LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer MIL Design & Construction ("MD&C") 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?

MD&C : I've been sketching ever since 4 years old in growing up in a small town called Ipoh in Malaysia, occasionally using pencil and watercolor on old buildings. Then I moved to Melbourne, Australia majoring in fine arts and physics in high school and then completed a 5 year degree course in architecture in Royal Melbourne of Institute Technology University (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia. After interning in Tokyo with Edward Suzuki Associates and a couple of work stints in construction in Melbourne, I moved back to Malaysia to begin my career in interior architecture

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

MD&C : Everything around me. I like to imagine spaces, and create something out of nothing. Textures, Lights, Spaces, colors, forms and people's behaviour are some of the things which motivate me.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

MD&C : Definitely it has been my dream ambition since young. It is also influenced by my late father, himself an architect, and my mother and uncle who were both fans of carpentry and crafts. You can say I grew up being surrounded by people who loved designs.

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

MD&C : I design spaces, from residential to institutional public spaces to hotels, offices and also furnitures. I wish to design more hotels as I love the idea of designing lifestyles for people to enjoy

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

MD&C : Work very, very hard and always be curious and adventurous

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

MD&C : A great designer always tries to learn from past projects, and listen (to critics, himself, ene-users of the designs). A great designer is always critical of his designs and constantly improving on ti

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

MD&C : I believe a design is good if it touches your heart, provokes your inner feeling. It should create that unique connection the moment you see it.

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

MD&C : In interior design a good design has that wow effect that could just touch your heart. It suits you, the way you live or use the space. It gives you a connection and gives you comfort, almost like eating good wholesome food. In this day of the modern stressful world, good designs are part of your life and provides you a holistic way of living

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

MD&C : I would like to design my own home if I had the time. An architect's own home is always never finished and one of the biggest challenges to complete.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

MD&C : I would like to work on a readapted use and refurbished heritage or listed buildings, especially pre-war buildings. It would be my dream to convert the usage to be a hotel cum meditation space

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

MD&C : My secret recipe is to work very, very hard and keep on trying. Designs can only be perfected by drawing many many variants before selecting the best one. Nobody can achieve good designs at the first attempt of each project

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

MD&C : A few of my university tutors who themselves are award-winning designers, my ex employers Edward Suzuki and Chan Soo Kian who were both acclaimed architects and masters like Mies van der rohe and Peter Zumthor

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

MD&C : For current designers I am now loving a couple of designs by Neri & Hu

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

MD&C : My greatest design is a little apartment which I designed for Mr Henry Goulding, a movie celebrity actor. He was one of the most adventurous clients we had had and the whole design process was inspiring attempting new design forms, a daring interplay of textures and materials. It was a refurbishment of a 40-year-old apartment and while maintaning the old facade, the interior space was totally stripped and redone in a raw exposed way. I loved the idea of keeping the raw concrete structures and merging the old and new. Materials were treated in an exposed, honest way like almost inspired by Brutalism. The final outcome was a unique mix of kitsch contemporary with chic vintage accents

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

MD&C : I think people should see and read more, travel more, and teach more. For myself I try to contribute back to university, giving my time whenever i can to internship programs and attending school crit panel sessions. When I teach I learn more and improve more

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

MD&C : I think I would venture into music, law or journalism

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

MD&C : Design is combining form and function. It is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, touches the feelings and fulfills the usage

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

MD&C : My family

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

MD&C : By constantly listening to critics and learning

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

MD&C : Not being able to fulfill aesthetic and functional needs of a design, not understanding the emotional aspects of designs, not understanding the people and place making of the site

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

MD&C : Designers should present in a visually creative way

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

MD&C : Among some of the works we are working on are a couple of show homes, a serviced apartment in Maldive and a refurbished heritage hotel in Malaysia

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

MD&C : I wish to create a space really can tug one's heart strings

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

MD&C : We are able to fulfill each project's brief in a holistic manner, not just functional and aesthetical but also emotional aspects.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

MD&C : It fulfills people's functions, and needs in holistic way

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

MD&C : A refurbished heritage space in Malaysia

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

MD&C : Projects like instituitional common areas, hotels and high-end residential. There are alot of opportunity to use various textures and concepts. For residential the projects are designed for people's lifestyles and it is very satisfying when people come back to you to tell you that they live better or sleep better with your designs.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

MD&C : To have more mentoring for the young designers and students

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

MD&C : More cross-over designs, say fashion and furniture design maybe

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

MD&C : It depends on the scale and client's requirements. Some takes up to 2 years with the brief changing, some are 3 to 6 months.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

MD&C : I start with seeing the site and talking to the client, the people to whom I am designing for.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

MD&C : To listen and feel

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

MD&C : Designs set the trends definitely

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

MD&C : technology is very crucial. Our designs always combine technology with design as technology has now becoming a part of our everyday life.With the recent covid pandemic technology will be playing a bigger role

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

MD&C : CAD, 3D and graphics software.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

MD&C : Colors, materials and ambients are key in design, as I've earlier said, I aim to provoke the inner feelings through touch,feel, sight

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

MD&C : I wish people will ask many questions. Then it is proof that the designs have evoked their curiosity.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

MD&C : Questions. Sense of arrival, the aha feeling

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

MD&C : Yes i do. Too many masters to mention

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

MD&C : Many people. I love talking to people and what I learn from each one of them does influence the way I think and design, from the baker who bakes at the cafe to the high-networth investment savvy client

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

MD&C : design, lifestyle and travel books

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

MD&C : Practice and hard work

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

MD&C : Mies van der rohe

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

MD&C : Motivated to work even harder

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

MD&C : color: all colors are my favourite place: chiangmai, thailand food: chinese dumplings season: spring and autumn thing: too many to mention brand: various

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

MD&C : I find it amusing when i was designing the apartment of Henry Goulding, when we were out with him for furniture scouting people on the streets kept stopping him (or us) for photographs. For once even we felt like mini celebrities. Talk about being such a popular movie actor.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

MD&C : When the client comes to you personally to say thank you and how the designs we did had made his or her day.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

MD&C : Yes it was obvious that I would become a good designer. Nor sure about the great part, i still have along way to go

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

MD&C : technology, no people to people relationship, coldness. hence today we should design with as much emotions as we could. People are already now talking less, typing more, talking to screens and not another human being

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

MD&C : I think I've pretty much covered everything above

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

FOUNDED IN 2010, MIL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IS A MALAYSIA BASED, FULL-SERVICE INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE CONSULTANCY AND DESIGN AND BUILD COMPANY THAT IS CONCEIVED AS A 'BOUTIQUE DESIGN STUDIO'. THEY CONTINUE TO PUSH BOUNDARIES BY INTEGRATING DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND LIFESTYLE. THEY WORK CLOSELY WITH THEIR CLIENTS TO CREATE AND REJUVENATE LIFESTYLE SPACES THAT EXUDE UNIQUENESS AND ORIGINALITY, BE IT RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL OR DEVELOPERS' SHOW FLATS. MIL DESIGN KNOWS THAT THEIR CLIENTS WANT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT – AND THEY’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH THEM TO CREATE SPACES THAT TRULY REFLECT THEIR PERSONALITY AND BRAND. WITHIN THE LAST FOUR YEARS, THE COMPANY HAS EXPERIENCED AN ONSLAUGHT OF SUCCESS AND CLINCHED A NUMBER OF COVETED INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, INCLUDING ONE FOR THE DESIGN OF A MALAYSIA APARTMENT FOR HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITY MR HENRY GOLDING OF CRAZY,RICH,ASIAN MOVIE FAME.


Highpark Suites  Interior Common Areas

Highpark Suites Interior Common Areas by MIL Design & Construction

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