How I Work: What AB Concept’s Ed Ng Keeps At His Desk

Terence Ngan (left) and Ed Ng (right), co-founders of AB Concept. Image courtesy of AB Concept.
Outdoor view of Ed Ng’s Karuizawa Villa. Image courtesy of AB Concept.
View of living room in Ed Ng’s Karuizawa Villa. Image courtesy of AB Concept.
View of dining room in Ed Ng’s Karuizawa Villa. Image courtesy of AB Concept.
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The co-founder of the design firm shares what his workspace looks like at his home in Karuizawa.

TEXT: Jacqueline Kot
IMAGES: Courtesy of AB Concept

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan are co-founders of AB Concept, the studio firm behind a multitude of high-profile projects such as the main atrium at K11 MUSEA, the Rosewood Sanya hotel, the Paper Moon Giardino restaurant in Milan and more. Currently working from his holiday home in Karuizawa, Japan, Ng shares what he keeps around his desk, whether for form or function.

 

Terence Ngan (left) and Ed Ng (right), co-founders of AB Concept. Image courtesy of AB Concept.

 

Outdoor view of Ed Ng’s Karuizawa Villa. Image courtesy of AB Concept.

 

Essential items

While Ng confesses to using the Apple iPad and Apple Pencil more frequently these days, he still keeps his favourite stationery items around for when inspiration strikes, such as the Perfect Pencil by Graf von Faber-Castell and sketchbooks by Moleskine. Ng also likes to have some greenery or fresh flowers at his workspace. “I can see the forest outside my window in Karuizawa but I still like to have potted plants or fresh-cut flowers around to brighten up the room and to bring some outdoor elements into the indoors,” says Ng.

To add some tranquillity to a busy day, Ng likes the Pampa Seca perfume by Feuguia 1833—an aromatic, woody scent that can be used both as a normal perfume and as room and textile spray. “This fragrance lightens up the room and turns your workspace into a very comfortable and soothing space to work,” he says.

A typical day of working from home often includes long meetings, over Zoom, with his design team and Ng always makes sure to have a supply of cashmere cushions around for comfortable seating and some warm tea at hand. “Meetings with our design team can take hours so having a warm cup of tea next to me is essential to keep my voice,” he says.

 

View of living room in Ed Ng’s Karuizawa Villa. Image courtesy of AB Concept.

 

Design inspiration

Anyone who has visited AB Concept’s office in Hong Kong knows that both Ng and Ngan are keen art collectors, having built a collection that is on display all around the office. At Ng’s Karuizawa home, the attention-grabbing RGB Series (Blue) (2015) painting by Finnish artist Juri Markkula takes pride of place in the dining area, while the actual dining table was designed by architect George Nakashima.

When he is working from home, Ng likes to move around for a change of scenery. “For the last half year, like many other people, I’ve been working from home. My home in Karuizawa was designed as a holiday home but now it is literally my home,” says Ng. “This has actually become even more inspiring because I can work in different spots. I can work at my dining table, in my garden, on the outdoor deck, just anywhere anytime. This is the most inspiring scenario you can imagine.”

 

View of dining room in Ed Ng’s Karuizawa Villa. Image courtesy of AB Concept.

 

A collection of ceramic pieces by Astier de Villatte are arranged along the wall in living room and all around are owl trinkets that Ng collected from his travels. “Every time I look at them, it reminds me of where and when I got them—from a flea market in Europe, to an art store in Japan and many other occasions. It’s like a journey into my memory through these small trinkets.”

When Ng wants to be somewhere more secluded, he heads to the den room, where there is a special edition Taliesin II floor lamp, and a sculptural piece by Frank Lloyd Wright, by the couch.

One thing Ng does keep away from his workspace, no matter where it may be, is books, so that he can focus on the task at hand. When he is off work and relaxing, he is currently reading Find Me by André Aciman, the sequel of Call Me By Your Name. “Another book that I’ve been captivated by is Cabin Porn, the title is very eye catching for a coffee table book. Although it’s a visual book, the beautiful photographs serve as a great source of inspiration.”

 

 

 

 
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