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Interview with Li Yu Chen

Home > Designer Interviews > Li Yu Chen

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

Interview with Li Yu Chen at Monday 26th of April 2021
Li Yu Chen
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?
LYC: I have been a designer for over 30 years. I also have been teaching and conducting research in architecture and interior design for more than 30 years. It has been my passion to work as an architect and interior designer.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LYC: The company, Creative Design Center, CYCU, integrates design professionals and takes a full range of design services as the guide to perform various design project entrusted tasks. It aims at a full range of design services, executing project commissioned tasks, integrating professional teams of teachers from architecture, interior, commercial design, etc., to provide creative professional design services. The scope of services includes architectural design, landscape design, interior design, product design, Integrated services such as cultural and creative products, and visual design.

FS: What is "design" for you?
LYC: Design is about aesthetics and the reflection of perceptuality. Designers should be able to reflect on creativity in practice.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LYC: My research focuses on spatial culture, cultural creativity, design thinking, etc. Most of the themes of my creation are from a cultural perspective to different interpretations of the space, to explore the environmental changes caused by the mixed culture.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LYC: New Age Transformation is a project we completed in 2019 in Beijing China. It is originally an abandoned plant that was built almost decades ago. The abandoned factory has its own beauty of time and historical value. When discussing with the property developer, knowing that is space will be used as a business incubation for technology, cultural industry, our first suggestion was to keep the building and its structure as it was originally. Luckily, the developer accepted our proposal. The process of communication was smooth. The outcome is well received.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LYC: A residential project for a small house.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LYC: Steel piece.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LYC: I feel creative both when I am alone by myself and when I am with my team.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LYC: In the process of design, I pay more attention to the cultural significance of a project. I like to interpret space from multiple perspectives, exploring the cultural meaning behind the place from different aspects, and using narrative design methods to interpret space. In 2017, I started to create the "Zi-Hui Taiwan" series, published the book "Zi-Hui Taiwan ", and continues to create the "Zi-Hui Taoyuan" series.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LYC: Energetic, focused, and calm.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LYC: I feel touched emotionally when I see a completed project.

FS: What makes a design successful?
LYC: It is the integration of functionality, aesthetics, and cultural significance/historical background of a space that makes the design succeed.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LYC: The design thinking behind the design project is crucial. It is the soul of a design.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LYC: Living space is a reflection of human society. Designers are responsible to lead people and discover and present the world in a unique way to bring a better society and a better environment for our world. It is all about the mindset behind a design. It is all related to a philosophy and value system. Your thinking about the world and life has a great impact on your design.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LYC: The design industry will be closely connected with culture and society. Design power is and will continue to be the force that shapes and curves human society.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LYC: 2020, "The Method of Reading the City-Special Exhibition of Zhongli Calligraphy Painting", Zhongli No. 5 Warehouse Art Base, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LYC: We come from nature. Our desire for the perfect space and building will echo those elements in mother nature which support our life. When I don't work, I try to spend as much time as possible in nature, which is a luxury in our modern city life. I immerse myself in nature to stimulate and open up my senses.

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?
LYC: I believe that designers should start a design through perceptuality and reflect on creativity in practice. I see space as a living container for users, not just a performance stage for designers. From conceptualization to execution, I engage multiple perspectives, explore the cultural signification of space from different aspects, and use narrative design to interpret the space.

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?
LYC: Taiwan (Asia). The dominant local culture in Taiwan originates from China and is influenced by Japan. The diverse thinking derived from these inheritances riches and diversifies my designs which are without any restriction in any form.

FS: How do you work with companies?
LYC: Through in-depth meetings before and during the co-operation.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LYC: You should always try to get to know your partner before starting a business co-operation. What is the philosophy they truly believe both as a designer and as a human being?

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LYC: I like to use narrative methods to express my ideas. Through the comprehensive thinking of roles, plots, and scenes, I initiate arrangements of functionality and spatial allocation.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LYC: Designer chair. Crystal chandelier. Bed, Imitation classic solid wood bookcase.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LYC: I work over 15 hours almost every day. Usually, I start my day early at 6 am and finish by 9 pm. I balance my personal life with my work at university as well as my design projects. I keep weekends available for my family.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LYC: Read as much as you can. Travel and visit as many cities and cultural sites as possible. Learn to be your own guidance. Learn from nature. Try to listen to other people and know their needs.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LYC: There will be plenty of communication for different design projects. For someone who does not like communication, this will be a challenge for you. You need to envision and lead your clients to “see” your vision. You learn from each communication. If you can do your design work for over a decade, you will become patient and mature in your life.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LYC: Functionality with reason, outstanding modeling, and environmentally friendly materials.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LYC: To be a designer, the ability to envision and communication skills are crucial.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LYC: Autocad, Novice.Sketchup, Novice.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LYC: Before we start a new project, we spend a lot of time in in-depth discussions and meetings. Discussing the needs of the project is crucial.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LYC: Minimum 6 months.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LYC: I frequently ask “Why?”.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
LYC: I have been teaching and conducting research in architecture and interior design for more than 30 years. I believe the role is important as a practical scholar who seeks research topics in the profession and uses research to improve teaching and research.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
LYC: Jijiamiao Double Creation Industrial Park, Crowne Plaza Edison Hotel, New Jersey, Marriott Courtyard, California, Taoyuan Children's Art Museum, Pentium Network, Wiseworks Co., Ltd, Unity Opto Technology co., Ltd., Coretek Opto Corporation, KYE Systems Corp.,

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LYC: The design presents a spatial equilibrium and shows material characteristics.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LYC: Through the integrated design power in Creative Design Center, CYCU, I expect me and my team members to work on more exciting design projects.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LYC: I work as a leader in Creative Design Center, CYCU.

FS: How can people contact you?
LYC: liyuchen@cycu.org.tw


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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