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Teesside crowns ‘Design King’
Updated 2012-11-09
Malaysia’s Design King honoured by Teesside University following a friendship that was forged just over one year ago.

Celebrity interior designer Eric Leong recently received an honorary degree at a graduation ceremony in the city of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 3 November.

He was presented with his Doctor of Art by Teesside University’s Vice-Chancellor Graham Henderson CBE DL, who made the special journey to personally congratulate Dr Leong at the ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel.

Dr Leong, a renowned interior designer who has worked in the industry for over 20 years, holds a special place in the heart of Teesside University following a visit last year when he opened the MA Design Show and spent 10 days working with students, holding a series of workshops and masterclasses.

His enthusiasm and infectious desire left a lasting impression on staff and students and he has become a firm friend of Teesside University – inspiring the next generation of designers. Reflecting on his honorary degree, Dr Leong said: “It is a huge honour to receive an honorary degree from Teesside University and I am delighted to accept.

“I am extremely passionate about the work that I do and one of the things that struck me about Teesside University when I visited last year was how passionate the students are about what they do. They exude enthusiasm and ambition and they are two attributes that are key to succeeding in the design industry.

“The expertise within the School of Arts & Media in relation to art and design is really impressive. My work philosophy has always been that it is not just about the work that you do but how you convey it to people and that is a philosophy that Teesside University absolutely grasps.

“I am really proud to strengthen my association with Teesside University and I look forward to visiting again to work with both staff and students. Hopefully we can all inspire each other to achieve great things.”

Dr Leong is known in Malaysia as the Design King and is internationally renowned for the imagination and quality of his work. His extensive television career involves interior design programmes and his own talk show and he is also a published author, columnist and international speaker. Bold and stylish is Dr Leong’s catchphrase and his favourite design statement.

Professor Graham Henderson CBE DL said: “My colleagues and our students greatly enjoyed and appreciated Dr Leong’s visit to our University last year, and we are delighted to recognise his achievements through the award of an honorary Doctor of Art, which I am privileged and honoured to be able to present to him in his own home country.”

“Our students in both Asia and Europe fully appreciate the power of good design, and the way in which it can not only be strongly artistic, but also a practical, transformative process that can deliver many outcomes, not least a range of commercial and aesthetic benefits. Indeed, in our region, Design has been identified as a cross-cutting, transformational theme of relevance to all sectors of business and industry, which is why we believe that outstanding individuals such as Dr Leong are so important and so deserving of recognition.”