PM
To filter or not to filter? Hi-tech devices tap into clean water debate

Fears over chlorine and fluorine and excessive heavy metals found in supplies in Hong Kong housing estates spark demand for purifiers to improve quality

The truth about robot cats and dogs: can they replace real pets?

New realistic-looking AI devices ‘learn’ and grow smarter over time, act as therapeutic companions – and recharge their batteries themselves

23 Oct 2018 - 11:58AM
The truth about robot cats and dogs: can they replace real pets?

New realistic-looking AI devices ‘learn’ and grow smarter over time, act as therapeutic companions – and recharge their batteries themselves

Asia’s first vertical forest could reshape how cities fight climate change

Designed to absorb 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and produce about 60kg of oxygen per day, the vertical forest being planted in Nanjing, eastern China, is a move against nature-deprived urban development.

24 Oct 2018 - 10:09AM
Asia’s first vertical forest could reshape how cities fight climate change

Designed to absorb 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and produce about 60kg of oxygen per day, the vertical forest being planted in Nanjing, eastern China, is a move against nature-deprived urban development.

Self-taught musicians hit the high notes on app-connected digital keyboards and string instruments

Smart ukuleles, pianos, guitars and other devices are revolutionising the way we now learn and play music

15 Oct 2018 - 10:28PM
Self-taught musicians hit the high notes on app-connected digital keyboards and string instruments

Smart ukuleles, pianos, guitars and other devices are revolutionising the way we now learn and play music

Ultimate relaxation: how to de-stress by floating inside a pod

Hi-tech, saltwater-filled tanks – shown to boost mental wellness and reduce anxiety in tests – and chaise-like meditation pods will help you ‘chill’ at home

8 Oct 2018 - 10:20PM
Ultimate relaxation: how to de-stress by floating inside a pod

Hi-tech, saltwater-filled tanks – shown to boost mental wellness and reduce anxiety in tests – and chaise-like meditation pods will help you ‘chill’ at home

The Harvard graduate behind Hong Kong’s first capsule hotel Sleeep on the importance of shut-eye in a dynamic city

‘Recharge stations’ designed by Sleeep, a company Jun Rivers co-founded, might just be the antidote to over-tiredness

4 Oct 2018 - 10:55AM
The Harvard graduate behind Hong Kong’s first capsule hotel Sleeep on the importance of shut-eye in a dynamic city

‘Recharge stations’ designed by Sleeep, a company Jun Rivers co-founded, might just be the antidote to over-tiredness

3D printers already create human tissue, a house and smart ‘skin devices’, so what will future bring?

Breakthroughs see technology used to make body parts such as corneas, a home in 52 hours, lightweight cars and electronic devices worn on the skin

2 Oct 2018 - 7:31PM
3D printers already create human tissue, a house and smart ‘skin devices’, so what will future bring?

Breakthroughs see technology used to make body parts such as corneas, a home in 52 hours, lightweight cars and electronic devices worn on the skin

Never-fading memories are made of ... digitalised photo albums

Copying prints, slides, old videos and film reels to your computer will take time – but hi-tech devices will help you preserve – and organise – the past

24 Sep 2018 - 11:05AM
Never-fading memories are made of ... digitalised photo albums

Copying prints, slides, old videos and film reels to your computer will take time – but hi-tech devices will help you preserve – and organise – the past

How you can protect your smart devices from cyberattack

Today’s digital products are ‘a computer hacker’s dream’ – leading to a huge rise in the online theft of personal documents, bank details and identity fraud

17 Sep 2018 - 11:14AM
How you can protect your smart devices from cyberattack

Today’s digital products are ‘a computer hacker’s dream’ – leading to a huge rise in the online theft of personal documents, bank details and identity fraud

Make it Instagrammable: Hong Kong millennials’ top apartment design priority

Instagram-worthy looks and smart spatial planning are key to designing living spaces for millennials in the city, many of whom define their lives on a Pinterest board.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Make it Instagrammable: Hong Kong millennials’ top apartment design priority

Instagram-worthy looks and smart spatial planning are key to designing living spaces for millennials in the city, many of whom define their lives on a Pinterest board.

Get smart by using hi-tech to turn your home into virtual classroom

Online MBAs – and quality digital tools – secrets of success for people seeking qualifications to get on in careers, but lack time and chance to study full-time

10 Sep 2018 - 11:11AM
Get smart by using hi-tech to turn your home into virtual classroom

Online MBAs – and quality digital tools – secrets of success for people seeking qualifications to get on in careers, but lack time and chance to study full-time

Bright, hi-tech ideas to make the most of the great outdoors – at home

Voice or app-controlled lighting, music, fans, all-weather TVs and stylish yet compact barbecues will help create a luxury space outside – whatever the size

6 Sep 2018 - 7:56PM
Bright, hi-tech ideas to make the most of the great outdoors – at home

Voice or app-controlled lighting, music, fans, all-weather TVs and stylish yet compact barbecues will help create a luxury space outside – whatever the size

Fed up with Wi-fi? Li-fi technology turns light bulbs into smart devices that transmit data – and it is in homes already

The idea of using LED bulbs to provide a broadband internet connection through light waves was floated in 2011; now companies are coming up with different ways to harness this power.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Fed up with Wi-fi? Li-fi technology turns light bulbs into smart devices that transmit data – and it is in homes already

The idea of using LED bulbs to provide a broadband internet connection through light waves was floated in 2011; now companies are coming up with different ways to harness this power.

High-rise cat furniture for urban homes, from shelves that clip onto furniture to scratching poles to cat trees

Designers come up with furniture solutions for cats living in small urban properties, from shelves that clip onto furniture to scratching poles. These innovative accessories allow your pets to interact and move around without taking up floor scarce space.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
High-rise cat furniture for urban homes, from shelves that clip onto furniture to scratching poles to cat trees

Designers come up with furniture solutions for cats living in small urban properties, from shelves that clip onto furniture to scratching poles. These innovative accessories allow your pets to interact and move around without taking up floor scarce space.