Interview with Andrew Chong

Winner of Young Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Andrew Chong shares insights


Interview with Andrew Chong at Wednesday 19th of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
AC : I was graduated and trained as an Interior Designer before came over London for my post-graduate study in Branding Strategy in Brunel. I’ve started my design career with one of the most renowned architectural practice in Malaysia- Sacha and Tan Architects. I was exposed to the world of design in a really detailed and different point of view by working with the principals and they had provided a really great platform to build me up from a junior designer to a department leader, and exposed to the top clients like Padini and Hong Leong Group Simultaneously I work for my family, which is running a hotels and hospitality supplies business in town and this side of works let me explore the business and entrepreneur side of myself.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
AC : I love to draw since I was a kid and that has been an ongoing, and at times, all-encompassing passion. When I began to draw spaces and object from a three dimensional perspective, I naturally I started to read about, and get interested in interior design.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
AC : I think I've chosen to be one.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
AC : At the beginning of college, I wasn’t sure whether go for interior design or graphic design. Eventually, I found my passion and this was because I felt that decorating and styling a space is an extremely satisfying in addition to drawing, so this lead me to choose interior design.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
AC : Passion for design is important.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
AC : I think it involved with alot of complex ingredients, but the most important is the love and passion for design.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
AC : Good designer is all about maximizing your creativity and thinking. I can say it’s more conceptual; but being a really good designer is more about maximizing profit and staying highly creative while also earning a living.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
AC : Good design is timeless, it won't be out of date and it's always look good and lasts forever.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
AC : I would love to design a collection of furniture for my favourite fashion house Louis Vuitton.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
AC : My own home perhaps!

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
AC : I always loves James Dyson's work. He is not only a designer but a successful businessman and engineer.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
AC : The new Dyson Hairdryer! can you imagine you drying your hair with a vacuum cleaner?

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
AC : I am proud with my project with Absolut Elyx portable bar (, we spent so much time to think about how to engineer a container into a bar, and also the thematic decoration and styling.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
AC : Travel. I've learnt so much just walking around everywhere!

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
AC : I can't imagine if I am not a designer right now. Because the first 3 of my ambitions was architect, designer and artist. Everything still work around design.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
AC : Design is aesthetic + function

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
AC : I do think it's my passion for design.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
AC : Language barrier. I was born and raised in Asia and at some point I have difficulties to present and describe my design to international audiences.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
AC : as creative as possible and always think out of the box.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
AC : Currently I am working on a private branding project for a renewable energy company. Very exciting project and I've been involved in every design aspects of the company. For me this is the future of design, a multidisciplinary and all rounded design solution under one roof.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
AC : Able to solve problem and improves life.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
AC : A happy working relationship.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
AC : Initiative to do good. Nothing too small or too big to contribute.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
AC : My new company website -

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
AC : Commercial projects have a clear brief, sharp vision and usually we get straight to the point and the design gets completed quickly. But for residential projects, it’s all about personalising and getting the right mood and feel. Doing this takes time and it is best to let ideas evolve so the client is happy with the choices presented and even happier with their final choice. A unique home design is far more difficult because every detail is different and needs to be considered.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
AC : The industry works so different nowadays. More and more young creatives have a mind of entrepreneurship and always want to run our own design practices. The European country is a great platform for new designers to explore themselves and we have an equal chance to shines, although in a really competitive ways; unlike the Asian side of the creative world, which slightly more depending on the networking, for me it’s seems a little old school way of thinking.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
AC : People in the Far East will prefer more experience, more mature designers, or someone introduced through connections to work for them; while here we all share a chance. If the design is good, the designer will have a great chance to showcase, to design and to build it

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
AC : 1week to 3months.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
AC : It depend on projects, but I will always start with mood boards and sketches, and then visualise them in 3D software. Love to play around in 3Ds Max, it creates amazing conceptual presentation.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
AC : Be good!

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
AC : As a designer, we not only need to know how to draw and style; but also need to make sure we keep up with advances in industry specific software. . I am constant updating my knowledge of 2D tools and 3d rendering programmes and using iPad apps for sketching, etc. But my next move is going to be less technical and I will concentrate more on business development and marketing my own brand.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
AC : Super important. I can't survive without my computer.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
AC : Adobe, Autodesk CAD softwares.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
AC : I am meticulous over texture and surfaces. I believe Interior design is all about details and the surfaces people touch, see and feel means everything!

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
AC : Cool and innovative!

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
AC : let me see if it's work.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
AC : I love throwing ideas and sketching with other designer because I think challenges will made us better.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
AC : Client. Because they always result driven but as a designer we are the one seeking a balance between budget, design and outcome.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
AC : Brutal London : Construct Your Own Concrete Capital. It's an amazing book and I love to get inspiration from architecture.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
AC : Always learning. We need to catch up with new technology and methods, just to make sure we are in-lined with all new and upcoming technology.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
AC : Awards does help to level us up, but most importantly is the passion for design.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
AC : I always wanted to re-design my childhood room, in fact, I’ve started to make my current office shelving unit into my childhood dream cabinet. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Japanese animated series Pokémon. When I was working in London, my client’s (The Absolut Company Great Britain) office was just located next to The Pokémon Company, so I always find a reason to sneak in and wonder around. My childhood room would be redesigned to have multiple ‘curiosity type’ cabinets filled with Pokémon figures, stickers, posters and even have a slide and a small pool. Of course there would be unlimited supplies of Jelly Belly jelly beans!

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
AC : A coffee with some pretty dessert!

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
AC : I love to draw since I was a kid and that has been an ongoing, and at times, all-encompassing passion. When I began to draw spaces and object from a three dimensional perspective, I naturally I started to read about, and get interested in interior design.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
AC : We will be moving to other planet and of course communicating with aliens!

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
AC : I love role playing games and I have an extensive collection of digital game consoles including the Nintendo Wii, 3Ds and PlayStation. My iPad and iPhone are loaded with tons of games. Yes it's a bit ‘geeky’, but sometimes they do inspired my design thinking because many game makers are great designers. I also love taking pictures with my new Sony Alpha 5000 camera, especially of my miniature pinscher Taisho.