LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yueyue (Zoey) Zhang ("Y(Z") 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?

Y(Z : The first time I access industrial design was my undergraduate in 2010. Then my ranked no.1 academic performance promoted my smooth admission into my graduate school in China. Now, I have been still worked on my MFA program of industrial design at the Rochester Institute of technology.

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

Y(Z : I have been fond of innovative activities since childhood. From the beginning, I just hoped that this world could change a little better because of my design. However, with deeper professional learning, I found that design is different from invention. Design is more like summary and improvement, which is a process to find solutions by observation, communication, and tries. It is also the process to propose hypotheses and concepts. Now I hope my design can really address the needs of the target users and really help those in need.

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

Y(Z : Traditional subjects are always the last choices for me. I prefer to challenge myself to take my undergraduate study in a fresh-new field. In 2010, industrial design was just an emerging and rising major in china at that time. I have been keeping close attention to major fields in industrial design since I first got to know this fascinating area through regular widespread readings during my first year in high school. The more I know, the deeper I am attracted. I am convinced that the major study in industrial design is what I strongly would like to get involved in and I also believe such specialized undergraduate study could enable me to get more work opportunities in the future.

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

Y(Z : I collaborate on a wide variety of projects such as appliances, furniture, toy, medical device, kitchenware, etc. I really enjoy the projects related to children and education, because they always inspired me a lot and attracted me to get involved in. I hope the next generation could get some benefits from my design.

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

Y(Z : Keep talking, thinking, and involving in life.

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

Y(Z : In my opinion, the good design addresses the needs of target users, and greater design is that on this basis, it not only meet the needs of users but also can bring users a positive psychological impact, even a positive impact on the whole society.

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

Y(Z : First of all, a good design should be accepted by its target users. In my opinion, a good design does not have to be liked by the general public, but this design can directly target its clients, capture the most real needs of its target group. Through design can be clever, simple, and effectively meet its user's needs. Second, a good design needs to solve its core problems without creating other serious problems.

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

Y(Z : Design is the designer's attitude towards life. For me, design is an indispensable part of my life. Design is my curiosity about life, design is my yearning for future life, and design is my motivation to integrate into life.

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

Y(Z : My parents are my biggest support, just like many Chinese families of my generation, I am the only child in my family. When I was very young, my parents kept trying to give me more opportunities to contact the world. When I chose to enter the design filed, they never interfered with my decision but were happy that I could find my favorite career. I like to talk to them about my recent projects. Sometimes, they will share their experiences and opinions with me. Sometimes, they will listen to me very carefully in areas they are not familiar with.

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

Y(Z : I hope there is at least one piece of design that people like to use and pass around.

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

Y(Z : One of my projects is an interactive toy for children with autism.This project came from AccessAbility@RIT. The problem being addressed is the lack of toys that are focused on creating cause-effect connections for children in need of special care. I am now regularly working with children at Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, a member of the Al Sigl Community of Agencies, to refine the design.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

Y(Z : Life is made up of small challenges one after another

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

Y(Z : I think this is complementary. When the design accidentally reaches a certain amount in a certain aspect, a trend is formed. These trends then guide other designers to design. However, why the design will form a trend depends on other factors. Therefore, in fact, they complement each other in terms of design and trend itself, and the formation of the trend depends on the needs of users, society, and the environment.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

YUEYUE ZHANG IS A CREATIVE AND PASSIONATE INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER. SHE HAS BEEN FOND OF INNOVATIVE ACTIVITIES SINCE CHILDHOOD. THE FIRST TIME SHE ACCESSES INDUSTRIAL DESIGN WAS HER UNDERGRADUATE IN 2010. THEN, HER EXTRAORDINARY ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AT THE UNDERGRADUATE PHASE PROMOTES HER SMOOTH ADMISSION INTO GRADUATE SCHOOL. IN 2017, SHE DECIDED TO STUDY ABROAD IN THE UNITED STATES TO GET A DEEPER AND WILDER UNDERSTANDING OF DESIGN. THROUGH HER 10-YEAR ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE, SHE HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO MORE DIVERSIFIED DESIGN THINKING WHICH IS GENERATED BY DISTINCT CULTURES AND DIFFERENT EDUCATION METHODS.


GravitATE Tableware

GravitATE Tableware by Yueyue (Zoey) Zhang

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