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A design conversation with Amy Liang of Studio Cocokacang and Jason Sim and Hao Wang of S/LAB 10.

(L-R) IDr Lai Siew Hong, Amy Liang, Hao Wang, and Jason Sim at the Cosentino Showroom 

Cosentino presents the final installment of Design x Dialogue for 2023, in partnership with IDr Lai Siew Hong, Chief Executive Designer of the award-winning interior design firm Blu Water Studio. This session delves into the idea of relooking into traditional design techniques and materials that were once used to reimagine the different ways to approach design and creative innovative sustainable solutions. Titled Rediscover and Reimagine: Designing a Sustainable Future, this design talk showcased the brilliance of two esteemed design studios: S/LAB10, represented by Co-Founders Jason Sim and Hao Wang, and Studio Cocokacang, founded by Amy Liang. Notable guests in attendance include Dr. Tan Loke Mun, the Principal of DrTanLM Architect, Matthew Lim, Founder of Matthew Lim Associates, and Max Ooi, Chairman of Sabah Interior Designers Society (SAIDS).

Renowned interior architect Amy Liang of Studio Cocokacang is one of Malaysia’s most sought-after designers for her skill at creating amazing and attractive concepts for trendy cafés. She has won many hearts with her distinctive style and her ability to reimagine and craft unique ambiances for a space. Her project includes Paper Plate, Breakfast Thieves at APW Bangsar, Bean Brothers at Starhill and she recently completed designing two cafés in Kuala Lumpur – Three Years Old (TYO) in Jalan Sin Chew Kee and V88 Bar and café in Desa Park City – all done despite the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Three Years Old (TYO) in Jalan Sin Chew Kee by Studio Cocokacang

Bean Brothers at Starhill by Studio Cocokacang

Drawing inspiration from the surroundings, Amy brings a distinctive touch to each project, transforming spaces into magical and inviting environments. For instance, TYO is a double-story residence-turned-cafe that embodies a seamless marriage of nature and human interaction. The space harmoniously balances outdoor and indoor elements, integrating the natural with the man-made. Another remarkable example is The Bean Brothers at Starhill which stands a testament to Amy’s mastery of innovative and purposeful design. Beyond simply maximizing space efficiency, her vision extends to providing diverse seating experiences for customers, ensuring that each visit to the café is a different and engaging experience. Her commitment to both functionality and creativity shines through, making her designs not only visually captivating but also user-centric and thoughtfully designed. 

Conversely, Jason Sim and Hao Wang, co-founders of S/LAB10 share a design philosophy centred on exploring new ways to integrate the concept with the programmatic and functional essence of the building. Despite this shared approach, their design inspirations take unique paths. Jason seeks a refresh through travel and visits to art galleries and museums. In contrast, Hao finds his creative spark through engagement with his clients to understand their lifestyles and needs, allowing those conversations to shape and inspire his work.

Lee Residence by S/LAB10 

Jason and Hao emphasize that their designs thrive on experimentation with diverse materials, textures, and juxtapositions, creating contrasts that push the boundaries of the conventional and reimagine ordinary designs and techniques. Their approach is often abstract, arbitrary, and influenced by everyday objects. Taking the Lee Residence as an example, which was specially crafted for a client who loves hosting, the residence featured an open layout that fosters connectivity, dynamism, and spaciousness, making it an ideal hosting space. Another notable project was the Leisure Farm which draws inspiration from the Traditional Chinese Central Courtyard House and Australian backyard lifestyle. The meticulous design facilitates cross-ventilation throughout the entire residence, bringing in cool air and releasing hot air. Ultimately, the goal is to create a comfortable living space that embraces an indoor-outdoor lifestyle for people to enjoy. 

Leisure Farm by S/LAB10

(L-R) Hao Wang, Jason Sim, Amy Liang, and IDr Lai Siew Hong at the Cosentino Showroom 

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