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Interview with Vault Design Lab

Home > Designer Interviews > Vault Design Lab

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Vault Design Lab (VDL) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Vault Design Lab by clicking here.

Interview with Vault Design Lab at Sunday 3rd of May 2020
Mixy Ooi
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?
VDL: I’m one of the founder of Vault Design Lab, a full- service interior design firm based in Penang, Malaysia. I play role as Managing Director and I’ve accumulated 6 years of working experience in high-end private residential interior design. Our design lab emphasizes on unique, premium and elegant character in spaces. I developed my interest in design since I was in high school. I chose to become an interior designer.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
VDL: Vault Design Lab (VDL) was founded in 2015 by three young and widely acclaimed professional interior designers. Unbound by tradition, VDL redefines space, form and experience in each project by exploring extensively the cultural implications embedded in every assignment. It customizes a unique design style all time by means of contemporary design language. VDL's vision is to create design that integrates both functionality and aesthetics, to improve cultural experience and life quality offered by the space, and to provide customers with excellent space design and unforgettable user experience.

FS: What is "design" for you?
VDL: Personally, I think design is a powerful communication tool, with no boundary and limit. It speaks with an attitude. A designer’s attitude will shape the end product (the design itself).

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
VDL: Private residential. I like the intimacy while designing a residential project where I could have the chance to have deeper conversations with the client until we reach a mutual agreement on the design direction. I love the challenge of translating and transforming the design brief into the real-life product, where the client claims it as home.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
VDL: Modern Eclectic Design. I love the harmony in space when disparate styles, contrasting colour, textural pattern plays create a cohesive and appealing interior space. It mixing the old, the new, the modern and the classic, beautifully create some fun and endless possibilities to a space design.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
VDL: When I’m alone, having a drinks or two at the bar or in a coffee shop. Ideas always flow in when I’m observing the crowd.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
VDL: A lot of excitement.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
VDL: Always a great sense of satisfaction and recognition.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
VDL: The design details and the design characteristics

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
VDL: I like to watch the interviews with great designers. A good interview always is a food for thought, it develops my thinking further. Besides, magazine is a good material to feed the creativity.

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?
VDL: I love to explore sophisticated and timeless elegance design. That’s our design lab design direction as well. I appreciate premium and luxury goods. I focus on details that would bring out the essence of luxury, from the selection of fabric texture to the decorative paintings. I keen to explore more delicate and expensive details in this industry.

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?
VDL: I live in Penang, Malaysia. I do agree that cultural heritage of the country will affect the design. There is limited material sourcing within the country. We usually need to travel abroad eg. China to source for more complex and distinctive materials. In Malaysia, material choices and production methods are very limited, which indirectly constraining the design we would like to achieve. Malaysia is a layback country which is still in early stage to explore advanced/ leading technology in the design industry, instead more traditional method is used in the industry. However, we very much appreciate the craftsmanship and heritage value in this country. It is something that can’t be simply replaced by technology in all means. We take this as advantage to apply in our projects. We collaborate with carpenters, ironsmith and crafters to produce customized design and other delicate details in our projects.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
VDL: Attitude is everything. My partners and I appreciate good manners, keen learner with positive competitive attitude. Adventurous will be a bonus point.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
VDL: I always start with visualisation after the first site visit and first talk with client. I will collage the pictures in mind and have further research on the design ideas I would like to deliver. At the same time, I follow up closely with client on their needs and try to put myself in their shoes during the problem-solving process.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
VDL: Carpet, floor lamp, incense chamber, armchair, designer poster

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
VDL: A good day starts with an energetic shower with nice jazz music. I will take 30 minutes to browse through news and work tasks before I step into the office. My daily delight is a cup of coffee to start the busy and exciting day ahead.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
VDL: Positive- I can create interesting space. Sometimes, I’m able to do some magic to the space, making the impossible possible. Negative- A hobby that will take all your focus away, so sacrifice personal time is unavoidable.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
VDL: Try not to repeat the same design elements used in previous project. Explore new solutions.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
VDL: Design software- Google SketchUp, 3ds Max, AutoCad, Adobe Photoshop Magazines- Kinfolk, Design Anthology

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
VDL: Varies, shortest 1 month to longest up to half a year

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
VDL: What’s your difference from the other designers in the local industry?

FS: Who are some of your clients?
VDL: Mostly professional / businessman

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
VDL: Currently, our design lab is involved in commercial design, a hotel project in Penang. In this assignment, we are experimenting the type of materials and bold colour palette to create a vibrant sensation of the common space and hotel rooms. We expect more impact from the combination, a breakthrough from our previous projects’ shades.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
VDL: As a team

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
VDL: A private residential bungalow with privileged site location , in Kedah, Malaysia. The site is surrounded by lush greeneries and a stream. I’m excited to design the spaces with good visual connection to the nature, to provide a multi-sensory experience that can ensure a strong relationship between the end user and the surrounding itself.

FS: How can people contact you?
VDL: Through email mixy@vdl.com.my


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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