Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades Hong Kong (Andre Fu). Photography: Courtesy Louis Vuitton

Design Leaders

  •   23 June 2021

Within the realm of architecture and design there are some practitioners who, through their talent and determination, stand apart from their peers. The Luminary is one such person, who with a body of work and years of experience, has made an outstanding contribution to the architecture and design community. The three Luminaries in the INDE.Awards 2021 shortlist are all fine examples of architects and designers who distinguish themselves through their work. Jean-Michel Gathy, Penelope Forlano and Andre Fu are not only leaders on the Indo-Pacific regional stage but are highly esteemed by a globally audience.

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya (Jean-Michel Gathy). Photography: Courtesy Four Seasons

As supporter of The Luminary, Wilkhahn is also a design leader and has been for some 60 years. As suppliers of exceptional office and conference furniture for a world-wide market, Wilkhahn has embraced the changing face of design, always leading, to create an outstanding product offering.

Blair Coventry, Director of Sales, Wilkhahn explained “We believe that classic design guarantees usability for decades. Wilkhahn has an ethos of Good Design which incorporates a considered, Bauhaus approach to our furniture where form follows function. Our mission is to create timeless, durable products that increase utility value and reduce waste.”

Bob Hawke College (Penelope Forlano). Photography: Douglas Mark Black

Just as our three Luminaries have moved ahead of trends and time to be at the forefront of design today, each is an individual of great stature whatever their particular design orientation.  In comparing the ethos of Wilkhahn with the attributes required to be a Luminary, Coventry reflected, “Inspiration and influence.  Good Design is innovative, honest, useful and long lasting. Those in this category will have demonstrated a consistent, bold and fearless approach to their practice of architecture/design, inspiring others with their skill, insight and foresight. Expertise is developed over time, learning from experimentation to develop a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in different applications. Like us, their confidence will have been developed by the lessons learnt, good and bad, from experimentation and exploration.”

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto (Andre Fu). Photography: Courtesy of Hotel Courtesy The Mitsui Kyoto Luxury Collection and Spa

Drilling down into the essence of each of our Luminaries, Coventry commented further, “All three candidates have had extensive experience designing for projects in multiple countries and in multiple industries. I love that there is an importance placed on craftmanship and how that can contribute to luxury, We believe that the design and the quality of the furniture can develop an identity for the space and the business associated with it. The design needs to resonate with the user to ensure that it will develop brand loyalty. Jean- Michael Gathy refers to creativity being an emotion and I agree that Good Design can create an emotion.”

The Luminary is a special category and the three participants are extraordinary creatives. Each has carved out their place in the world of architecture and design and their contribution is to be revered.


The Luminary

Proudly partnered by Wilkhahn

Jean-Michel Gathy. Photography: Courtesy of DENNISTON

Andre Fu
Andre Fu Studio
Hong Kong

Jean-Michel Gathy

Penelope Forlano
Forlano Design


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