IDr Lai Siew Hong is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Designer of award-winning interior design firm Blu Water. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur since 2010, the design studio focuses on hospitality archetypes and the design of hotels, resorts and F&B establishments around the region. As one of the most revered interior design studio in Southeast Asia, Blu Water has also been recognised by AHEAD Awards Asia and IDA Design Awards. To date, some of the group’s recent projects include W Kuala Lumpur, EQ Kuala Lumpur, Sheraton Sarawak, Club Med Borneo and KYO Niseko. As the creative backbone of Blu Water, Lai believes in creating innovative spaces and solutions while crafting a meaningful narrative in each design brief. With these sensorial and experiential design components, Lai continues to encourage a forward way of thinking in his creative process to keep the interests of a wide variety of clients over the last 30 years — previously as the Creative Partner of Axis Identity Group, a multidisciplinary design studio in Kuala Lumpur specialising in hospitality design. Lai graduated from the State University of New York with an Associate Degree in Applied Science Interior Design. His passion for nurturing young emerging talent translates into his deep involvement in mentorship and regional conferences over the years. Locally, he served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Taylor’s University Malaysia and internationally, he mentored graduate students at China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China. He is also the man behind the impeccably organised MIID REKA Conference over the years and has been the Chief Judge of Asia Young Designer Awards since 2016. One of his recent accolades, The Edison George Town project, has been recognised for its outstanding design sensibilities, raking multiple recognition including in the StarProperty Awards 2020, IDA Design Awards 2019, AHEAD Asia 2017, RIDA 2017, and APIDA 2016. Other award-winning projects under his stewardship are EQ Kuala Lumpur, citizenM Kuala Lumpur, and Hard Rock Hotel at Desaru Coast, Johor. Today, he continues to be the mastermind behind some of the most stunning luxury hotels and resorts in the country and the world over; most recently recognised as Asia’s Most Influential Designer Award by DOTY 2020. Lai is also the current President of the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID) 2020-2022, which is the national institute representing interior design professionals in Malaysia.