Creative Director, David Collins Studio (UK)
Born in Wales, Simon Rawlings studied Interior Design at Birmingham University where he gained both his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees. He joined David Collins Studio in 1997 and was appointed Creative Director in 2007.
Over the two decades that Rawlings has spent at David Collins Studio he’s overseen the design of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces, and has collaborated with clients such as Harrods, Alexander McQueen and Mandarin Oriental, both in reinventing prominent buildings and establishing important new landmarks. Working across a myriad of sectors that spans residential projects (private homes and commercial residences), hotels, restaurants and bars, furniture design, and luxury food and fashion retail design, Simon has been instrumental in setting the blueprint for The Studio’s work, which combines a near-obsessive attention to detail with virtuoso use of colour as a means of crafting mood through environment.
A passionate believer in ‘creating luxury through quality’, he has always been a committed advocate of craft, supporting artisanship while encouraging design innovation.
Founder & Managing Director, CL3 (Hong Kong)
William Lim graduated from Cornell University and founded CL3 in 1992 and has gone on to achieve world-wide recognition with award-winning architectural and interior projects for hotels, restaurants, retail, corporate, residences and art installation design internationally.
Aside from his architecture credentials, William is also a celebrated artist and art collector. He participated in the Venice Biennale‘s International Architectural Exhibition in 2006 and 2010, and the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in 2007, 2009 and 2012. His work has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Chengdu, Korea, the United States, and the Netherlands.
Committed to promoting culture and education, William is currently the Advisory Council Member and Member of the China Advisory Board of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University, Member on the Asia Pacific Acquisition Committee for Tate, Gallery Advisory Committee Members for The Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Museum Expert Advisers for the Hong Kong Museum.
President & CEO Casas Architects (Philippines)
Carmelo T. Casas graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in 1976. Casas began his career in Hong Kong where he was involved with major projects in China, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia specializing in interior architecture and design. Moving back to Manila in 1996 to establish Casas Architects, he was immediately commissioned to design several high-rise luxury residential condominiums and five-star hospitality projects in Metro Manila such as Pacific Plaza, Greenbelt 2, Bellagio Towers, The Icon, The Infinity, The Grand Hyatt and One Shangri-la Place. Casas is also known for several famous landmarks within the Philippines such as the Balesin Island, The Manor at the Camp John Hay, Terrazas de Punta Fuego, the Resorts World and Solaire Casino Hotel Resort.
Casas is a recipient of several awards such as BCI Asia’s Top 10 Architects in the Philippines for 10 consecutive years, Outstanding Professional in the field of Architecture, The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni in Architecture by the University of Santo Tomas, and the title of Outstanding Professional in Architecture (Knights of Letran Award) was bestowed on him early in 2017.
ANTONIO “BUDJI” LAYUG
Chairman and Principal Designer, BUDJI + ROYAL Architecture + Design (Philippines)
Budji Layug graduated from the New York School of Interior Design. After spending several years travelling and exploring the world, exposing himself to the creative cultures of other nations, Layug eventually returned home to the Philippines. It was while lying on a beach watching two men build a traditional bamboo outrigger canoe, marveling at their skill, that Layug started to design furniture. The designer has since become known for incorporating traditional techniques and natural materials such as pandan, bamboo and local hardwoods from the Philippines to create a sleek, post-colonial aesthetic. His commitment to design is equal to his commitment to quality.
Co-founder of locally respected design firm, Budji-Layug, the firm has gone on to create a number of functional and beautiful spaces in the residential and commercial sector, where Layug likes to mix his own designs with the latest technology and a mix of art and antiques from his travels.
Founder & Creative Director, Kenneth Cobonpue (Philippines)
Kenneth Cobonpue graduated from the Pratt Institute in New York in 1987 with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design. While completing his studies, he apprenticed for a leather and wood workshop near Florence, Italy. He went on to study Furniture Marketing and Production at the Export-Akademie Baden-Württemberg in Reutlingen, Germany, under a private and state scholarship program, and subsequently worked in Bielefeld and Munich.
Kenneth returned to his home town Cebu in 1996 to manage Interior Crafts of the Islands, Inc., a furniture design and manufacturing company founded by his mother Betty Cobonpue in 1972.
With his masterful way of integrating nature, traditional craft and innovative technologies, designer and creative director Kenneth Cobonpue has earned numerous international awards and recognition for his creative, organic, and expressive pieces. Working closely with some of the world’s leading designers, from household names to emerging talents, Kenneth has been pushing the envelope for design in the Philippines and sharing his vision to a global audience.
Creative Director, Bensley Studios (Thailand & Indonesia)
Bill Bensley graduated from the Harvard School of Design, and has since practiced a variety of disciplines, including interior design, landscape design and architecture on projects internationally. Bensley’s studios – in Bangkok and Bali – have become known for a unique style that is playful, flamboyant and often ostentatious.
A passion for his work and the need to have fun have fueled the creation of the multiple award-winning studios’ prolific portfolios, which include over 200 residences, hotels and resorts in over 30 countries.
Not content to just design, Bensley is also intimately involved in the development of an eco-resort in Cambodia – Shinta Mani – where he has worked with local communities to help foster sustainable development, and most importantly to provide a reliable source of fresh clean drinking water for local residents.
Bensley has published two monographs, speaks regularly at events internationally, and has been named on of Architectural Digest magazine’s “Top 100 Architects”.
CEO and Principal Architect, BUDJI + ROYAL Architecture + Design (Philippines)
Royal Pineda graduated from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines under the Japan-Philippines cooperation university program with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. From 1997 to 2002 Pineda furthered his professional training with the widely respected architectural
practice Leandro V. Locsin and Partners. During his tenure he developed an understanding of international design standards and professionalism under the mentorship of Locsin’s senior partner, architect Edgardo Ledesma.
Pineda is now the Principal Architect+CEO at BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design. His architecture is modern, monastic and tropical in style. Pineda’s vision is to create a ‘total design’, which is what the company is known for: from master planning, architecture, interior design, to furniture and landscape design. Since partnering with Budji Layug, he has designed different projects in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, United States of America, France, Germany, Thailand and Israel.