Who’s Inspiring Me Now: Tommy Zung

Nov 16
Last night, I attended an opening at the new Shop Zung, a carefully curated space with vendors from all of Tommy Zung’s travels, including Frama, artisans from Mexico City, and my favorite tea from France (Mariage Freres) – it’s an intimate exhibition space, design concept store, tea menagerie, highlighting its architecture and interior design. Right now Tommy Zung is inspiring me on many levels, both with his aesthetic brilliance and multidisciplinary design.

Shop Zung, 41 Grand Street in New York City

For those of you who aren’t familiar with acclaimed architect, Tommy Zung of Studio Zung, let me introduce you to him. As the son of the famous architect Thomas T.K. Zung who worked alongside Buckminster Fuller, Tommy was surrounded by a unique creative upbringing, that has inspired his own work. As the owner of Studio Zung, an eco-luxury architecture, design and lifestyle group, I especially love how he mixes natural materials and his unique perspective on design.

“Designing to evoke a sensory environment is what we strive for—speaking directly to landscape, the environment, and nature.” – Tommy Zung, in an interview with Inhabit

One of my favorite interior design projects Zung completed is Atelier 216, “inspired by traditional barn design and contemporary architecture,” a 3,800 square-foot residence in Amagansett of East Hampton. I love the carefully curated finishes and furnishings in this home, and all the natural elements coming together in sustainable design.

Zung told Luxury Retreats Magazine, “I consider myself a maker. I’m really concerned with design for the wellness of beings, and how design effects our nature. We’re not chasing architecture for architecture’s sake or design for design’s sake, instead we look at design in a more holistic way. We all try to surf, be outside, and look at art and architecture and sculpture and music and literature. I think that through the art of living well we’re able to create architecture that feels a little different.”

Zung’s background in modernism and sustainable living both informs and is informed by his life as a surfer, and he designed a 25-piece collection of surfboards and skateboards. Zung grew up on both in Southern California and now he hits the waves in Montauk, Biarritz, and beyond. Zung told Architectural Digest he designed the longboards to have “very good shapes that make you surf better—plain and simple, no gimmicks.”

With a sensitivity to his surroundings merged with a deep passion and delight for good design, Zung is a uniquely powerful designer and I’m excited to see what he’ll do next. Zung told Rue Magazine, “I love being able to visualize a form, imagine an experience and design it into a sensory space where one feels closer to themselves and inspired. I want people to experience life and feel deeply.” I love the idea of design creating more space for living and feeling deeply.

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