Founder, Khew + Cornelius

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Founder, Khew + Cornelius

My Reading Room

Yu Nong is a trained architect who has worked for almost a decade with several big-name firms, including one helmed by world-famous Zaha Hadid, who was the first woman to receive the illustrious Pritzker Architecture Prize. “As an undergrad, I always noticed more men in the industry, so I desperately wanted a female mentor,” Yu Nong says. “The thing about working with Zaha was that she was so ungendered, you never thought of her as a man or woman, because she had such a big personality.” From architectural gold, Yu Nong then turned her sights towards the opposite end of the spectrum. “I always knew I’d have my own business,” she shares. “But I never thought it’d be in trash!” To combat the issue of food waste, the intrepid designer set her sights on creating a smart compost bin that makes recycling food scraps easy to do at home. “I wanted to see how I could make design and technology work together to solve the problems that society faces,” she explains. The bin is currently in its incubation phase, undergoing further product development.

WORDS TO LIVE BY: “Kindness is free; give it out more often.”

NEXT UP: “I am extremely excited to be in the process of designing and creating products using bio-leather, made from plant-based materials like pineapples and mushrooms.”