LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer OFGA ("OFGA") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

OFGA : I studied at Cornell Unversity during which I gained my first work experiences at Kohn Pederson and Fox. Upon graduating with a Bachelors of Architecture degree, I was fortunate enough to join Hillier where I worked essentially within a studio environment with the support and benefits of a large corporate practice. It was during my first few years with this studio that I got to work closely with Bob and Barbara Hillier, and in particular, Bradly Walters. It was under their guidance that I saw my first design, the Irving Convention Center realized. Subsequent to the merger I relocated to New York and began working with Peter Schubert on much larger international projects, eventually following the work to Shanghai before setting up OFGA in Hong Kong. All along the way i was fortunate enough to remain in contact with Nasrine Seraji who has remained a friend and mentor since my days at Cornell.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

OFGA : I found my thoughts with drawing, and my freedom in my thoughts, so studying architecture or at least design was a natural progression. At first, I only thought I liked architecture, but then I really fell in love with it once I began my studies.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

OFGA : I design experiences. I would really like to work on more Public works, parks, theatres, libraries, galleries. I think we really need more of these spaces. Spaces that are maybe free from the typical agendas of commerce.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

OFGA : Keep drawing.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

OFGA : For me, it would be the ability to change how one sees and engages the world.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

OFGA : Design, especially in Architecture, tends to stick around for a while. We engage one another and with the world through design or the lack of, so naturally, we should take care of it.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

OFGA : David Chipperfield, Caruso St. John, Carlo Scarpa, SANNA, Sou Fujimoto, Kenya Hara, Oki Sato

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

OFGA : a chief

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

OFGA : an opinion/s about a particular activity in a physical form

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

OFGA : let the work speak

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

OFGA : design sets the trend

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

OFGA : rationalization and documentation aid

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

OFGA : Archicad, Rhino, Sketchup, Adobe Suite,

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

OFGA : My partner. She sees my blind spots. I do believe in co-design, although it's often more painful and time-consuming, when done well, it often yields something more nuanced.

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