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Interview with Paul Bo Peng

Home > Designer Interviews > Paul Bo Peng

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

Interview with Paul Bo Peng at Wednesday 6th of May 2020
Paul Bo Peng
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?
PBP: I graduated from a Bachelor of Engineering in 1984 in China. Soon after, I realized that architecture is more my passion. After graduation, I worked for a few years in an architecture office, then I went on to study English and a Masters of Architecture at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, 1996. I always loved music, drawing and playing the cello. I guess arts and design was always my thing.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PBP: I founded IAPA in 1998 in Sydney, Australia. A few years later in 2002, I established IAPA Guangzhou office in China. Now IAPA, is one of the leading Australian practitioners of the urban planning, architectural design, heritage conservation, landscape design and interior design. We provide international design services to leading developers all over the world. IAPA has a truly multicultural working environment. the architects not only come from Australia and China but also come from countries in Europe, North and South America, and other parts of Asia. Whilst working at IAPA, each architect is expected to give a presentation describing their homeland culture, customs, food, music and sports to share with the other architects at IAPA. No matter where you come from, your cultural, religious or educational background, as long as you possess talent in design, IAPA has an open and international design platform that will allow you to display your talents to the world.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PBP: For me, design is not blindly worshipping the vague words “form” and “ism”. Design is about providing a place for human life, establishing a balanced and vibrant relationship between people, nature and society. Most importantly, its purpose is to provide a social space that can accommodate the diversity of modern city life.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PBP: I like to challenge myself, so I like working on challenging design projects. I like the challenge of solving the design problem whilst maintaining a cutting edge design aesthetic. It’s rewarding to design a work that will be remembered as a masterpiece.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PBP: Using local materials, tailored to local site conditions is always my top priority in the design process.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PBP: When I visit the beautiful site, that is the moment I feel the most creative.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PBP: I tend to focus on the progression from the design concept to design schematic, then from the schematic to the design development.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PBP: A sense of reward and satisfaction in being a part of its creation.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PBP: Cultural perspective, strong sensitivity, creativity and a clearly identifiable aesthetic principle.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PBP: A good design should be natural and fit into the surroundings with harmony.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PBP: Transcendent thinking. Designers need to transcend established social attributes, ideological attributes, cultural attributes and aesthetic attributes, and all practical utilitarian values and think beyond the status quo to shape the future and our environment.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PBP: The design field is constantly evolving; the future development of design is unpredictable.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PBP: Our last exhibition was “Architectural Ideas of IAPA” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Our next exhibition will be held later this year at the Guangzhou Grand Theatre during the Guangzhou Design Week.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PBP: The main source of my inspiration often comes from the observation of unfamiliar places or seeing an object inadvertently while I’m traveling, I found myself becoming very alert, aware and easily inspired in that environment.

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?
PBP: It's hard to define a specific design style, more often the design depends on the individual aspects of the project. If this is a style, it can be called a natural contemporary design style.

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?
PBP: I am Australian Chinese, born in China, studied in Sydney, currently working in Guangzhou, China. My cultural background advanced my ability of reinterpret oriental traditional culture into the modern design context.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
PBP: Select designers that are skilled and be passionate

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PBP: Shape, function, Space, lights, visual impact.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PBP: Design is a hard work, if you choose to be a designer, you need to absolutely love it.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
PBP: I think the positive side of being a designer is trained to be perceptive and able to enjoy the beauty of arts. Be prepared because designing is a hard work.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PBP: Be completely immersed in the design work

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PBP: Creativity and perceptiveness

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PBP: Physical working models, computer 3D models, and VR.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PBP: Set a working program, and stick to it!.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
PBP: It depends on the scale and size of the project, one of my urban park and city library projects took us 8 years from beginning to end.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PBP: Local governments and developers.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
PBP: Public and cultural projects. The design can reflect and rebuild relationships of interpersonal and communities.

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

FS: How can people contact you?
PBP: Via company website, www.iapa.net.au/www.iapa.com.cn


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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