We Speak with Lee Hsuheng, Founder of Golucci Interior Architects, Who Have Been Making Waves in the Restaurant Design Scene Around the World

In recent years, Golucci, led by Lee Hsuheng, has been named one of China's top 100 design companies by Interior Design China, as well as several international design awards, amopng them the German iF Design Award, the German Red Dot Design Award, the Japanese Good Design Award, the Japanese JCD Design Award, the Dutch FRAME Award, the Italian A Design Award, Hong Kong APIDA’s Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards, and the Taiwan TID Design Award

Golucci Interior Architects has a wealth of experience in restaurant brand design consulting and a professional design team. Always adhering to innovative, excellent, and professional design concepts, they are committed to providing clients with the highest quality service and the most creative design solutions. We speak with Golucci’s founder, Lee Hsuheng, who shares how they will continue to promote the development of restaurant spaces and architectural design and what the future holds 

Can you share the background leading to the establishment of Golucci Interior Architects?

In 1999, after graduating with an Honors Bachelor's degree from the University of the Arts London, I returned to Taiwan and worked briefly for two years before heading to Beijing to pursue my career in design. In 2005, I founded Golucci Interior Architects, and over subsequent years, I engaged in various types of design projects. During the pre-entrepreneurship phase, I continuously explored a suitable direction for Golucci and eventually chose to focus on creative restaurant spaces, as I firmly believe that restaurant design offers boundless possibilities. Through my designs, I can create unique and captivating dining experiences, providing customers with unforgettable moments in these spaces. I consistently strive for meticulous attention to detail and unique styles, actively incorporating new design trends and ideas to ensure my work remains innovative. Over the years, I have collaborated with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds, deepening my understanding of multiculturalism and broadening my design perspective. Looking ahead, I will continue to explore new design possibilities and ignite more creativity. I look forward to collaborating with like-minded individuals, passionate about food and design, to create even more delightful dining experiences.

Lee Hsuheng, founder of Golucci Interior Architects

How have your personal experiences and educational background influenced your design and creations?

The University of the Arts London bestowed upon me an enlightening design education, igniting my passion for spaces and architecture. Through the lens of a Western perspective, I reevaluated my own cultural heritage and traditions, which profoundly influenced my future in design, leading me to focus on integrating Chinese culture into my concepts through abstract expressions. My design philosophy centres around incorporating elements of Chinese cultural art, symbolism, and philosophy into each project, using abstract techniques. This approach not only highlights the richness of Chinese culture but also allows global audiences to resonate and interpret the designs.

As an internationally renowned restaurant design expert, I am dedicated to infusing each project with a unique sensory experience, immersing diners in cultural ambiance. Every design undergoes meticulous refinement, presenting a seamless blend of tradition and contemporary aesthetics. Looking ahead, I remain committed to embracing diverse cultural influences in my designs, eagerly anticipating collaborations with culturally passionate clients to create exceptional restaurant designs that celebrate the convergence of Chinese and Western cultures.

Which project do you regard as a milestone in the development of the company?

The Taiwan Noodle House, designed by Golucci in 2011, marked our company's debut on the international stage. This remarkable project garnered extensive attention and coverage from international media, solidifying our position as leaders in the field of restaurant space design. This significant milestone inspires us to stay dedicated to our craft, constantly challenging ourselves, and creating unique dining experiences for our clients. The success of this project also drives us to continuously explore innovation and distinctiveness in restaurant spaces. We firmly believe that blending culture, storytelling, and aesthetics is key to crafting successful dining destinations. Hence, we draw inspiration from around the world, infusing each design with emotion and narrative, transforming each project into an artistic canvas. Looking ahead, we will continue to lead trends in restaurant design and collaborate with international clients to craft exceptional and captivating dining spaces. Our passion and commitment to design will continue to shine through, as we strive to turn restaurant spaces into unforgettable art experiences that showcase the charm of each unique brand.

How would you describe the company’s design aesthetic and style?

Although we work on purely commercial design projects, our team at Golucci is anything but commercial. We have a deep passion for design, and our exploration of design concepts takes various forms, whether it's through meetings, conversations, or market research. Our approach to presenting our work is akin to writing a short story - a narrative that is pure and authentic. We firmly believe that infusing passion and creativity into our designs gives soul to commercial projects. Each project we undertake is a labour of love, meticulously crafted to seamlessly blend into the space.

While our ultimate goal is commercial success, we never compromise on the purity of art. This is the secret to our acclaim in the international restaurant design industry and motivates us to continuously create genuinely distinctive dining spaces for our clients. As we embark on future design endeavours, we will remain true to this passion and deliver more thrilling design masterpieces.

What, in your opinion, constitutes great spatial design?

I firmly believe that exceptional design should possess both creativity and warmth. Space is meant for people's use, thus, rational layout and visual aesthetics are fundamental requirements. However, creating a design that evokes a sense of warmth for its users and brings a smile to their faces through ingenious ideas is the ultimate goal I strive for in spatial design. 

In each project, I endeavour to infuse unique ideas and emotions, ensuring that the design not only impresses but also resonates with people on a personal level. Putting people at the centre and catering to their needs is the core of my design philosophy. I believe that combining creativity with warmth in design is the key to crafting truly captivating spaces that provide comfort and joy for users. In the journey ahead, I will continue to pursue this passion, creating spaces that touch people's hearts and delivering unique experiences for users, transforming my designs into genuine works of art.

How do you see the future of design development in China?

We must recognize the rise of China's design prowess. In recent years, a large number of talented individuals have joined the design industry, unleashing a new wave of creative innovation. Despite the intensifying competition in the field, as long as we steadfastly adhere to design as our core mission, with the aim to enhance people's lives, this is indeed a positive development. I look forward to seeing design contribute to a better life, not only in China but also worldwide.

Chinese design works have been flourishing on the international stage, and I hope Chinese designers will view their creations as vessels to spread the richness and beauty of Chinese culture across the globe. It is our shared mission to showcase the unique charm of Chinese culture to the world. As China's design strength continues to grow, we should continue to inspire and encourage the new generation of designers, providing them with more opportunities and platforms for development. Let us join hands in driving Chinese design to greater heights on the international stage, bringing more surprises and inspiration to the global community.

What are your personal hobbies outside of work, and how does this inspire your creations?

Travelling a thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand books. Travelling is my favourite hobby and the source of inspiration for my creativity. Before the pandemic, I used to spend around three months each year travelling the world, immersing myself in the lives of different countries, experiencing their cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles, all of which have deeply moved me in various ways. Travelling liberates my thinking, broadens my horizons, and uncovers new possibilities. Each place exudes its unique charm, and every journey is a soul-cleansing experience. These valuable encounters nurture my creative spirit and enrich my designs, making them more diverse and meaningful.

Travelling is a quest for inspiration, enabling me to understand the beauty of various cultures worldwide and infusing those insights into my designs. This allows my creations to be more user-centred, crafting restaurant spaces that are aesthetically pleasing yet highly functional. In my future creative journey, I will continue to pursue this passion, exploring more places and seeking more sources of inspiration to deliver even more captivating and distinctive dining experiences for my clients.

Words: Emily Leung & Nikey Cheng
Published on December 15, 2023