The Hong Kong-born designer founded his London firm, Isometrix Lighting and Design, in 1984. Trained as an architect at London's Architectural Association, Chan says he got into light by accident, freelancing for the Italian lighting company iGuzzini and working on the design of their showrooms. After that he took a technical course. "My initial architectural training was indispensable for perceiving three dimensions and understanding space," says the 43-year-old. Chan's first important commission was from Joseph Ettedgui, of the women's clothing retailer Joseph, in London. Ettedgui paired Chan with architect Eva Jiricna, who in turn introduced him to Richard Rogers and Michael Hopkins. A dizzying array of clients, including architects and interior designers, followed. In the last two years Chan has designed lighting for two hotels in London, the St. Martins Lane and the Sanderson.