Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yen, Pei-Yu ("YP") 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?

YP : My taste and view about art were influenced by my mother – an art teacher who’s enthusiastic about bringing art to everyone’s everyday life. My upbringing then made me very interested in interior design and led me to pursuing a career as an interior designer when I was in my high school.

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

YP : As far as I can recall, it was a photo about interior design that gave the thought that ‘I hope I can design my home one day’. This idea then made me decide to become an interior designer.

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

YP : I decided to become an interior designer when I was in my high school.

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

YP : I want to challenge myself by designing projects for various use.

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

YP : I don’t think I’ve become a design legend. But I think what matters for anyone who would like to be a good designer is to keep passionate about design. Always remember what motivates one to become a designer – this helps, especially when facing up challenges and frustration.

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

YP : A good designer designs good work, and a great designer designs great work.

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

YP : It all comes back to the user – if a design is good, the user will feel it and understand why a good design is worth investing.

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

YP : I would be very interested in designing a shelter for stray dogs if I have the chance. I hope they can have a home to live in, not a cage to be locked up.

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

YP : Luxurious, trendy, and posh club.

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

YP : Listen to your heart.

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

YP : Ieoh Ming Pei, Andou Tadao

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

YP : While many of my achievements came from my hard work, my family’s support is vital for me.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

YP : Keep learning from other excellent designers.

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

YP : Finding a niche that allowed me to express my uniqueness a was very difficult when I started to work as an independent designer.

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

YP : I would like to showcase my design to people around the world and work on overseas projects.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

YP : We cannot live without out design and art. A great design can brighten our everyday life with aesthetics. I think this is already a great improvement of the society.

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

YP : I am trying pottery now.

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

YP : I hope the society can appreciate and trust designers’ professional opinions more.

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

YP : It depends on the project, but generally speaking it takes around 6 months to finalise the design.

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

YP : Listen to the user.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

YP : Work for yourself; don’t let others define you.

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

YP : I haven’t got the chance to work with others. If possible, I would like to collaborate with other designers so learn about how they foment and crystalise their ideas.

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

YP : Designer friends and also those who are highly imaginative about the possibility of lives.

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

YP : Ieoh Ming Pei and Tadao Andou.

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

YP : I am a bit surprised and feel encouraged – it feels like someone understands what motives me to be a designer through all this time. This award is a recognition of my hard working. It doesn’t come easily. I will keep working hard to create better work in future.

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

YP : I love the colour black, cafe that surrounds by a forest or the dinning room at my home, the chilling early autumn and the awakening spring, and Boucheron and Celine.

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

YP : While doing the Revival Cafe at Tainan, one of the constructors told me that he had been locked up here due to a car accident once when the building was still used as a police station.

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

YP : I think designing is to create beautiful life and things. One has to immerse themselves into all sorts of life experience to be a good designer because this experience is a great source of inspiration.

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

YP : Yes, I dreamed to become a famous designer when I was young.


Revival Cafe

Revival Cafe by Yen, Pei-Yu

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