In Chinese philosophy, “chi” is the circulating life energy inherent in all things; in traditional Chinese medicine, it represents the balance of negative and positive in the body, essential for good health. In his work and his life, Tony Chi, one of the world’s top restaurant designers, strives for balance. “You can’t have a warm feeling without a cool element, the yin and yang,” he says. “You can’t have roughness without smoothness.”
Chi is a populist who caters to an elite clientele, a globetrotter who walks to work from his home on Central Park West. If you’re a savvy, well-heeled tourist visiting Kuala Lumpur, Geneva, or Singapore, or a foodie in just about any of the world’s great cities, you are likely to have savored the Chi aesthetic. He has created some of the loveliest and most luxurious restaurant interiors around the globe, including Spoon by Alain Ducasse in Hong Kong, Namu in Seoul, and Asiate in the TimeWarner Center in New York. His work has won recognition from such organizations as the James Beard Foundation, the Gold Key Awards, and Esquire and Interior Design magazines.