Terry Chow, who creates innovative outdoor furniture, was born in Hong Kong and doesn’t have a design background. His brand FOXCAT produce minimalist, simple to use, but Luxury tech furniture. His vision is to balance design idea, sustainability and function. His star product is the NI parasol which will revolutionize the way you use your outdoor space: A stunning piece that is both a useful piece of garden furniture and a creative centerpiece.
Could you describe yourself briefly and tell us what is your background?
Being a Hong Kong born self-taught designer, I’ve worked in purchasing and trading firms that specialized in gardening and sanitary products tailored specifically for Nordic countries for over 20 years. Accumulated experience in the field has made me become more aware of what people may need but not showing up in the market yet. That’s why I started a side design project in 2013: the NI Parasol.
How did you arrive in the field of design and creativity?
My arrival in the field of design was not because of the idea that “I need to design something”. I think it was only a natural drive, a natural result after having plenty of enriching encounters with different designer products.
Can you tell our readers what stands behind your company brands Excellent and Foxcat? / Can you tell us more about the name of your brand?
While Foxcat is newly established in 2014, our mother company, Excellent Limited, is having more than 20 years of experience working closely with Nordic countries in providing quality sanitary and gardening products.
FOXCAT seeks to achieve sustainability — a balance among design, function and environment. We develop products that can easily fit in with commercial environments like restaurants, hotels and resorts. By combining proprietary technology with appreciation in classics, we offer fresh and practical decorating ideas for indoor and outdoor space.
How do you choose the products you want to develop? / What guides you into designing a specific object?
Most of the time we don’t choose. Since we are not a company providing design services based on requests from others, we enjoy much freedom to work on what we like to do and what we can do.
NI Parasol is a perfect example of this. Based on the manufacturing knowledge accumulated through years of production of bathroom steamers, we made good use of the same material and expertise in electricity to develop a garden parasol with lighting.
How do you go from an idea to concrete realization?
An idea can hold many elements. But when you come to realize it, you need to focus on a simple overall and get ready to handle and solve all possible problems. My team says that I keep changing the idea from time to time but in fact I am trying to make the idea work in reality. There are a lot of technical parts you’ll need to think twice and settle beforehand. Some details change during the process but the soul of the product always remains the same.
What makes Excellent’s products or concepts so unique? Do these particularities define your brand?
Excellent’s factory has years of experience in producing sanitary products and this time, it takes a new step forward in producing a garden LED parasol. The unique point may be that we are most familiar in dealing with waterproof and electricity. Although we don’t really have a specific material that we like, we like to mix-and-match things and make good use of new technology along with classic designs.
As a Hong Kong designer, does the city serve as inspiration to Excellent’s designs?
It surely does. Hong Kong is an amazing city as it contains many different cultural elements. You can come across with a wide range of products in only 30 minutes. Easy to travel around and to get what you want.
What are your favorite places to… Shop? From big shopping malls to secret stores. Drink? It depends on who you drink with. Eat? It depends on who you dine with. Chill out? Home. What’s your motto in life? Seize the day. Who or what inspires you at the moment? Kerry Hill Architects and Ulrika Hydman-Vallien.
If you want to know more about FOXCAT and their products, projects, and creations, come down to In bed With Designers at VVG Taipei from the 8-12 October. In bed With Designers is Asia’s first boutique designer sleepover connecting emerging visionary designers with passionate design lovers, media, and industry professionals and buyers in a relaxed and multi-sensory business and networking platform.