Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Stanley Siu (SS) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Stanley Siu by clicking here.
Interview with Stanley Siu at Tuesday 20th of May 2014
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SS: Stanley Siu grew up and studied in New Zealand where he received his Bachelor of Architecture from UNITEC School of Architecture. He returned to Hong Kong after graduation and has practiced as an architect on a number of residential, commercial, master planning, cultural and sustainability projects in Hong Kong and China. He is now a senior architect at Gravity Partnership responsible for project design from inception to detailed design stages, and project administration including building approval application to local authorities, through preliminary design stage to project completion. Stanley’s passion in architecture has extended from profession to institution, as a full member and a board member of the Hong Kong Institute of Architect, he participated in several committees and helped organize a number of major events for the Institute and other Non-Profit Organizations including Yan Oi Tong, Friends of the Earth (HK), World Vision, Heep Hong Society and St. James’ Settlement. Stanley’s professional activities and interests are split equally between architecture and contemporary art. He participated as a team in 2011-2012 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture showing the work “Sugar Treasure”. In May 2013, Stanley has collaborated with a local artist and showcased their exhibition “Crafting Sky”. Within the same year, Stanley was invited as an exhibitor to showcase his works in two group exhibitions amongst other renowned architects and artists. The first one is the Social Innovation Festival by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Jockey Club Design Institute and the Reveal exhibition organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. In 2014, Stanley co-founded 100ft Park, a non-commercial art space aiming to provide an open platform for the local young artists to share their creative thoughts. In 2012 Stanley found a group called Daydreamers Design, it is an art & design collaboration constantly engaged in the art, design, and architectural scene locally and globally. Aiming to synthesize individual methodologies and educe sophisticated design solutions through research, curatorship, collaboration with various artists and designers, as well as active engagements in social dialogue. With the leadership of Stanley, Daydreamers Design have participated the 2013 Lantern Wonderland competition organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and they have received the Gold Award. The winning design “Rising Moon” was constructed within 12 days and exhibited during the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Victoria Park, a combination of large scale public art and architecture. Sustainability was the fundamental concept; Stanley has decided using recycled water bottles and low energy consumption LED lights to construct the 20 meters diameter hemisphere and it was well received by the public. During the festival, the media was overwhelmed by the winning design locally and globally, therefore attracted over 500,000 local and overseas visitors to gathered at Rising Moon with their family and friends during the festival. Stanley was able to demonstrate his design and management abilities by leading his design team and the whole consultant team for this magnificent project and the outcome was successful. By using the architecture and art medium, Stanley not only unified the locals harmonically during the festival, but also demonstrated to the overseas countries that Hong Kong architects are able to produce world class design and have the ability to compete with the rest of the world within the field of architecture and art. In 2014, Stanley has received the Young Architect Awards 2013 by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. This is one the most prestigious award in Hong Kong to honour and acknowledge the talents and contribution of Stanley’s achievements in the field of Art and Architecture.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SS: Daydreamers Design, it is an art & design collaboration constantly engaged in the art, design, and architectural scene locally and globally. Aiming to synthesize individual methodologies and educe sophisticated design solutions through research, curatorship and collaboration with various artists and designers, as well as active engagements in social dialogue.
FS: What is "design" for you?
SS: Design is when imaginations and dreams came true.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SS: Anything challenging.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
SS: Rising Moon. It is a design that balances between aesthetic & capability, and also a great response to our nature.
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SS: Rising Moon.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SS: I will first consider to re-use existing materials as to minimize impact to our nature.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SS: As the deadline is approaching.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
SS: "Context, Aesthetic, Capability and Response to our Nature."
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
SS: "I feel excited when ideas are running through my mind, where you feel anything is possible."
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SS: I get goose-bumps.
FS: What makes a design successful?
SS: "A successful design is what designed for people."
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SS: "Context, Aesthetic, Capability and Response to our Nature."
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SS: As an architect, I will try to deliver the message of sustainability through my architectural design, like Rising Moon, to produce a design that would arouse the public on the awareness of environment and also our society.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
SS: Sustainability is definitely one of the major considerations in our future design.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SS: “Design Shanghai 2013” Art Exhibition at Power Station of Art, Shanghai. “Affordable Art Fair 2014” Art Exhibition at HKCEC, Hong Kong.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SS: My inspiration usually came from our nature, my daily life and my knowledge on contemporary arts.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
SS: My inspiration usually came from our nature, my daily life, my memories, and my knowledge on contemporary arts.
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
SS: I am based in Hong Kong where the East meet West and it is a 24-hours city. It is important for an architect to work and live in a city that he or she is comfortable with. Hong Kong gives me a lot of inspiration on design because it is a multi cultural city and a contemporary art hub where one can meet different kinds of people and see various art works which allows the architect to open up their thoughts.
FS: How do you work with companies?
SS: Strike a balance between Capability & Design.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
SS: Sketch, Trial, Error. "Drawing, Testing, Failing & Arguing and repeating a hundred times more."
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
SS: Lifts, Electricity Socket, Water Faucet, Internet router & Refrigerator.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SS: I am a daydreamer, I daydream everyday.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SS: Make as much mistakes as possible while you are still young.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
SS: Architect's life is full of excitement but at the same time you will be facing a lot of deadlines therefore you will sacrifice most of your social and sleeping time.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
SS: It is important for a designer to able to sketch in order to deliver his or her ideas.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
SS: My inspiration usually came from our nature, my daily life and my knowledge on contemporary arts. I develop my concepts through sketches and within our studio; we are using all kinds of architectural software from drafting to 3d modeling. Recently we are starting to make study models with 3d printing machine.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
SS: This is why we work as a team and within our team we share our workloads.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
SS: It depends on the scale of the project and the actual time allow for this particular project, but usually 2 to 3 weeks from initial concept to final rendering.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
SS: "how did you came up with such great idea?" "Why?"
FS: What was your most important job experience?
SS: As a teenager, i usually spent my summer helping my uncle who was a graphic & signage designer in New Zealand. His studio was basically our garage where he sketches, paints and manufactures sign boards. Through observation and actual physical help i have learn the fundamental of design and set a solid foundation for my future career. He has taught me the basic of design through craftsmanship.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
SS: Hong Kong Tourism Board, Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Heritage Museum.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SS: I like architectural design the most mainly because I was educated as an architect and I consider architecture as the complex of all arts.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SS: Our studio will continue to participate in various projects in the field of art & architecture. We will continue to pursuit our dreams.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SS: One of our studio's core values is Teamwork; we believed that great designs came from discussions and debates. Therefore, most of our concepts were developed as a team.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
SS: Recently our studio was invited by the Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong to design an permanent sculpture in one of their new environmental treatment facility. They were impressed with our design Rising Moon and would like our studio to come up with a new design that would arouse the public on the awareness of sustainability.
FS: How can people contact you?
SS: Anyone who would like to contact me can send me an email to my personal email: email@example.com
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
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