Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Tairan Hao and Shan Xu ("THASX") 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.
THASX : I am Tairan Hao, I was obsessed with oil painting when I was young, therefore I chose to attend an art school - California College of the Arts where I finished my bachelor of fine arts degree. My teammate Shan received an MFA degree in interaction design at California College of the Arts, and a BFA degree in New Media Design at China Central Academy of Fine Art. She is also interested in new media arts, interactive arts. We always consider ourselves as both artists and designers since we think arts and designs are reciprocal, connected, and relevant. We always wanted to contribute our creativity to the world and explore the possibilities of life through arts and designs.
THASX : I receive satisfaction when I can fulfill other people’s needs or solve a task with creative ideas. That’s what drove me to become a designer. I use my design to bring people what really matters to them and I want to use my design to solve problems for people.
THASX : I am capable of doing product, UI/UX, 2D, 3D, Game, Graphic, art, and more, But personally, I prefer to work on fine arts and game design.
THASX : Find innovative and inspirational ideas to develop, and work hard enough on it.
THASX : A great designer is distinguished when people can feel the value of their work. Their works generate reciprocity between the world and the audience.
THASX : A really good design can solve not only the problem but also has the power to communicate with people.
THASX : The good design will crack you up. It's a default; every design solution should be in line. However, the fun and delight are the goals. The hard sell times are past. Modern design seduces and brings pleasure.
THASX : There will always be someone better; there will always be someone who has negative comment on your design. But remember, we all have a skill that makes us awesome! what's yours? Identify it and exploit it! Usually, your superpower is what great careers are built around.
THASX : Neri Oxman, Oxman coined the term and pioneered the field of, Material Ecology, which considers computation, fabrication, and the material itself as inseparable dimensions of design. Her field and design attitude engaging and inspiring me to augment the relationship between built, natural, and biological environments.
THASX : My digital and graphic design are named "CODE," recently got the NDA prize in France, the design work combined computer C++ language and sewing machine to present. This work is the biggest project for me because I did it for two years with over and over iteration. The design outcome was eventually shown into a book and consisted of four parts.
THASX : Diversify your experience. A well-rounded design leader can wear many hats. They collect those hats by taking on responsibilities outside their design "discipline." If you are a Fashion Designer, do not be afraid to take on roles in Graphic Design. I have done Video Design, Animation Design, Graphic Design, Package Design, Toy Design, and Innovation Strategy. Without taking on all these experiences, I do not feel that I would be where I am today.
THASX : To accomplish a particular purpose. The meaning of design is so multifaceted, to the point that you can no longer say if a universal definition is at all possible.
THASX : My parents.
THASX : Learning and hearing are essential skills, and we need to learn how to appreciate others' work.
THASX : I am designing an animation film for a city's situation under COVID-19, through the abstract virus models as the character to engage people to face and fight the invaders.
THASX : "Ceramics Extension" When the audiences step into the installation space, they will sense a feeling of visual infinity. The visual interaction generates a strong feeling to the audiences that every object, everyone, everything is being extended infinitely. The interaction makes people think that they are stepping into a fantasy world that is created by themselves.
THASX : We believe all the design field's evolution depends on the future experience of human lives. The design has the power to change people’s behavior, improve people’s living quality, and explore the possibility of life.
THASX : The design field will be associated and collaborated more often with the technology industry because of the rapid development of technology.
THASX : It depends on the project. New media design project usually takes longer than 3D/2D works.
THASX : Research. I will dig into the design topic and find the potential pain points and needs of people, as well as the background research.
THASX : It can be both. Design sets the trends when there are lots of great works that are in a similar style or concept. Trends set the designs when there is a new evolution of technology, which needs good design.
THASX : Technology allows me to transfer my design concept into reality. Technology brings the possibility to my arts.
THASX : For 2D design, I use photoshop, Illustration, XD, Sketch, keynote, and more. For 3D, I use Maya, C4D, ZBrush, Substance Painter, and more. For 4D, I use After Effect, Premiere, Maya, and more.
THASX : Color can express the feeling of the design, while materials bring authenticity.
THASX : I am open to any kind of question people want to ask. But I prefer people to ask me about the design process more rather than the design outcome.
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