LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Marty Chou ("MC") 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?

MC : I received my bachelor of architecture in University of Toronto, Canada, and Master of Science in advanced architectural design from Columbia University, New York, USA.

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

MC : I am interested in how people interact with space, and how space could alter or improve our life.

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

MC : My interest of architecture and space grew during my study, and it had since become my passion.

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

MC : I design architecture and interior space. I am interested in creating residential space, and I would like to work on more of residential interior space or single-family-house architectural design.

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

MC : Work hard.

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

MC : A good designer makes beautiful design. A great designer creates inspirational design.

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

MC : When you can see a clear concept without the designer explaining.

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

MC : A good design balances function and form, and it elevate and stimulate our senses and mind.

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

MC : I would design a house for my family.

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

MC : The dream project I haven’t yet had the time to realize is my own house.

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

MC : I don’t have a secret recipe, but I do try to keep my design simple and straight-forward.

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

MC : I am very inspired by the work of Peter Zumthor and David Chipperfield.

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

MC : Peter Zumthor’s Therme vals spa. It is so simple but so rich.

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

MC : KT apartment. It is my 2017 residential interior project. It has an unconventional space arrangement for a young couple in a limited 60 square-meter space. There are not many materials and it is mostly a white space with wooden floor, but you can feel the freedom of space and flowing of light, which give you a sense of being in a bigger space. It is a small project, but it is the optimum solution given its limited given condition and available resources.

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

MC : I think a good designer should be able to present their concept in an understandable and perceivable manner, so I work very hard to make my design simple and clear.

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

MC : If I hadn’t become a designer, I would have become a teacher.

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

MC : To abstract function into art.

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

MC : My family is my biggest supporter.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

MC : Self-discipline and constant observing help me improve as a designer.

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

MC : Lack of technical knowledge and cultural understanding, poor time-management and naïve communication skills.

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

MC : Designer should present their work in keeping with their design concept.

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

MC : More residential design is coming soon. And I am hoping to keep creating new housing concept and dwelling environment.

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

MC : I wish my ultimate goal as a designer is to share the thought with people and the developers that there are so many ways of living, and to embrace new possibilities of how we could live in urban environment.

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

MC : Exceptional design quality.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

MC : Creative design solves problem, so as society’s issue.

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

MC : An unconventional small family apartment space.

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

MC : KT apartment. It is my 2017 residential interior project. It has a unconventional space arrangement for a young couple in a limited 60 square-meter space. There are not many materials used and it is mostly a white space with wooden floor, but you can feel the freedom of space and flowing of light, which give you a sense of being in a bigger space.

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

MC : I think the design field has evolve to a point where there is no more diversity but only similarity due to the inevitable globalization. Designers and clients might need to focus more on the basic, in order to find new path.

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

MC : Not for the rich, but for the necessary.

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

MC : It usually takes 6 months to finalize a design.

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

MC : I start with studying the given site condition and analyze client’s need.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

MC : Simple and clear.

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

MC : I think trends set the designs nowadays, which I am opposed to.

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

MC : Technology can only help our life to a point where things became easier and move convenient, but it can not solve everything.

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

MC : CAD, Photoshop.

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

MC : Color, materials and light, their harmonious balance is crucial to create the ambience of space.

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

MC : Anything they are interested in.

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

MC : I would be interested in knowing the back story of how they come up with the concept of the design.

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

MC : Someone who can help me run the company, so I can concentrate on design.

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

MC : My client’s personality and interests are influential on my design.

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

MC : none

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

MC : Work hard and try new things.

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

MC : Albert Einstein.

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

MC : My favorite color is white. My favorite food is Taiwanese local food. My favorite season is winter.

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

MC : A design problem solved could make my day. A client’s smile could make my day.

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

MC : Not obvious.

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

MC : Co-exist with other being in the universe.

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

MC : My work, and what my work focuses on, which is the beauty of simplicity.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

MARTY CHOU RECEIVED HIS BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE IN UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, CANADA IN 2002, AND MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ADVANCED ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK, USA IN 2005. SINCE 2016, HE HAS BEEN TEACHING ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO IN NTUT, TAIPEI, TAIWAN. “MARTY CHOU ARCHITECTURE” WAS FOUNDED IN 2013, AND HAS SINCE BEEN DEDICATED TO PURSUE THE ART OF CLARITY AND THE BEAUTY OF SIMPLICITY IN ARCHITECTURE. WORKS ARE PUBLISHED IN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AND HAVE WON THE 2017 TID AWARD AND 2018 WIN AWARD


The Mermaid Home

The Mermaid Home by Marty Chou

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