Founded in 2011, openUU is an award-winning interdisciplinary design studio with an established presence in Hong Kong. Through the leadership of Caroline Chou and Kevin Lim, openUU has taken both the retail world + food and beverage industry by storm. Their roster of projects ranges from phenomenal architecture, light, art, and space installations, mall renovations, traveling pop-up libraries, warehouse conversions, and more. 

The design duo both grew up in the United States, educating themselves in all aspects of design, architecture, hospitality, food, and more. Today, the pair says their main purpose is to positively impact society through design. We’re taking #5MinutesWith openUU to learn more: 

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
We went to Venice for one of our family trips with dad, mom, brother, and sister-in-law. As five architects and an interior designer (yup, a family of designers!), we visited design works, museums, and the Venice Biennale. The highlight of the trip was seeing works by Carlo Scarpa, and we were so in love with every little detail. – Caroline

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
I have a cup of coffee and kiss our daughter goodbye, before leaving for work. – Caroline

SUCCESS IS:
Doing something we love: combining our passion of design and food culture. – Caroline and Kevin

YOU’LL NEVER SEE US WITHOUT:
Our phones, because mobile phones are the new laptops! – Caroline and Kevin

OUR DREAM COLLABORATION:
Is to work with inspiring chefs who are pushing boundaries in all areas, and have restaurants that can adapt to changes. Chef Grant Achatz works with designer Martin Kastner on multiple projects, and their Porthole Infuser is one of the most iconic design collaborations. We would love to collaborate with Chef Achatz and Katsner. – Caroline and Kevin

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN HONG KONG:
San Francisco is a place we have frequented since moving back to Hong Kong. It is a city that has many diverse neighborhoods, a growing food culture, and amazing restaurants. – Caroline and Kevin

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
Taking a long walk home from work. This walk is about 30 minutes, and this gives me some alone time to calibratemy mind, and hopefully ignite some sparks! – Caroline

ADVICE WE WISH WE HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
Success comes from perfecting your craft. One of our favorite books is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and he talks about the idea of it takes 10,000 hours of work to become an expert on something. True expertise takes endurance, patience, and hard work. – Caroline and Kevin

IN 5 YEARS FIND US:
Dining at one of the numerous restaurants that we designed and assisted the owners from branding to menu planning.– Caroline and Kevin

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Spend time with loved ones!– Caroline and Kevin