Clement Cheng studied BA (hons) Interior Design graduating in 2009.

After he graduated in 2010, Clement started his own company, CINCHstudio in Macau. In 2019, he won the German Design Award for Interior architecture and was voted as one of Chinas 40UNDER40 2018, also winning silver at the London Design Awards.

We caught up with Clement to find out more:

You graduated from Leeds Arts University (then Leeds College of Art) in 2009, can you tell us a little about your experience of studying?

I started my A Levels at Leeds College of Art and I went on to study BA (Hons) Interior Design in 2006. The course provided me a very strong starting point after I graduated which allowed me to begin the journey of founding my own interior design firm, CINCHstudio in 2010. Overall, my time studying at the University was extremely memorable and I still keep in touch with some of my tutors and colleagues, which is great! The course gave me the skills to pursue my career and allowed me to shape my own studio into what it is today.

Image credit: CINCHstudio Spacial Design, CINCHstudio

Could you tell us a little about your practice and how you came to set up CINCHstudio?

Moving back to Macau, China was a very different experience when comparing it to the design environment in England as interior design wasn’t as established in Macau back then. I struggled to find a suitable environment to work in which led me to create my own company. At the beginning of my career with CINCHstudios the work was incredibly varied, form school auditoriums, restaurants, office design, retail design to high-end residential. The wide range of work I was doing allowed me to build up my portfolio.

2018 has been a busy year for you with a string of awards (China 40UNDER40 Interior Design, 2018, 2018 M+ China Top Interior Design Award - Interior Design - Residential - TOP100, 2019 German Design Award, Interior architecture - Special Mention, 2018 London Design Awards Interior Design - International Retail – SILVER) could you tell us what the highlight has been?

2018 was the first year I started applying to worldwide awards and I feel extremely lucky and blessed that our team were recognised in so many different places. Our achievements have been the strong driving force to keep improving and developing. Networking at all these amazing award ceremonies has helped us to meet lots of other designers and learn about all the different cultures behind all their designs.

Image credit: M3 Integrated Service Center, CINCHstudio

Do you have any tips or advice for international students thinking of studying in Leeds and recent graduates wanting to work in your field?

I would definitely recommend students take an internship in their field. It makes a huge difference and would allow them to learn what role they are most interested in and what they would like to do once they graduate. I would also suggest building a really strong portfolio, as this is the most critical element.

Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

We have just opened an office in China and we are hoping to do more commercial projects, such as hotels.