It’s hard to discuss the design landscape of China without mentioning two of its modern pioneers, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. The power couple – the founding partners of eponymous office Neri & Hu – have consistently promoted the creative scene of their native country, leading to a string of awards and nominations (including being named Wallpaper* Designers of The Year in 2014) as well as active involvement in academic research at institutions such as Harvard and Yale.  

‘China isn’t just a location, or just a country,’ they say. ‘China is the soil and the blood that defines who we are, and so much of it flows out of us naturally when we create architecture, spaces, and things. 

Suzhou Chapel, Suzhou, China 2016 photographed by Pedro Pegenaute
Suzhou Chapel, Suzhou, China, 2016. Photography: Pedro Pegenaute 
A selection of bowls
ZiSha Tea Project, China

Since its launch in Shanghai in 2004, the practice has gone on to work across architecture, interiors, furniture and graphic design, becoming a much-recurring name on the international design circuit. At this year’s Salone del Mobile alone, it launched a host of collections for international brands such as Molteni & C, Artemide, Paola C, Poltrona Frau and Stellar Works – but it’s China where its roots are firmly planted. 

‘Obviously, the rapid growth here has pushed the speed of our practice, as well as framed our work within the specificity of its various contexts, but the heart of its influence lies in the poetry of the culture here,’ say Neri and Hu.§

Aranya Art Center, Qinhuangdao, China 2019 photographed by Pedro Pegenaute
Aranya Art Center, Qinhuangdao, China, 2019. Photography: Pedro Pegenaute 
Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu by Jiaxi Yang & Zhu Zhe
Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Photography: Jiaxi Yang and Zhu Zhe