Q&A with Kenny Hong, One of Asia's 20 Rising Furniture Designers

This Singaporean designer has an extensive experience in designing home, office, kitchen, and wardrobe furniture and furnishings.

Updated on June 12, 2017 15:06 pm

Jerni Camposano

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Kenny Hong, founder and director of design studio 11H, was named one of the Asian furniture designers to watch in this year's International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS). He was also handpicked to design the beautiful installation that welcomed guests into the event.

11H specialises in product and furniture design and marketing. The 46-year-old design director says his foray into furniture design was a natural progression. His first job designing air steriliser allowed him to learn the nitty-gritty of the manufacturing process. Kenny then dabbled into designing street furniture such as bus shelters, hand railing, and outdoor benches.

He later acquired skills on woodworking and cabinet making when he started designing office furniture. When he decided to open his own studio, Kenny catered to the home furnishing segment by designing modular wardrobes and kitchens.

"I love furniture designing because I get to explore both the science and the arts aspect of design most," says Kenny.

X2, a system furniture project, is the most memorable furniture Kenny Hong designed.

What was the very first piece that you designed and created?
A display shelf done during the school holiday in Temasek Polytechnic. It was created using a single 4x8 mdf board and the CNC router in the workshop.

What is the most memorable furniture item you designed?
My first system furniture project "X2" done 15 years ago

Where do you get inspiration from?
I always begin with identifying an issue that I want to deal with. Start a dialogue with people and proceed from there with research (how people deal with similar issue, etc.). I get my inspiration from everywhere—usually from places that are not related with the project that I am working on.

Burning Bush telephone pod features customisable 3D printed parts as connectors and accessories with oakwood base and poles.

City or country?
City

Traditional or contemporary?
Mixed of both: traditional influence with contemporary approach

Morning or evening person?
Morning

Comfort food when conceptualising and designing
Espresso

V Series 1 TV console: 2-side drawer with centre flip-down cabinet door

Rack coffee table series

Favourite place in Singapore
313@Somerset: that’s where I get my sneakers

Favourite furniture piece in your home
Coffee table in my living room. I designed it during a workshop conducted by Naoto Fukasawa and sponsored by Xtra (thanks Choon Hong!).

Design rule you love to break
Design has to look different and unique.

Interior design trend you're glad that happened
Less is more

Hanging Garden storage cum tabletop: oak veneer open box storage with cantilever tabletop


If you could live in a famous person's home, whose would it be and why?
Andy Warhol. I want to see how he interacts and influences people.

If you would be reborn in another country, where would it be and why?
Nowhere else. I love it here.

3 tips for Singaporean homeowners when designing their home
Keep it simple. Know your needs. Don’t follow trends blindly.

Kenny Hong also shared with us memories of his semi-detached home on Sixth Avenue in the '70s in Our Homes of the Past series. Read about it here.


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