Interview with Yi Teng Shih and Jiani Zeng

Winner of Jewelry and Kitchenware Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Yi Teng Shih and Jiani Zeng shares insights


Interview with Yi Teng Shih and Jiani Zeng at Saturday 22nd of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
YZ : For me (Jiani), I graduated in the University of Nottingham Ningbo China with first class honors in 2015. My subject was Product Design and Manufacture (BEng). From July 2013 – July 2014, I took a one-year exchange program to the University of New South Wales in Australia. I’m an industrial designer with solid engineering background. For Yi-Teng Shih, he is a design tutor / associate professor in the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, in the department of Product Design and Manufacture. Before the current job, he got more than 10 years working experience in Industrial design field and has developed a number of successful products in Taiwan and overseas.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
YZ : When I had to choose a subject in the second year from all the engineering subjects, I chose Product Design. After that, I found myself with infinite passion with Design.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
YZ : I chose to be a designer.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
YZ : Currently mainly for Product Design, I wish to explore more about service design, web design and interaction design.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
YZ : Keep oneself creative all the time, be a good observer to detect potential problems in daily life.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
YZ : Both of their designs should be unique and delightful. A great designer can always discover the problems in daily life and try to solve it in a simple way, design for him / her is an easy task to do since there are plenty of resources and inspiration accumulated overtime. A good designer finishes his / her work within the deadline. His / her work should be aesthetic delightful: with a comfortable color and shape etc. But design to him / her can be sometimes a tiring work to do.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
YZ : A good design is unique, when people see a good design, they will think “why I never think about something like that, it’s so smart” A good design should surprise people.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
YZ : A good design simplify a complex problem, people invest in it because it makes like more convenience.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
YZ : Healthcare and kitchen tools are the two fields interest me most.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
YZ : I want to establish a fashion brand breaking out the traditional definition of fashion. Primary themes can be: 1) fashion goods which is highly functional 2) fashion + healthy life style

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
YZ : I keep a record of my everyday problem and try to solve then with my design solutions.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
YZ : Kenya Hara

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
YZ : They should keep thinking and eyes open for new things.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
YZ : An engineer

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
YZ : Design is to solve a complex problem with a simple solution.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
YZ : Yi-Teng Shih, my tutor is the one I help me most. I learn his design thinking and philosophy.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
YZ : Keep thinking!

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
YZ : First, I don’t see myself as a master, but I think the obstacle before my design career is limited understanding about this field, I didn’t know much about design and industrial design before.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
YZ : They should present their work through some formal platform and getting to an award before publishing it. They should protect their design and patent.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
YZ : We have lots of ideas. You can expect good designs in every different areas

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
YZ : I want to be respected as a good designer. I want to help improve people’s life.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
YZ : Something different something unique

DL: How does design help create a better society?
YZ : By solving problems

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
YZ : So far I like the idea which we won A’ design award: the Glasses +

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
YZ : Enhance patent-protection in china

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
YZ : Interaction design: service design, web design etc.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
YZ : Days or years

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
YZ : Research and marketing

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
YZ : Can’t say which sets which, they are correlated.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
YZ : Solid technology realizes a good concept, and a design with strong and unique tech support prevent the design from plagiarism

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
YZ : Solidworks, Adobe PS AI ID Lr etc.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
YZ : They are important elements based on a smart idea, but they can’t be the dominant one

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
YZ : Why can’t I think of an idea like this?

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
YZ : Yes. I’m looking for someone in different fields such as fashion designer

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
YZ : Yi-Teng Shih

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
YZ : Designing in Design by Kenya Hara

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
YZ : Keep thinking

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

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
YZ : Winning an award is hard but I don’t think a single award can make me famous. Sometimes it’s just about luck.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
YZ : Red Thailand Mc spicy hamburger Autumn My dog Many

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
YZ : When come up with an excellent idea, I get ecstasy

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
YZ : No

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
YZ : People will move to another planet

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
YZ : My favourite band is Pink Floyed