Lisa Hinderdael

Lisa is trained internationally across architecture, interiors and urban design, she focuses on HagenHinderdael’s design consultancy and brand strategy projects and is actively involved in the early stages of conceptual designs to ensure buildability and affordability. She is responsible for managing interior and landscape design projects from concept through to completion, bringing our 3D printed collectible designs into developer-led, private residential, retail & hospitality schemes across the globe. Alongside her creative outputs for the studio, Lisa also oversees the operations and finance at HagenHinderdael.

A natural born leader with a multidisciplinary skillset, Lisa’s career spans a diversity of senior roles – from providing strategic and financial direction in how to grow design-led creative studios such as DaeWha Kang Design, to establishing new revenue streams and fostering her creative passion for product and installation design at Design Haus Liberty. It is here she also spent seven years, starting as an intern and becoming Operations Partner responsible for the running of both the architecture and lighting business and leading the team through its infancy and international growth phases in China and Hong Kong. Across her career, she has delivered bespoke installations for high-end brands including Cartier, the Four Seasons, and the Waldorf Astoria; designed the award-winning teardrop light and interactive Dewfall feature installation for the Venice Biennale; and been selected as a traveling scholar to the Veneto.

Belgian born, American raised, Lisa completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and further studies of her Masters of Architecture in Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture London.

I am fortunate to come from a bilingual household where my parents valued enriching our lives with travel and cultural experiences, over a typical American upbringing. Family was at the forefront of our childhood with sit-down dinners only spoken in Flemish a must. This inherent family time has made me someone who believes highly in work-life balance and that our lives are only made better by traveling and taking in new perspectives.

In my early years, I was put through Montessori teachings which instilled in me creative ways of learning, before attending an international school where class settings were intimate and relationship building was key. It is here I also joined many sports teams – from distance running in track & field, to all-star football, swim, and basketball. Being part of these teams and communities instilled in me teamwork and a strong drive – motivating me to achieve goals that I set for myself. This hard work ethic certainly comes from my parents who for weeks at a time would be away for work travel but always made time for family when home. Showing me that even with children, your own dreams and ambitions are achievable.

I see these all culminating and shaping me into who I am today – although less fit, very nurturing, driven and always having the want to start my own business and commit my work ethic unforgivingly; all whilst making time to travel with my family each year.

What sparked your interest in architecture?

I always knew I wanted to be creative from my early childhood. Growing up with a mother who was an architectural engineer, I was surrounded by the sound of construction sites – undergoing five separate renovations to our childhood home. I attended weekend art classes, took up an interest in animation design, and was always visiting exhibitions and galleries in my hometown (Washington DC). But the true moment that I found architecture was when I received a small book about FallingWater. I fell in love with the connection between nature and modern lines, and the idea that this was something someone designed so deliberately down to its last detail that integrated seamlessly within its surroundings.


 The biggest misconception about architecture is?

The biggest misconception about architecture is that it only applies to buildings or spaces. I believe that architecture comes at all scales and is a multi-disciplinary skillset. It’s for me the framework from which all spaces and objects come into existence. Beyond this, I believe architecture is also fundamentally grounded in and entwined with psychology and user experience – and that the more intimately we design architecture the more successful it will be

What inspired you to start HagenHinderdael’s design consultancy?

Having spent several years in a high-end luxury architecture and interiors practice, I found myself intimately interested in the feature art installations and smaller components (product) that we were producing. I had started a lighting line, delivered large-scale art installations, ventured into new sides of the business from opening an office in Hong Kong to building a design team to 20 people with over £1.5m turnover, but felt I had lost my creative touch and why I entered into architecture and design in the first place. I decided it was time to step away and begin my own design company focusing on pairing product design with art. The natural next step for me was that with my skillsets, I wanted to find a like-minded individual with the same drive and interests to become my business partner. This is when Sofia Hagen and myself (formerly colleagues at Director level) decided to begin HagenHinderdael.

What has been your biggest challenge in your career

The biggest challenge in my career has been accepting that all good things must come to an end. I am blessed to have had a very diverse trajectory from having started in interiors, to taking on lighting products and installations before venturing into 3D printed objects, furniture, and applications. My diverse education in urban design, architecture, and interiors has allowed me to be adaptable to these changes and I feel I have learnt to see that each new chapter although may feel like a conclusion is always a stepping stone to something greater and (often) better.

What do you think of smart cities? Are they the future?

I don’t believe that smart cities are the future but rather well planned cities where small scale installations or elements have larger scale impact – whether for the people, the environment, or the city itself.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, I was in the midst of deciding what school of architecture I wanted to attend. I was touched by one particular project where bus stops were being re-designed and became moved by the way in which small, artistic interventions could provoke major change in the psychology of a community. Combining my interests in architecture and psychology, I wanted to pursue design that was for the people – always giving back to its end-user.  Having veered off to explore other areas of design such as interiors, urban planning, and architectural building – I found that it is this tactility with the human scale and psychological impact of design that always pulled me back in my career and re-focused my path. Leading me to find a synergy in the micro-macro relationship of design. It is in these interventions, whether they be made using 3D printed applications from bio-waste materials or by the local community and artists re-using raw materials at source, that I see the future of our cities.

 Your proudest moments have been?

In 2016, I designed the Dewfall installation at the Venice Biennale ‘Time, Space, Existence’ exhibit. Nestled within a dark, mirrored room – nearly 80 lights in the shapes of dewdrops would glow and when approached strike thunder with the entire room shutting off before starting to sprinkle rain and turn back on again. Seeing my work on a global stage and watching people interact with it at the opening was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

In 2020, I set up HagenHinderdael with Sofia Hagen. Taking a leap of faith into the unknown at a time of global uncertainty is something I will always be grateful for. I believe it has shaped my design ethos and really helped me push myself to the limits to run my own business – with each day an opportunity for a learning experience from which to grow.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to venture into architecture?

I will pass on the advice I was given when I graduated university which has always stuck with me as a motivating factor : “love what you do first and foremost.”

What drives you ?

Although female designers face corporate ceilings in terms of pay levels and reaching managerial status, I do not feel I see this same challenge in the ability to express ourselves through design. I think that design at its very core is subjective – and perhaps that is the beauty behind it. That no matter what gender has produced a design, there will be those who love it and those who do not. The ability to be able to design, without limitations, and see your ideas come to fruition is the most rewarding part of being a creative and has driven me to start my own design business as there is nothing like being your own boss – both from a motivational perspective but also from a mental health perspective.

 How do you spend your free time

My free time is very limited these days as I have an 18 month old toddler so I am enjoying every moment of seeing her grow and develop – from mark-making to singing lullabies together. Apart from this, my partner and I are very fond of nature and spend our weekends going for long walks and hikes in and around our home in Hertfordshire, or further afield in the UK.  I have always been a “suburb” baby and believe there is a strong importance to being able to turn-off and commute home rather than live in the heart of the City.

What’s next for Lisa and the firm?

As of March 2024, HagenHinderdael  split into two entities – with all our products to date remaining in the HagenHinderdael Collection. I am looking into further applications of 3D printed bio-materials within both the public realm and interiors  – continuing to work at all scales from urban design to feature installations and objects.

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