LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Chloe Liew ("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.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

CL : I got the Bachelor Degree in Interior Architecture from University of Sedaya International, Malaysia. After graduation, I got the chance to work with Henry Leung, a famous Hospitality designer from CAP Atelier(former company name was Chhada Siembieda Leung Pte. Ltd in Hong Kong). Henry has been my great mentor in my design life.

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

CL : I in fact wished to be a building architect, but I end-up to be an interior architect due to the Interior Architecture course takes shorter time to graduate. Now, I am glad that I could get the balance as being an Interior Architect. Ha-ha

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

CL : It was surely my choice, a passionate choice for aesthetic building and space

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

CL : I do design for Hospitality space,School/Academy space, Commercial retail/ corporate offices and also some private residences. I love for projects that are seeking for new thoughts and direction, that challenge more creativity.

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

CL : To have persistence in the right position. Design is a long process, we need to keep learning and explore to get different experience

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

CL : Vision and practice, a different way in seeing and doing things

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

CL : The intention and approach based on the medium and context on the design, that carry out well-functional, aesthetic and wow factor.

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

CL : Good design generates economic and social value, and could enhance our lives.

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

CL : Projects that are seeking for new thoughts and direction; Client who are willing to try and go for something unique with their own personality.

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

CL : I dream of creating furniture and decorative products of my own brand. This is a very big project.

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

CL : OK, I tell you secretly... keep passion, and stay out of the box.

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

CL : Avel Verdvoot, Carlo Scarpa, Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Christian Liaigre etc.

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

CL : I like design that somehow got the shadow of Japanese Zen Influences that speaks to the universe and nature, which is soothing and poetic. But i also like wild and fascinating design from Philip Starck.

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

CL : Salon De Ning Jazz Bar in The Peninsula Shanghai. Its every single detail tells a fantastic story and memory.

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

CL : Keep the passion, keep trying and exploring.

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

CL : Architect.

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

CL : Design is a language to connect people, the body and soul to the environment. It makes the world better.

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

CL : My business partner Samme Goh, and my family who always support me.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

CL : Learning and Exploring, and importantly listening the inner voice of myself.

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

CL : Learning to organize myself in between lots of different thoughts.

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

CL : With confidence and conviction.

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

CL : We are creating an office space for an Airline company. We inject lively and vibrant spirit into the office with the charm of flying. It's very interesting and totally different style from this kindergarten project.

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

CL : To make lives and world better.

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

CL : Better understanding about what they need.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

CL : Design influences people and, anything that can influence people can make an impact on society.

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

CL : I am now designing some product with Agar wood.

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

CL : The office for Universal Music Malaysia. Design and music are inherently connected. They are both forms of calculated expression. I am glad to put them together.

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

CL : Design that embrace technology, but sustainable design.

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

CL : AI based future.

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

CL : It depends. Few days to few months.

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

CL : I will first do research on the client background, specificities of program, site, function, and history which is essential to the creation of rigorous design work. From there, I will come out with a concept or story for the design.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

CL : What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.

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

CL : They both goes together proportionally, like "Chicken and Egg" Theory.

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

CL : The usage of modern technology performs the tasks in effective time and reasonable cost.

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

CL : Photoshop, Autocad, 3d max, Microsoft Words/ Powerpoint.

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

CL : They are the key to express design intention.

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

CL : I hope design can speaks by itself without questions. but I would still love to share the story behind.

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

CL : I would appreciate it and wonder how did he/she came out with this idea?

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

CL : My business partner Samme Goh, who complementary and challenge me. There must be chemistry occurs for co-design.

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

CL : Someone who are extraordinary and have great vision.

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

CL : Kengo Kuma <my life as an Architect>.

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

CL : Practicing and cultivating appetite for discovery. Never give up.

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

CL : Buddha.

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

CL : I feel honored and it gives encouragement to produce more great works. Yes it is difficult to be famous. We need to work hard for it.

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

CL : Grey and white. Malaysia local flavor food. I love Autumn. I love my British shorthair cat

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

CL : I tried to gain more inspiration when I drank wine. But normally I would fall asleep directly.

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

CL : I always like this quote to motivate myself in design: If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.

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

CL : No. I thought I would be a teacher.

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

CL : I see I will be still designing for a better life for all beings.

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

CL : I always love to share the story of our Company name "Eleven To One" (ELTO). It paints a concept of a clock. To draw a middle line on the clock, 12 o’clock is the boundary. When hour hand straddles from 11 o’clock to 1 o’clock, it is beyond the boundary. It is just as design crossing different fields and creativity is always an essential. From 11am-1pm, or 11pm to 1am, there is neither ending nor beginning. It is a perfection of ever-lasting. It is beyond design through penetration and integration.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

CHLOE LIEW IS A VERSATILE AND WELL-VERSED MALAYSIAN INTERIOR ARCHITECT. WITH THE EXPOSURE IN OVERSEA FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS AND ORIGINALLY GROWN UP IN MALAYSIA, SHE ACQUIRED VAST EXPERIENCE IN USING MULTI-CULTURAL ELEMENTS INTO HER DESIGNS AND MAKES THEM TO BE VERY UNIQUE AS COMPARED TO OTHERS. IN EVERY PIECE OF HER DESIGN, SHE ALWAYS THINKS OUT OF THE BOX BY ADOPTING THE APPROACH OF STORY-TELLING INTO SPACE PLANNING AS WELL AS DESIGN CONCEPTUALIZATION. CHLOE ALWAYS PLACES HUMANITY AS THE CENTER CORE WHILE PERFORMING HER DESIGN, AND THEN CAPTURE THE EMOTIONAL VALUE INTO DESIGN FROM MULTIPLE ANGLES AND PERSPECTIVES. MOST IMPORTANTLY, SHE CAN STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN THE PRACTICALITY AND AESTHETIC IN HER DESIGN, THEREFORE, HER END PRODUCTS DO NOT RUN TOO FAR AWAY FROM REALITY. SHE BELIEVES IN GREAT MASTERPIECE INTERIOR DESIGN WILL FINALLY BE TREASURED AND TREATED AS AN ETERNAL ART.


Avenue Green Sheshan Kindergarten

Avenue Green Sheshan Kindergarten by Chloe Liew

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