The creative duo behind Starz Origin takes us deep into what humanistic design means in the digital era.

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing
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The creative duo behind Starz Origin takes us deep into what humanistic design means in the digital era.

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing

Jay Leung and Maggie Mo, the visionary duo behind homegrown design firm Starz Pasha, share more than just a fervent zeal for the built environment, they have been on a mission to turn the lofty ideals of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) into tangible realities. Such vision has fuelled the inception of their latest venture, Starz Origin, a new brand under the company’s umbrella poised to set fresh standards in the industry.

Harnessing cutting-edge 3D printing technology, Starz Origin aspires to usher in a more environmentally sustainable approach to interior design, led by the philosophy of what they call “Concept RE”, which aims to inspire a reimagining of designthinking.

The notion is that, while technology must be explored and embraced, design has to be human-centric – a conviction fuelling the co-founders’ unequivocal passion. “The name ‘Starz Origin’ embodies our dedication to innovation while highlighting the importance of starting from the very beginning – the origin – where ideas take shape in their purest form.”


When asked about how Starz Pasha came about, they both cite a joint desire to make waves in the industry. “As designers, our minds are fertile grounds for fresh ideas. Seeing how sustainable architecture has gained traction in recent years, we felt compelled to embrace the trend and translate these practices to the interior design landscape by creating sustainable furniture, whereas in the past we could only turn to ready-made options in the market,” say the pair, adding that they are determined to dispel some myths about the costs and practical application of 3D printing.

“Consider our first bespoke 3D printed couch – Re-Imagine. The traditional way of building a sofa would take 20 days and cost some twenty thousand dollars. 3D printing, however, halves both the time and expense involved.”

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing

The conception of Starz Origin was also derived from the pandemic. “The pandemic trampled the economy, both locally and globally. Yet in a time of disconnectedness, technology has proven its growing capacity to mediate the effects of fragmented social bodies. This prompted us to rethink how, with our knowledge of production and material selection, technology and design could coalesce to respond to the evolving needs of the market.

“On top of that, the pandemic distinctly revealed the vulnerabilities of the labour market against the backdrop of an ageing population. Having been in this industry for 16 years, we’ve gathered our trusted crew of expert craftsmen. Yet, with the onset of the pandemic, these veterans started to slip through the cracks, with some going into retirement, and others immigrating overseas. As is often the case, those who remain lack the essential stamina it takes to be in this labour-intensive field.”

One of the positive changes the past few years have witnessed is the Hong Kong Government’s growing commitment to bringing ESG standards to life within the architecture sector, factoring in carbon reduction targets and other ESG initiatives throughout the entire life cycle of a project – from the initial plans all the way to completion.

“It’s good to see that companies today are pursuing human-centric design and that the material used is certified. But when they relocate, most of these unrecyclable materials are rendered obsolete, burdening landfill stress and defeating the very purpose of ESG.” In light of this, the pair decided to break the status quo, hence, the birth of Starz Origin, to meet these present-day challenges head-on. 


Although relatively new to the scene, Starz Origin has already become synonymous with being “sustainable” and “revolutionary”, with 3D printing at the heart of its vision. “To put environmental protection into action, we constantly draw on different materials to see which can be recycled and up-cycled. By doing so, we’ve found that 3D printing has matured significantly, with materials that not only meet environmental standards, but also offer greater malleability. There is no doubt this will unlock a new realm of possibilities for architecture and interior design.” 

Led by a human-centric approach, Starz Origin now champions 3D printing. Three of its key initiatives – bespoke furniture, “Print Your Imagination” (PYI) and “VersaCapsule” – are shaking up the industry in a subtle way. The bespoke furniture line, designed and 3D-printed by the Starz Origin team, made its debut with the Re-Imagine sofa—a sculptural, futuristic work of art that challenges the conventions of sofa manufacturing. This pioneering 3D-printed work flaunts intricate curves and contours, cradling plush upholstery and backrest to deliver unparalleled comfort and inject timeless aesthetics into any space.

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing

“Interior designers producing their lines of furniture are few and far between; most of them only offer interior styling and design services. Our vision is to harness 3D printing technology to bring out-of-the-box designs to fruition, and to tailor the most humancentric pieces for our clients, which is the very essence of our PYI initiative.”

With the firm’s advanced tech capabilities, the PYI initiative brings even the wildest ideas to life through 3D printing. Whether it’s conceptual renderings or AI-generated images, PYI is a shortcut to fulfilling everyone’s ideas. 

“Traditional paradigms of design and build, and their associated costs, have limited our imagination and stifled the industry. However, at the forefront of 3D design, prototyping, and printing solutions, Starz Origin aspires to break through walls by harnessing cutting-edge technologies, empowering individuals and businesses with fresh perspectives and turning clients’ imagination into a functional, living reality.”

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing

Highlighting its long-term commitment to sustainability, the team remarks that 3D printed materials are not only championed for their recyclability, but also their high melting points, which in turn, ensures strong product safety. Materials such as ABS, PET, PP, PVC, nylon, and acrylic are often found in 3D printed products.

Upon being recycled, they can be melted and moulded into new uses, creating a closed-loop, circular economy.

Leung says there’s still a common myth that 3D printing is being used only on knick-knacks and toys, which is not even remotely the case. “The reality is, the fierce competition in 3D printing has significantly brought down the production costs,” he notes.

“Factoring in the advance of materials that now go toe-to-toe with traditional materials, plus their high malleability, it has significantly revved up our drive to go all-in on 3D printing.”


When it comes to technology, there’s ongoing debate about the role of AI in displacing designers. Leung and Mo, however, are not convinced. “It’s true, AI can churn out some imaginative designs, but often they lack practicality, human touch, and also emotions” they argue.

“Transforming these designs into practical, real-world applications is where our expertise comes into play. We don’t just bring these designs back down to earth; we also breathe life into them with an emotional depth, crafting unique pieces that answer to a client’s needs.

They view AI as an invaluable tool, one that streamlines the design process and enhances efficiency, giving them a leg-up in the rapidly evolving market.

“Take our ‘Re-Imagine’ sofa. Existing AI technology is restricted to 2D effects, yet our sophisticated tech facilitates the creation of comprehensive 360-degree designs. We can transform twodimensional ideas into three-dimensional realities, such as the back of the Re-Imagine sofa, helping designers address their design pain points.” 

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing

At Starz Pasha, the dedication to human-centric design doesn’t stop at client preferences; it’s about forging an immersive experience that taps into our five senses. Mo believes that design should appeal to all senses – sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste.

“In designing an office space, for example, we take into account the tactile nature of materials in different settings, and the acoustic requirements for soundproofing areas such as the manager’s office or a conference room. As for home design, we take a holistic approach, recommending sensory fixes, including the likes of air-purifiers, water distillers, and herb gardens to achieve better ambiance.”


VersaCapsule, another flagship offering from Starz Origin, is another initiative targeting the hospitality landscape. “In traditional construction, moulds must be created before large-scale castings can commence. Due to cost constraints, each component is often identical. Now with 3D printing, moulds can be fabricated individually through additive manufacturing, which spares the costs and time associated with traditional mould-making, regardless of the design’s intricacies.

“For example, 3D printing allows each unit from a cluster of mushroom-shaped guesthouses to be unique in its own right, while offering a more cost-effective solution.”

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing

Nonetheless, guesthouses are just one of the many applications of VersaCapsule, Leung stresses. Another option could be portable homes, like the one owned by Elon Musk.

“Cost-effectiveness is of course on the top of big corporations’ agenda,” he says. “But for those who respect the art of design, creating one-of-a-kind solutions is what we’re after. With our plug and play scheme, what we need is a plot of land with access to electricity, water, and drainage. Then you can bring these capsules to the site. You can even consider adding wheels or turning it into a mobile home.”

As one of the executive committees of the Hong Kong Designers Association (HKDA), Leung is devoted to helping locals apply for grants in the field of design and technology in order to realise their business plans. He aspires to help bring Hong Kong designers to the Greater Bay Area through his work with the HKDA.

“Hong Kong is full of talent and, with the help from HKDA, I wish to pave the way for those who aspire to make a name for themselves in the GBA.”

Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing
Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing
Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing
Starz Origin is Shaking Up the Design Industry with 3D Printing
Tags: designAI3Dprintingdigitalarchitecturehuman-centricESG
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