8 Questions: Dara Huang, Architect & Founder of Design Haus Liberty
“I was really good at drawing as a child,” says Dara Huang (@dara_huang) on what sparked her interest in architecture and design. The Taiwanese-American is an architect, designer and the founder of London-based studio Design Haus Liberty, which has projects spread throughout the globe, spanning luxury commercial projects for brands like LVMH and Cartier, to private residential designs.
You could say talent runs in the family; her father was a scientist at NASA, having emigrated to Florida with her mother from Taiwan. Dara graduated from Harvard with a master’s degree in architecture and spent the early years of her career working for Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland, Asymptote Architects in New York, and Foster + Partners in London.
She founded Design Haus Liberty in 2013, her own international architecture and design practice, which expanded to Hong Kong in 2019.
We chat with Dara as she answers our questions about design, career advice and beauty.
What makes a good design?
Balance, proportion and authenticity.
Any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Use what you have to your advantage.
What does a typical day look like in your life?
I’m currently working from home, so that means tons of WhatsApp messaging and Zoom calls.
Name five must-have items in your handbag.
Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve completely stopped carrying a handbag. I use my phone to make contactless payments and I have my house keys on my phone holder. I don’t head out with much makeup anymore either.
What’s your approach when it comes to beauty and wellness?
Simplicity — get enough sleep, limit sugar and exercise!
How do you look after your skin?
The basics, really. A cleanser, toner and moisturizer. For exfoliation, I use the apricot scrub from St. Ives — I know it’s totally controversial but I still like it!
What is your favourite beauty activity to indulge yourself in after a long day at work?
A long, relaxing bubble bath.
What would be one advice you would give your younger self?
Depends. Before I started a business, it would be to remind myself that my opinions matter. After I became an entrepreneur, it’s that I should trust my gut because it’s usually right.
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