What is your current job? What are you busy doing recently?
I graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts not too long ago and is currently working as a freelance designer while searching for a job。 I’ve recently returned from an overseas trip and have been updating my design portfolio。
As you mention that within normalcy is where you seek potential ideas and solutions through keen observation and analysis, can you give us a specific example?
When something happens so often, one can easily overlook it。 In a project about food wastage, I observed the processes and elements within the context of my kitchen and remembered all the times when there were always leftover rice in the rice cooker。 Why isn’t there a solution for rice wastage for rice cookers when there is a clear relation to it? Could the leftover rice be used again? It was simple question leading to another。 These questions opens up a deeper subject for analysis and it is important to identify and piece together the right questions。 What seems to be a common scenario lead to my design concept for Mirai rice cooker。
You have experience in multi-disciplinary design projects. What does "multi-disciplinary" refer to? Compared to “professional”, what is its advantage?
In my experience, I started out as an industrial designer and worked on not only products but graphics, packaging, UI/UX, interior and even automation as I progressed in my studies and career。 Being exposed to the different disciplines of design made me realized that despite the difference in the design outcome, the method of thinking and process is very similar。
I believe that the most important advantage of being multi-disciplined is the ability to adapt。 Through the different experiences, we accumulate new skills and knowledge that can be applicable and adaptable to our future works。 Furthermore, exposure to different fields gives us valuable insights into the ongoing trends of the different disciplines。
You position yourself as an emerging designer. In your opinion what is the difference between emerging designer and predecessor?
I think that technology plays a big part in differentiating emerging designers and our predecessor. In the past, designers used AutoCAD or hand drawings to draft designs and use markers to render their designs. Now, with the aid of computers, 3D and rendering software allow us to create more sophisticated shapes and produce photorealistic images. We can easily rapid prototype designs with 3D print as compared to the past where designs have to be hand crafted. I think this is reflected in how designers are being educated now where they become more reliant on technology. I believe that this difference can be overcome easily due to the fact that designers are always adapting to new changes.
Most designers agree that “design comes from life”. How do you usually do to extract elements from life and transform them into design?
“灵感来自经验的积累”,这是我在Karim Rashid 的讲座上听到的一句话,我完全赞成这句话。个人来讲,我喜欢去观察我身边事物的细节,对自己提问,试着去搞清楚为什么这些东西是这样的。这样让我有一种设计的意识,这对于设计师要粗类拔萃非常重要。这种好奇心也训练着我从不同的角度去思考,我相信大脑会将它转化成一种经验,适应我的设计。
Inspiration comes from an accumulation of experiences; a phrase I heard during a Karim Rashid lecture which I totally agreed on. Personally, I tend to observe things around me in detail, asking myself questions and trying to make sense of why certain things are done certain way. This creates a sense of design awareness which I think is very important for a designer in order to excel. This curiosity trains me to think from different perspectives and I believe that the mind retains this as a sort of experience that is adaptable to my design.
How do you define a good design?
A good design is when I look at it and there is absolutely nothing I will change about it.
Singapore is a country where many races and cultures merge together. Does this environment influence your design?
I would say that my design is more likely to be influenced by social and environmental issues。 But then again, it would depend on who I am designing for。 Knowledge in regards to the cultural tolerances of different races and religion is essential if they are the target market。
What kind of design challenge are you expecting to meet?
New hardware and software technologies are constantly emerging and it would be a challenge to adapt quickly.