Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Lu Li ("LL") 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.
LL : 2019-2017, Postgraduate in product design, Kyushu University, Japan 2017-2016, Arts and crafts auditor, University of Tsukuba, Japan 2014-2010, a College student in furniture design, Beijing Forestry University, China
LL : Design is for life. And I want to be a designer because of my love for life. I hope to make my life better and many other people's lives as well through my design.
LL : We only live once. Why do we force ourselves to do something we don't like.
LL : I think a good designer is able to complete the design project well. In addition to completing the design task, a great designer would form their own design theory to put forward their own design ideas, summarize in practice, and have their own design methodology which can guide other people to design. Design masters must be a combination of practice and theory.
LL : I think good design is sometimes experience and sometimes a feeling. Some good designs can be transferred to consumers through commercialization so that they can get a good experience. But sometimes some good design can't be commercialized. It can only be passed on to you in other ways. As long as a design lets you enjoy the convenience of life, the beauty of life, I think this is a good design.
LL : I want to have my own poetry collection, but now I don’t have a lot of fans, and I haven’t written enough number of them either. It will take me some time to accumulate works.
LL : I think it's a kind of unyielding stubbornness, a little higher pursuit of design, and a little confidence in my own design works.
LL : At present, I am most satisfied with this award-winning work: Butterfly hanger. Because it's a minimalist piece of assembled furniture. The structure and shape are quite simple, with its strong functionality, flat packaging, manual installation, repeated disassembly, sustainability, etc.
LL : They say, science is We, and art is Me. For me, the design is somewhere between rational analysis and artistic expression, and it is an individual artistic expression with certain rational analysis. The design should be people-oriented, so it can't be all about personal artistic expression, it needs rational analysis of data. The starting point of the design is decided by the designer, what he sees, what he perceives, and finally what expressed by him, which means his own thinking and expression—what we call art, is involved in the whole thing.
LL : A lot of people helped me on my way. If I want to pay gratitude, who I need to thank is my professor-尾方義人. My professor has high requirements and expectations for me, which forces me to devote myself to research and design, and constantly strive to dig deeper things. Then I would like to thank the staff of the workshop of Kyushu University of Japan, such as 津田 三朗、福澤 萌、笠原 和治. They have been with me for more than two years, patiently guiding and completing designs after designs.
LL : I think it's just a matter of time and longevity, not too much of an obstacle.
LL : Become the most influential design master representing China.
LL : It takes me around a month to design the furniture. Starting from the concept, confirm the material and process, deepen the drawing, proofing, modification, and confirm the final drawing.
LL : Of course, we need to understand the needs of customers. In the early stage, we need to communicate with customers more. Only when we fully understand the needs of customers can we ensure that the direction will not deviate.
LL : A famous philosopher in China once said: "去甚，去奢，去泰" (abandon extreme, luxurious, and unreasonable thought) which is the guiding ideology of my design.
LL : Because what we are studying now is the furniture structure based on the properties of materials. The material is very important in the design. Different materials have different properties, such as the dry shrinkage and wet expansion of wood, the elasticity of metal, the elasticity of cotton thread, and so on.
LL : I hope that I am an independent designer and can cooperate with more people who are more professional in other fields when I do design projects and constantly trigger new design sparks.
LL : I like to communicate with factory workers. They often have rich experience in production. Sometimes they come up with more and better solutions to some problems, which makes me gain a lot of knowledge.
LL : Who I want to see most is Chen Mapping, who had been writing under the name Sanmao. She is an excellent writer and poet in China, but she committed suicide in 1991. If I had a chance, I really hope to meet her, for just a few simple words, then, my life has no regret.
LL : Not too much feeling, just feel happy for a while. The award is just a recognition of my design ability, it doesn't represent too much. More efforts are needed in the future. It's not difficult to be famous, but it's hard to be an influential and valuable designer.
LL : I like white, white is very pure. Like Tokyo, Tokyo is a place full of design. A large number of outstanding Japanese designers are active here. Every month, various exhibitions of design and art emerge endlessly, which makes people ecstatic. I like to do handwork. When I do handwork, I am able to calm my mind, getting rid of a lot of distractions, and reach my simplest yearning.
LL : There is an old saying in China: "After three years without flying, one might fly to the sky." I always use this sentence to motivate myself. If you want to fly higher, you should first tie up your wings and do not fly. Only let oneself calm down first and keep yearning for flying, can we finally dash to the sky. Every stage of life is like this. If you want to enter the next stage, you should let yourself learning and gaining for a certain period of time, and also, you should not be impetuous.
LL : I am a very communicative person. I welcome people who love the design to contact me to discuss the design with me or introduce his design works to me. Welcome to contact me: email@example.com.
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