Born in Zambia and raised in South Africa she obtained a Master’s degree in urban planning, before moving to Asia 28 years ago. After completing a Masters degree in environmental science, she worked in London and Hong Kong for leading environmental specialists on several urban regeneration projects.
In 2000, Shaw relocated to Tokyo, Japan, where over a decade she wrote on Japanese architecture, art, and design. She returned to Hong Kong six years ago.
Shaw has authored the past five editions of the Wallpaper* Tokyo City Guide and recently edited the first book in English on design essays written by the Japanese product designer Sori Yanagi. This year she was responsible for a comprehensive update of the Louis Vuitton City Guide for Hong Kong, and is currently writing a book on Hong Kong artisans for Assouline. Shaw contributes to a wide range of leading magazines including Interior Design, Wallpaper*, Design Anthology, Vogue Italia, as well as news media including the Financial Times and the South China Morning Post. She is the Asia-Pacific contributing editor for the New York-based Metropolis magazine. Shaw is a regular speaker and moderator at design events.