In 2020, Vy Truong and Han Dangco-founded the emerging Houston-based architectural design firm, Very Nice Studio [VHS]. Together, the duo, like Megane and Beyonce in Savagehas a decade of industry experience, specializing in housing, education, hospitality and commerce.
Truong was born in Houston and attended Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, specializing in interior architecture. Truong’s mother was a real estate agent and often remembers visiting open houses, “not so great houses”. After witnessing many dull spaces, Truong became interested in transforming them, “After seeing so many, the first thing you want to do is [ask yourself the question] … how can I improve this space? It was then that she began her journey as an interior designer. So, after her college career was over, she quickly concluded that staying in her hometown would be financially beneficial. After all, this is Act I of their rebirth.
Shit, one Vietnamese native, also studied at Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and holds a degree in interior architecture. During adolescence, his insatiable desire for placement and texture was evident. She has the memory of collecting design magazines and cutting pages. While in college, she studied abroad in central Europe. This visit was a revelation for inner inspiration.
When Covid-19 hit, completely enclosing downtown Houston, it harmed many businesses in various industries. In contrast, the economic downturn allowed Dang and Truong to solidify their workshop at a much lower price. Nonetheless, the design dyad remained positive and became more responsive to the growth and development of their business, “You win some, you lose some.” To date, their agency has seen an increase in new accounts, resulting in over twenty assignments since its inception.
Very Nice Studio enthusiastically works in tandem with a plethora of establishments as well as a myriad of restaurants flourishing near their headquarters. Still in its infancy, VHS’s Truong and Dang are far beyond achieving anything they ever imagined.
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VHS projects include a concept smashing burger with a cellar theme, children’s academy, speakeasy sushi bar alongside a Italian seafood restaurant. Finally, Truong and Dang are excited to share their eclectic designs with the world, “We knock on wood until the doors open.” And soon they will be on the podium receiving a Cooper Hewitt, the National Design Award from the Smithsonian Design Museum.
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Article: Vaughn LoweryLana Heaney