Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Vivian Lu ("VL") 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.
VL : I have been working as a scenographer for 6 years after attending Central Saint Martins in London. From theatre set visuals to costume designs, runway shows to large, elaborate events for corporations such as Banco Nacional Ultramarino Macau, I have delivered over 70 shows in different corners of the world including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Portugal, London...etc.
VL : As a stage designer, I am constantly trying to find ways to strengthen connections between audiences and my set design. Recently i have been attempting to bring in new technology and innovations to traditional theatre. Although nothing can replace traditional stage, i truly believe in utilising more technology as a medium to further elevate a stage allowing more interaction and immersion for the audience.
VL : Since i was a kid, I always knew that my passion lay in visual communication. I was known to be the "crafty kid" in school, involving myself in painting props or sets for our school plays. Thus I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the design industry. However it wasn't until my foundation course where I got to try out different art mediums that I was so sure that 3d Art Installation was my calling
VL : I design set for theatres and work on visual art production for commercial events and brands. I am currently designing the architecture of a new hotel in Macao. My dream project would be to be part of the design team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing.
VL : There are many interpretation of "success". There are always going to be designers that have worked more jobs or have worked in more famous theatres than you. However, the key to really enjoy your work and be "successful" in your own work, is to have your own opinions in matters; your own way to tell a story and share what truly matters to you.
VL : "Good design sends the same message to everyone, A great designer sends a different message to everyone."
VL : A good design is able to capture people’s imagination and encourage thoughts or spark conversations that may not have existed before.
VL : I would love to design for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2022.
VL : I would like to be part of the design team of the Opening of the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing
VL : Just stay curious.
VL : Es Devlin! I have seen all of her interviews, and sometimes watch it over and over again while I'm working. It motivates me so much when I'm doubting myself or when I am having one of those "design blocks".
VL : Anything from Es Devlin, love her for her braveness in designs.
VL : "Absinthe" is one of my favourite pieces I've done because it truly embodies my transformtion from a designer to an artist. With Absinthe, I tried to merge different forms of senses together (sound and sight) and to magnify them to create a lasting visceral experiences for the audience.
VL : I always believed that staying curious will get me to places. I firmly believe in experimenting, trial and error and being brave when it comes to the production in design.
VL : Design should create and solve chaos at the same time.
VL : My Mother.
VL : I think the biggest challenge in my profession is not the design itself but to be able to put something out there that represents you the way you want to be seen. I remember spending days sending out my portfolio to different theatres and companies that i looked up to, trying to get my name and designs out there.
VL : However represents them well, but most importantly, with confidence.
VL : I am working with Dortmund's Academy of theatre and digital, and hopefully I can bring my new work around the world in 2021.
VL : As a designer, our main job is to fulfill and provide a solution to a problem or need, and to ensure the solution provided has a positive impact on society. So to achieve that we must understand and study about the social, cultural and environmental implications our designs and finish outcome has on all factors of society. As a designer, I think it is no longer about creating beautiful aesthetics, but have a beautiful visual whilst having all the consequences carefully studied and considered. As a designer, I follow and agree with the term, form follows function, but for me the term "function" expands beyond the intended purpose of a design, and now includes the environmental implications and social responsibilities, its not only only to consider about the immediate environmental impact of our designs, but also the method of manufacturing, the use of material, the disposal of a design after it's life span, the elements in a production that can be reused in other design etc. For the social responsibilities, it is to ensure I make myself aware of the impact my design has on the community and society, whether or not there are cultural and political implications, whether of not my design serves as a catalyst to spark conversation on important issues and stimulate change, whether my designs improves the quality of the community. As a designer, we have the power and ability to shape the society and environment around us, we have the creativity, vision and ideas to shape a better society, we have the ability to come up with creative solutions beyond the limitation that are set for us and so I think it is our responsibility to best utilize this skill of ours to change our society for the better.
VL : I am currently in Dortmund doing a research program with The Academy of Theatre and Digital in Dortmund.
VL : Better design fees.
VL : I think we are all very curious about how digitally can be involve int theatre, and the world is now training digitally for the theatre and finding potential outcome with what it can become. There is a lot of interweaving into virtual reality as well and people are seeking new ways of telling a story through digital methods.
VL : "An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means its going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming"
VL : Design sets the trends
VL : Technology should be a new medium in assisting in a design, but not to overpower the main concept.
VL : Autocad, Adobe softwares, Sketch Up & Unity
VL : all from the above creates space and depth.
VL : Wish people can see the boldness and try to create different interpretation my work.
VL : That will be me one day.
VL : I believe in Co-design. My design Partner is also my best friend.
VL : I read everything.
VL : trial & errors.
VL : Es Devlin
VL : Its definitely a challenge to get yourself out there, because theres so many great designers out there. Think it is also a work of art to learn how to brand yourself.
VL : Black is my favourite Color, Toronto is my favourite place,Japanese is my favourite cuisine, and Spring is my favourite Season.
VL : I fell of the grand theatre during strike in.
VL : Nope, I just love to paint, and create different weird stories around the household. But it wasn't until I get to experiment with different art forms in uni that sparked my full interest in Stage Design.
VL : You can see more of my work on my instagram : vlu.designs
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