Amy Lau from Forms of Design
Having worked with designers for over twenty years, I can really appreciate what makes Amy Lau so special and distinctive. I wanted to start our “Designer Spotlight” with Amy because of her wonderful sensitivity to color and its role within the design process.
The impression of simplicity that she achieves in putting a room together is remarkable. Beneath the surface there is so much going on in terms of the interplay of color and form, but you only come to realize this gradually and subtly as you experience the spaces she designs. Amy is also wonderful to work with. She is so warm and energetic, and this makes me enjoy what she does even more.
Could you tell us about your background and its impact on your work?
I grew up in the Southwest in and around the desert. The power of the desert environment profoundly shaped my imagination and aesthetic sensibility. The desert is replete with both explosive and subtle spectacles of nature that have continued to influence my vision – the golden sunsets, the arroyos and canyons, the cloud formations, the vastness of the sky and most importantly the colors and tones of the actual earth. I credit my grandmother with first inspiring me to become an interior designer. She was an artist and collector of all kinds of exotic materials from around the world – pottery, shells, coral stones, minerals and different kinds of paper. She created miniature worlds and environments all around her, so I followed suit very naturally.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Vintage interior design books, handmade craft fairs, design exhibitions, design blogs, traveling and, of course, most importantly, a continuing communion with nature and its impressions.
Have other designers influenced you?
I think immediately of Harry Bertoia whose kinetic sculptural qualities I admire. I also feel indebted to Tapio Wirkkala whose sensual and elegant designs were based on natural forms and materials, as well as to Hans Wegner whose expressive forms, natural materials and simplicity drew on ancient precedents. Of course, I must count Antonio Guadi and Vladimir Kagan as part of my design pantheon.
What is your favorite new design trend? Or do you follow trends?
My newest and truest trend in designing is to understand that everything in a room from the smallest item to the largest has meaning and directly affects your experience of an environment. My design philosophy is more curatorial than decorative. My motto is “curate, don’t decorate”. Therefore, I intellectually and meticulously edit each and every item in a room, so as to maintain a clear purpose for every object.