Lily Kwong is the founder of Lily Kwong Studio (LKS), a New York-based design company focused on connecting people to nature through landscape design, art installations and innovative programming. Her passion for plants began as a Project Director for the LVMH Miami Design District, where the landscape is integrated into luxury retail and artworks ranging from Sou Fujimoto’s building facade to a Buckminster Fuller dome. Lily’s experience working in the tropics led her to study sustainable design with horticulturalists from South Florida to the New York Botanical Garden. Drawing inspiration from the Minimalist and Land Art movements, Lily uses plant life as a medium to re-imagine the urban landscape.
Lily works at the nexus of landscape design, fashion and culture. Her unique approach focuses on layering a living ecosystem with other art forms and dynamic activations. In 2015, Lily spearheaded a project with American Forests’ reforestation program and sustainable brand, Amour Vert, to plant 100,000 trees across North America. In 2016, she brought over 12,000 tropical plants to industrial Brooklyn to create vertical gardens and streetscapes for the Mirage, an outdoor music venue.
This project led Summit Series to invite Lily to participate in their Artist Residency program, where she created an installation for the influential conference’s ‘Skylodge’ center. In April 2017, Lily’s 5,000 square foot interior garden project opened for the 14th Factory, an arts education non profit. It is the designer's response to the threat of climate change, and provided vital green space for the community in a neglected section of downtown Los Angeles.
For the 2017 summer solstice, Lily created a quarter-mile landscape installation on the High Line in partnership with the brand St-Germain. The project featured 13,000 flowers and 200 linear feet of greenwalls, in addition to a performance “The-Solar-Do-Nothing-Dance” developed with Mafalda Millies, a collaborator of Mana Contemporary. The project received accolades from Vogue Magazine, the New York Times, Whitewall, InStyle, Elle Décor and New York Magazine.
Lily is an important voice in the growing sustainable fashion movement and has worked with brands like Maiyet, Piece & Co. and H&M’s Conscious Collection to make the world a greener, more sustainable place. American Vogue recognized Lily as one of the 120 most important fashion influencers, and the New York Times recently named her one of “9 Young New Yorkers Poised for Creative Greatness.” Lily is also a contributor to the esteemed art magazine, Cultured. She hosts Ask Them More, a podcast that features thought-provoking interviews with inspiring women like WIE founder Dee Poku, poet Cleo Wade and entrepreneur Cindy Gallop.
Lily graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University while working with prominent sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh as a film and multimedia fellow at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.