Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Tiger ChongSheng Guo ("TCG") 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?

TCG : I studied Cambridge International Examinations design and technology in high school for several years. I then completed my Bachelor of Design Innovation, majoring in Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington. I'm currently completing my Masters of Design Innovation at the same institute.

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

TCG : I'm motivated to get to positions of power so I can help people and improve general standards of living and solve world issues. I became a designer originally however because I loved watching design documentaries as a kid.

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

TCG : I became a designer because it was where I thought my passion was. It was a good middle ground between engineer and artist, and it just felt right.

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

TCG : I design a bit of everything, but a large number of my designs would be "industrial designs" or "products". I wish I designed more hardcore industry stuff like engines and machinery.

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

TCG : I'd hardly call myself a design legend, but I would tell every young designer to try chase their dreams.

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

TCG : A good designer solves a problem, a great designer prevents them.

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

TCG : A good design is something that has been thought through thoroughly. If an idea is well conceived, thoroughly evaluated, and subsequently iteratively improved, it is very unlikely that it isn't a good idea.

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

TCG : Good design is what separated our ancestors from apes. Good design is what keeps rivers from flooding towns, planes in the sky, our seats comfortable, and our lives bearable. Not investing in good design is essentially self harm in my opinion.

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

TCG : I would love to design armour for the military to keep troops safe. Devices which kept food fresh for longer whilst being accessible to ease world hunger, and better transport so everyone can see everyone. I'm honestly inclined to design for just humanity as a whole.

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

TCG : I'd love to design my own miniature model series, but haven't had the time.

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

TCG : Hard work.

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

TCG : I'm really inspired by the lecturers at my university. Simon Fraser is a bit of a hero of mine, having worked at so many huge old school design firms like Porche.

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

TCG : The Porche IP84S recliner is one of my favourite designers. It's such a good testament to the study of ergonomics and tried and true old school industrial design.

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

TCG : My greatest design was probably medi-card. It was a medicine dispenser which didn't need power, and it was just such good problem solving at a basic level, but executed so meticulously with precision. I loved the team I worked with on that project, it was a true dream team with amazingly talented individuals.

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

TCG : Be open to new ideas. Design is ever changing, no design is ever really finished. Having an open mind helps you see that better.

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

TCG : Engineering.

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

TCG : Design is like I said before, the stuff that distinguishes us from our ancestors. The grooves in your knife, the height of your chair, the softness of your couch, the width of your phone, the thing that keeps planes flying. Design is the scientific intent behind every thing made or done.

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

TCG : My mum, she's always been there for me.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

TCG : Aspirations and ambitions, coupled with a sense of duty to my family, friends, and humanity.

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

TCG : Believing it was going to work out.

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

TCG : Well. There is nothing sadder than a good design presented poorly.

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

TCG : I'm currently working on some polyjet printed meta materials on the Stratasys J750, expect some stuff that will blow your mind and look super colourful!

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

TCG : Make the world a better place.

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

TCG : I'm not sure to be honest. My students always expect me to tell them about how well I'm doing, my peers always expect me to do well, my partner, mother, and closer friends have all rather grown accustom to my success however. Personally I just want to be a better man than I was yesterday.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

TCG : Design is scientific intent, which is essentially education and direction. Education and direction defeats ignorance and misinformation, which helps democratic societies make better choices.

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

TCG : Polyjet printed meta materials on the J750!!!!

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

TCG : Medicard, for reasons stated above.

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

TCG : An appreciation of the old school stuff. As much as I love and am grateful for the advancements in technology for design, I can't help but feel like a lot of the older stuff is simply being ignored. We should learn from our history, not deny it.

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

TCG : I think design is going to be an ever bigger industry. People are starting to see the influence we designers wield, and a lot of designers have achieved celebrity status. It's only a matter of time before commercially, designers are pumped out like electricians.

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

TCG : A big one, maybe a couple months. Usually, I like to finalize a project from concepts to product in just over a month.

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

TCG : Research. Research. Research. Information is power.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

TCG : Pursue perfection, innovate the world.

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

TCG : A bit of both. Designs set a trend, that subsequently sets the next few designs.

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

TCG : I want to incorporate the latest and most advanced technologies in my design. That idea really got drilled into me at Victoria University, that we're the pioneers of what new stuff can do, and if we don't make use of that new stuff, those ideas and advancements will take years to come to fruition elsewhere.

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

TCG : Fusion 360, Photoshop, Illustrator, 3D printers, and Lasercutters.

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

TCG : Colour, materials, and ambient are huge aspects of design. There is a reason why CMF designers are a thing, and I'm a huge believer in appreciating those aspects.

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

TCG : How does this help the world. A lot of the time, an underlying goal for my design is to show it is a proof of concept for other bigger things like improving standards of living.

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

TCG : What is it, how is it better than precedents, how can I learn from this?

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

TCG : My ideal design partners are my colleagues from some of my previous projects. I like co-designing where each of us are experts in our jurisdictions, and work in harmony with one another.

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

TCG : Sir Richard Taylor. He's the man who started it all for me, everything they did at Weta Workshop just fascinated me as a child, and still to this day.

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

TCG : Art of War. I use it as a philosophical guide for everything, and some of it helps me review my designs from a fresh perspective.

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

TCG : Through a lot of trial and error, and making mistakes, but trying anyway.

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

TCG : Da Vinci. I want to know what was going on in that head of his, where he got his ideas from, if he was utterly mad or if there was just some genius behind it ahead of his time.

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

TCG : Not at all, I'm not famous!

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

TCG : Blue, home, ramen, spring, miniature models, vallejo.

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

TCG : I once 3D printed a wooden crossbow. One of the bolts broke and so I glued it together with super glue. I dropped it whilst it was still drying (and I used way too much glue), and it bounced into my eye. Was really fun getting super glue bits surgically removed from my eye.

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

TCG : Looking back on a hard days work and loving how it all looks.

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

TCG : Nope, lil me just wanted to doodle.

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

TCG : Hopefully robots won't control us all. Ideally, we'd solve world hunger, housing issues, and make universal utilities a possibility.

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

TCG : Nah, peace out folks, you been great!



Aurelian Headphones

Aurelian Headphones by Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Venus 3D Printed Cup

Venus 3D Printed Cup by Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Emperor Table

Emperor Table by Tiger ChongSheng Guo

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