Born in China, Chris Shao is nowadays based in New York City, where he created his first design studio: Chris Shao Studio LLC. Nowadays he has opened another one in Shangai, China. The team is rich in different cultures since its members are from several parts of the world: Asia, Latin America, and Australia. A mixture of backgrounds, creating a perfect harmony between influences when it comes to Design.
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As his most difficult obstacle to surpass, Shao points the fact of starting his design career at a young age and having to prove his value as a professional. People were doubting his ability to design. Regarding life achievements, Chris Shao considers that he came far, but still has a lot to explore and do in life, when it comes to fulfilling himself.
“I’m glad that I’ve achieved a lot, but life is a journey of never-ending exploration, isn’t it?”
Besides art, design, and real estate, this designer is also stepping his toes into Food and Beverage industry and even wellness. Leaning into crossing boundaries and embracing multidisciplinary insights, Chris Shao guarantees he’s definitely trying to bring in new stuff, in the future.
William Morris’s Arts & Crafts philosophy emphasis craftsmanship, nature, and simplicity and it’s still the Chinese designer’s “guiding light”. He wants to see less mass production, and a bigger connection between designers and life, people and object.
The final phase of his work is what makes Chris Shao’s obsessed and professionally fulfilled. As he says: “The feeling of harvesting really makes me fulfilled.” Sharing with his audience is really important to the designer, so he makes sure he shares a lot of his work steps on Instagram, especially the construction stories of workers. Shao loves sharing these stories and telling his audiences that a good project is all about teamwork.
Recently he has created a Wechat blog account, so he’d continue to show several works in projects and also including a journey to the temple, where his team asks for blessings. Chris prefers to see people as his own friends. For him, design is a language he uses to connect with his clients and they feel encouraged to message him on social media outlets.
Recently, the designer opened a gallery in Shanghai, where is currently exhibiting Brecht Wright Gander’s collections at the Bund, as well as curating a new exhibition in collaboration with Banks Gallery. Chris considers this a bold move, being both a designer and a gallery owner, although he recognizes it is unconventional in the scene of art and design. In a near future, the Chris Shao Studio team will host Design/Miami Podium, a collectible design fair in Shanghai.
Leading the way of craftmanship is Joseph Dirand, in Shao’s opinion. The designer heard that he takes his construction team and French artisans with him, to his projects. When we asked about what he thinks should be the focus in the world of design, Chris Shao pointed functions, turning homes Smart, but he also recognizes that we are still in a very “Smart-phobia” Era, that he hopes to be finished in the near future.