LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Ruiqi Dai ("RD") 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?

RD : I studied Three Dimensional Design in the University of the Arts, London. I was focusing on experimenting with different materials at this time. After graduation, I spend one year in Jindezhen exploring the technology of ceramics, and I am currently completing my Master’s degree in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art.

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

RD : I have wanted to become a designer since I was a child, because I like trying different things and I am always inspired with new ideas, I guess it is the urge to make them come true that pushed me to become a designer.

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

RD : I particularly like designing small items, like tableware and lights, I suppose that is related to my ceramics background. Also, I find working with easy to carry items more relaxing.

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

RD : A successful design does not adhere to its “historical situation” or “thought inertia”, it requires approaching a problem differently, and solving it intelligently and easily. It can propose things which were previously beyond the reach of people’s imaginations.

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

RD : I want to design something for myself and my loved ones, because all this time, I am too busy designing for briefs and clients, if there's time, I want to use design to make people who I love happy.

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

RD : Oki Sato’s design has influenced me greatly. The way he approaches a project and reimagines a question from the very beginning is genuinely intriguing. I think what he does is not designing one object, but designing a whole new concept and system.

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

RD : My favourite design is Fountainia, it is a wine divider. When pouring wine from the top of it, the wine flows equally into two wine glasses. People engage in shared consumption, especially with food and drink, because they socialise and spend time with each other to feel a sense of relatedness to each other. However, sometimes communication and interaction during events can be strained or limited. By creating this object, I intended to explore the dynamic experience of drinking through interaction. I think it is innovative and original, and a great learning process for me.

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

RD : It's hard to imagine my life without design.

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

RD : To me, design is not purely about function, I intend to use design to connect physical material with the imaginary experience, in order to draw attention to the psychological needs that have been overlooked, and to bring a sensual touch to the world we live in.

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

RD : My next design project is Moon Light which is wall tile.I pay a great deal of attention to the interaction between the product and users when I am designing. I want to introduce a new experience in use so it is important that the objects I create connect to people psychologically as well as physically.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

RD : I think good design can make life easier and propose to others your own understanding of aesthetics.

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

RD : I remember when I was studying my BA, our team designed a medical tool for Kings College Hospital to help children with sickle cell disease better understand their condition and cooperate with their treatment. The project was quite successful, it is also the first time that a design of mine was used in society and I was glad to see that it was helping those patients.

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

RD : I think that depends on what I want to achieve, if I want to go deeper and keep improving, one design might take months and even years to finish. But if I want it to be quick and straightforward, then I can finish it in days or weeks. So different needs and purposes determine the time length of a project.

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

RD : Software: Rhino, AI, PS, ID, PR,Keyshot. Equipment: hot blowing, cold working equipment, plaster equipment,etc.

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

RD : A successful design does not adhere to its “historical situation” or “thought inertia”, it requires approaching a problem differently, and solving it intelligently and easily. It can propose things which were previously beyond the reach of people’s imaginations.

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

RD : The Chinese poet Bai Li is the person I want to have a drink with.

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

RD : No matter how technology progresses, the foundation of design will always be about people and what people need. With new progress, new problem occurs, it is important for designers to think ahead and to be caring towards others.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

RUIQI DAI, AS THE TWENTY-TWO BEST GRADUATE DESIGNER-MAKERS FROM ACROSS UK, GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON, AFTER THAT, SHE FURTHERED HER STUDY IN ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART. HER WORKS HAVE BEEN EXHIBITED INTERNATIONALLY AND WAS DESCRIBED BY THE HIGH END MAGAZINE: “ HAVE USING COMPLETELY ORIGINAL, HANDMADE LUXURY OBJECTS TO BLEND THE LINES BETWEEN FUNCTIONAL DESIGN AND SCULPTURAL ART.” HER LATEST SERIES OF WORKS WERE COLLECTED BY THE BRITISH MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN BEIJING.


Fountainia Divide wine into two wine glasses

Fountainia Divide wine into two wine glasses by Ruiqi Dai

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