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Interview with Yusheng (akira) Deng

Home > Designer Interviews > Yusheng (akira) Deng

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Yusheng (akira) Deng (YD) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Yusheng (akira) Deng by clicking here.

Interview with Yusheng (akira) Deng at Sunday 20th of April 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?
YD: I started design when I was in the first year of my Secondary school life. I picked Design & Technology as my subject because I was very interested in constructing new objects with wood / plastic since when I was small. My passion in design grew more and more as time goes by in the secondary school, and finally I decided to become a designer and to do the product design major for my university. I always wanted to be a designer because I like to see people reacting happily to a new object that they can interact physically in their hands.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
YD: I met my friend Samson So Ming Cheung in my secondary school and to me, he was the only one who shared the same passion with me. Therefore, we decided to get together as a design partners to always get together to talk about few designs that we like or dislike. It eventually lead us to join this competition as we wanted to see how we actually do in the design field, and it did not disappoint us.

FS: What is "design" for you?
YD: Design to me is something that has to be simple, practical and the user should never get bored of it.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
YD: My favourite kind of design is of course the product design, but however I have big interest in graphic design since it is about having to please the user's visual sense in such simple ways.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
YD: I have a lot of designs that I love, but designs that is simple yet functional appeal to me the most. For example, the macbook pro designed by Sir Jonathan Ive is something that find very interesting because he has produced a very simple object but also very precisely, and also it took care of every material's choice, so to me, it is a wonderful object mixed with simplicity and practicality.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
YD: The first thing I designed for a company is actually a packaging to store tea leaves. However, since the company was pretty small, I also helped them to design business cards, logo, and so on.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
YD: I like every material / platform / technology and I do not have anything that I favour the most because I believe that all material / platform / technology can be favoured according to how it is used, how well it had performed and so on. So if it was successful, it could be favoured.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
YD: I do not have a time where I feel creative. I feel creative when there is a sudden new part of an idea where I can apply on other things. Therefore, when those time occur, it will be the most creative time of the day.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
YD: When Im designing the products, I mainly focus on how the user will be reacting to the product and will the user be using it just the way I want them to.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
YD: I have a very positive emotion when I am designing matters because I believe good outcomes will be produced once you have set your emotions right.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
YD: I feel motivated when my designs are successful when they realised my design because I think that realised design is not just about the personal contribution but it is about how my product can help the people's lives, so I will be more motivated to design more for the people.

FS: What makes a design successful?
YD: A design is successful when the user want to have it just from the way it looks, and they never get bored even they have been using it for a long time.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
YD: I consider about the aesthetic, practicality and value-for-money of the product.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
YD: The responsibility a designer should have for the society and environment is to be able to produce something that should sustain the environment but also to help the society to make people's life more efficient. Designer stand in between of the society and environment because they need to make sure that the cost of society and environment need to be equal.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
YD: More and more people have interest in the design field, but I believe some people misunderstood the concept of being a designer because they think that designer is about being an artist who can make a lot of money. I will never think of it that way, and I have a strong curiosity about how the future of this design will work.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
YD: I never had exhibition and one day I would like my designs to be exhibited somewhere where anyone on the street can see.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
YD: The design inspiration comes from anything really. When I look at an object, I think deeply about how it can be applied to any of my designs, and how a existing design can be further developed to make a better design or how to design something that can help to solve even the smallest problem they have near me.

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?
YD: My design style can be concluded in one word, "Simplicity". I believe that only the simple designs will let the people focus more on their life. I will start off with thinking about basic geometric shapes then develop according to the function, usage and user.

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?
YD: I live in Hong Kong, and I believe that Hong Kong has affected me hugely on my design since Hong Kong is an international city, so I can get in touch with many cultures. However, the research price in Hong Kong is relatively, high, so it is very hard to do design research first hand.

FS: How do you work with companies?
YD: I will frequently go back to the companies to ask them about the design so I can make changes as they go. Although sometimes people will think that it is a very troublesome thing to do, but I believe that that is the only way for the designer and client to progress smoothly in the fastest way.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
YD: I think that companies should choose someone who is dedicated in the design field and who is patient with every needs of the client, so they will do their best to mix their needs with his or her own design sense.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
YD: When I design, I focus mostly on the User so I do a lot of research on the User. Then, I will do researches on material since every product should use different material, and it needs to be very aware about the environmental factors as well. I usually design 15-20 initial designs, then do product developments until I can put all those initial designs in one to make a final design.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
YD: Everything I own in my home has very good design because I consider aesthetic as one of the biggest factor that will lead me to buy things. Therefore, I cannot choose the best 5 design items, but I have a very specific taste to the aesthetic of the design I would buy.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
YD: I usually wake up, eat breakfast, then start my day off with surfing the internet on my laptop to get updated with my social media and news. Then, after an hour or two, I will do the things that I should be doing, like academic related things. If I am free, I sometimes go out with my friends or do design-related things. Then, after dinner in the night time, I might watch some TV, relax and recreation (games), chat with faraway friends or family online, do housework or do things that I have not finish doing then go to sleep.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
YD: I consider myself as a rookie in the design field, so I do not think I have the rights to have suggestion to any designers because I would like to learn more from professional designs. However, if I have to give one design suggestions, I would give them an advice that start the design from small objects and something that can interact closely with human being because in this way it will be much easier to design something and can learn how a good design should look like.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
YD: The positive of being a design is that you can have a lot of time to go see the world to gain some inspiration and admire the existing beautiful designs in the world, but the native things of being a designer is that it is very difficult to satisfy everyone in the world with a design.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
YD: My golden rule in design is, "Simple, practical and useful".

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
YD: The biggest skill of being a designer is to be able to imagine things in the brain from the overall aesthetic to the smallest more precise part of a product. Even if the final product does not look like the one in the brain that you first think of, but as long as you can imagine thing in a 3D way, it will be much easier to design things out.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
YD: I use all sorts of software, like Solidworks, Adobe and drawing pads. However, I use pen and pencils with markers as well when I first start to design a certain objects. Also, to me, everything is a source of inspiration, so I enjoy looking at everything to gain my inspiration.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
YD: Design can really be a time consuming task, but I manage my time well so always start to think about my design whenever my brain is free, like when I am showering or on the bus. This will be able to make me think all the time to come up with a better design. The rest is all about showing it on paper and make few product development, so it might save time than to start thinking on the paper.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
YD: To me, it take me about 1-2 months to fully start from a design problem to a final design product that is ready to be manufacture. However, it is all about the size and the condition of the design context or how the product is used, so the time may vary up to a year as well.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
YD: Most people ask why I would like to be a product designer from a young age when other people has more flexible dream job they wanted to do.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
YD: My most important job experience is to be able to work with professional designers.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
YD: Companies that wants to start up businesses.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
YD: I love to do product design the most because I like to think why they have been designed in a particular way and if it is possible to change its design to come up with a better one. I always try to think outside the box to come up with different designs. Furthermore, being a communica- tor I like to pull out these ideas in my brain into the real world to share with everyone

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
YD: My future plan is to be able to work in a big company to contribute more to the society in the design field. My next is to go into a good art university to gain good knowledge and to increase my level in product design. I would also compete in more design competition to know where I stand in the design field.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
YD: I can work as a design team, but I can work well with myself as well. I like working in a team because I can gain good knowledge and learn more things from other people but I like to work by myself well because it gives me more space to explore different design product possibilities.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
YD: I do not have a work in progress design now, but soon I will be designing a packaging box for another company.

FS: How can people contact you?
YD: By email will be fine.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
YD: Not that I am aware of.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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