Future Department is an independent Hong Kong based design studio founded by Eileen Chan and Ka Lun Leung. Together they provide all-round creative solutions including brand development, visual identity design, graphic consulting, and art direction. Future Dept. aims to engage messages and creative visual elements, and investigate a balance between creativity and commercial considerations.
Eileen also was the creative director of The Yesterdayskin, a very personal label collecting reformed vintage pieces. Bringing the past back to present, The Yesterdayskin aims to translate vintage in a modern way, and to share with all fashion lovers the treasures found from history. TYS focuses on potential but not-so-perfect vintage findings; forgotten outfits and accessories are handpicked from all over the world, restyled and reconstructed by Eileen into new fashionable looks.
Eileen’s work has been featured in various medias and exhibitions like Style Bubble, Vogue China, Surface, WAD, WeAr, So-en, Intramuros, DMY Berlin, Detour 2012 and so on.
We interviewed Eileen about her experiences as a designer in Hong Kong.
What kind of design do you do? Can you tell us about your thought process?
I am a fashion designer and Kalun is a graphic designer. We were partners of a vintage fashion label; The Yesterdayskin. The label was successful, which led to our interest and ability in creating brands, so we started a new branch Future Department to do branding for others.
And thought process… We used to talk a lot to each other, hang around randomly to observe people and things. We love looking at the smaller details. As partners, we encourage exchanging ideas to help us absorb new thoughts and generate better ideas.
Can you tell us a little bit about your studio?
We share our studio with a few more nice and talented designers; Don Mak & Trilingua studio at the Drafting Room. We collaborate sometimes on projects depending. We are based in an old factory building in the Ngau Tau Kok district of Hong Kong. I like our studio most in the afternoon, with sunlight and cats chilling around. It goes a bit crazy at night, the cats start chasing each other and play crazily. And they vomit sometimes too.
What do you feel is the most exciting thing happening in the Hong Kong art and design scene?
There is a lot of creativity during the Umbrella Revolution. Not only design-wise or art-wise, Hong Kong people have shown their ability to be creative. It’s a huge contrast of being the best of times but also the worst of times. The Umbrella Revolution has offered us a chance to seek different values and possibilities of our society. And I guess the world has discovered and seen a different side to Hong Kong too.
As a Hong Kong designer, what has influenced you most about living here?
The speed and efficiency, perhaps… As a small circle of designers, its’ easy for us to know each other where we can exchange thoughts and ideas. But personally we would love to explore further in other countries, Hong Kong is our hometown, but we have been here since we were born. This little town has been good for the money game and commercial work, but probably not the best for art and design.
Have you got any exciting projects coming up in 2015 that you can tell us about?
We will take part in a group exhibition with a few more young designers in Hong Kong. In the project, we are going to develop a design about the identity of Hong Kong together with some international design experts. We’re excited about the collaboration and look forward to seeing the outcome.
What has been one of your favourite print based projects?
We curated and developed a brand called Mess Age, which is an independent label where we created fun and nicely printed gadget accessories and it has been one of our favourite projects recently. We incorporated a range of colours and humorous messages. We are now selling our label with Colette Paris, which we are super excited about!
What do you love doing outside of your design work?
Eileen loves rats and all kind of rodents, and she loves looking at them.