This month's OB of the Month is Arnold Wong, an award-winning architect, based in Hong Kong. Arnold, who has always loved art and being creative, shares with us the challenges of his work and what he would tell his younger self.
- When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I always have enjoyed drawing and creating objects, so I was quite determined to be an architect. Therefore, the subjects I took at Brighton College involved both art and science.
- Tell us about yourself now you've grown up.
After graduating from The University of Hong Kong with degrees in architecture, I worked in Tokyo and Amsterdam before returning to Hong Kong and becoming a licensed architect.
- What is your best memory of school?
Spending most of my spare time at the Art School and exploring different ideas with my wonderful teachers and friends. It really helped me to build up confidence and a strong portfolio to kick-start my education in architecture.
- What advice would you give to your school age self?
It may sound simpler than it is: be yourself, be more outgoing and do not settle.
- What do you do as a career?
I'm an architect.
- What does your job involve?
My job involves both the design and project administration for various architectural projects in Hong Kong and China. One of the many exciting projects I have worked on is the Lyric Theatre Complex at the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
- What are the most challenging parts of your job?
To create holistic and inclusive spatial designs that address and balance all the needs and requirements from many different parties - the public, clients, future users and various governmental departments.
- What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
In June 2020, I was selected as the winner of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Young Architect Award (HKIAYAA), an annual award to honour and acknowledge the talents and contribution of architects aged 35 or below. I am very thankful that my design, professional achievements and social participation have been recognized and it has further boosted up my motivation and confidence in design. In 2020, I also won four other competitions including the Victoria Harbour Word Art Competition and the Harbourfront Public Furniture Competition, that encourage the public to enjoy and appreciate our beautiful Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. As the winner of the two competitions, I have been commissioned by the government to design and produce a large scale art installation and a piece of public furniture by mid-2021. I am also looking forward to my other two art installations being exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2021, and Detour HK in November 2020.
- What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
Social justice in Hong Kong.
- What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
A good bottle of whisky, sunglasses and a book.
- How would you like to be remembered?
A creative and caring architect who give back his time and knowledge for the improvement of a healthy and fun environment for all society.