Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Chia-Min Lin ("CL") 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.
CL : I have a master degree on graphic design and interaction design. Been working in the field for over 10 years now. I've worked as illustrator, teacher, designer. Handle projects from OEMs, museums, publishers, artists, theaters... etc.
CL : My biggest motivation is usually when I see the work I done went public, the achievement. See my efforts have become something really makes me happy. That's probably why I choose to be a designer.
CL : I guess both. I choose to be a designer because I thought that looks like a cool job. But the reality is not that cool. Most of the time you have probably 40 percent time to design, then the rest 60 percents is dealing with all kinds of nonsense. So I kind of force myself to keep running on this road.
CL : I design interaction between machine and human. I hope one day I could show people why interface is way more important than they think. Experience and interface are really two sides in one. It's way more powerful then we think. Too bad it was considered only as aesthetic issues.
CL : Keep walking and don't limited in one field. Be versatile and a cross-field designer.
CL : Good designers have good ideas. Great designer bring ideas to life.
CL : When it fits its project scope. The great work usually fits its context seamlessly and has the ability to guide people to gradully change their behaviors. When a user couldn't remember how was his/her life looks like before that specific product showed up, I think then the work could be called as good design.
CL : Good design reflect & provoke people's life. It tells people how they think about themselves. Good design invites introspective thinking and improvisations.
CL : I usually design fictional stories when I have some free time. I wrote and draw my stories. It's the pleasure only for myself.
CL : My next project.
CL : My tips is good ideas usually showed up when you're doing something unconcious, such as taking showers, felling into asleep, or walking. If you derive enough observation from daily life and learned enough, good ideas will jump out. Let your brain do the job. It connects thoughts without us knowing it.
CL : Kenya Hara. Steven Simpson. Paul Pangaro. Vannevar Bush.
CL : 2005 Japan Expo. So nicely blend into local culture with a respectful attitude.
CL : My favorite project is the Chinese Kan Opera Calendar I designed in 2015 when I was a graphic designer. I designed the calendar from scratch all by myself and it only went through one iteration with the client. It's such a delicate gift and has so many different layers to indicate the subtle transition with the Opera story. The reason I like it the most is not just because of the visual, but for its surprising experiences the calendar provides when an audience first open it. These tangible serendipities is hard to find within digital era. Interaction design has overemphasized the smoothness of functionalities and neglected the importance of creating possibilities. And this has become my ultimate goal as an IxD designer now.
CL : Don't let yourself go easy. Design is a continuous, life-long process. Keep learning and keep working.
CL : A historian
CL : A profound language, inviting relationship & conversation between the object and the person.
CL : I have met lots of good people along the way. They are my teachers, friends, family. They all kindly provide support in different forms of my career.
CL : A small theater in my head that always wondering. And I do self-teaching from time to time.
CL : Social skills. I am not an extroverted person but that's important in this industry to have connections with others.
CL : Participate design competitions and forums. Write books or blogs.
CL : Maybe I will come up with something to help us to deal with this pandemic. Especially something with highest level goal of a social economic system
CL : When I look back to my career, I won't feel regret.
CL : Problem solved.
CL : Make complicated things easier to understand.
CL : A motion graphic that I worked from scratch.
CL : Musiac. Because I put lots of efforts in it.
CL : I really hope how people see interface could change in the next couple of years. Look beyond the aesthetic and typography. It's a really powerful touch point between our conscious and reality. It decide what we see and how we see things. Shouldn't be judge by how it looks. It represents a point of view, an attitude.
CL : I hope design could focus more on real-life experiences, instead of everything goes digital. I hope designers could focus more on the meaning of an object. Bring back the old notion of take objects seriously.
CL : From weeks to months. Sometimes years. Really not my call.
CL : Figure out what's the problem. How should I define it. I usually ask myself: What's the frame of this project?
CL : Keep walking.
CL : Both. most designers let trends set themselves, some designers sets the trends.
CL : A catalyst to seduce more playful interaction. A boost to bring concept to reality.
CL : Macbook pro, Adobe, wacom, iPad and some music.
CL : Inspirations.
CL : What makes you come up with an idea like this?
CL : I need to do research about its story and context. Or sometimes just let the "wow" feeling runs for a while.
CL : Someone who knows me. The ideal co-designer have to be compatible to each other, in terms of skills, way of thinking, open minded, and most importantly, there need to be some mutual trust.
CL : My previous boss. He taught me so much about typography and information architecture. He is the founder of my design career. Then my professor at CCS. He changed my way of thinking the moment he walk into the classroom. He showed me how to be logical and conceptual and specific during the chaotic design process.
CL : Designing design by Kenya Hara. As we think by Vannevar Bush
CL : Self-learning. Be proactive finding solutions when you have a problem.
CL : Aubrey Vincent Beardsley in 19th century. Really want to see how he came up with the unconventional illustrations against the trends.
CL : It takes lots of time and effort to join these awards. Not an easy tasks.
CL : I like all real colors in nature. Favorite place depends on who I am with. I like sushi and seafood. Favorite thing is dreaming when I slept. Favorite brand: 22 studio.
CL : Once a client told me they have their logo in file and when I opened it, I realize it's a word documents.
CL : When I see my efforts become something real and useful. Achievement drives me the most.
CL : I draw on my father's white wall. And I read a bunch of Manga.
CL : Everything finally goes into quiet.
CL : Please continue to be the best of yourself.
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