LAAB is a collective of 35 architects, artists, designers, engineers, makers and sociologists specialising in spatial innovations. The studio was co-founded by Otto Ng and Chun Hang Yip in 2013 in Hong Kong, with the vision of incubating a laboratory that bridges the separate fields of art and architecture, hence the two As in the studio’s name.
The team’s diversity is central to the range of work achieved. From everyday objects to art installations, from architecture and interior to public space and community engagement, LAAB believes that spatial innovations occur at the intersections of disciplines – when architects think sociologically, when sociologists question urban design, and when engineers challenge designers. Because of this team diversity, LAAB was able to design a food kiosk that moves (Harbour Kiosk), a café that preserves collective memory (T · CAFÉ), and a shopping space built with digital craftsmanship (K11 MUSEA).
Rather than adhering to a specific design paradigm, LAAB’s approach to architecture is driven by the process of making, guided by narratives of a place, and born out of deep respect for the natural environment and cultural contexts. Digital craftsmanship – a unique blend of digital technology and traditional craftsmanship – is vital to the studio culture and innovation process. The team’s unique composition is a breeding ground for new ideas, giving linguistic form to material innovations and situating them within each project context.
LAAB believes that spatial innovation is born out of pragmatism. The minds (design) and hands (making) are equally important in driving the creative process. Each team member is a maker, and this maker spirit is enabled and sustained by the studio’s design, which includes an open, collaborative studio space, a fabLAAB (fabrication lab), a matLAAB (material library), a prototypeLAAB (prototype exhibition space), and a gallery space where models are exhibited.
Photography; HENRY T.C., Otto Ng