We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Xiaohe Shen ("XS").
Xiaohe Shen is an award-winning designer that helps make the World a better place with their original and innovative creations and advanced design works.
Xiaohe Shen Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Xiaohe Shen.
Designer Interview of Xiaohe Shen:
DI: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
XS : I studied jewelry design and metal craft in my undergraduate and graduate school. And continue working in jewelry industry field after I graduated. For me, I like drawing and painting since I was a kid. I know I want to be a designer when I was very young, because I always feel the desire to create something beautiful for the world.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
XS : I'm current working as an independent artist for my own jewelry. I'm hoping after years accumulation of work, I will have my studio soon in the future.
DI: What is "design" for you?
XS : Design to me is extraction and refining the beauty.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
XS : Ring, and earrings
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
XS : I like simple, elegant and timeless design. And that's what I'm trying to achieve in my own work. Right now my favorite design the latest ring I made called The Arc Ring. It's a signet ring with 3ct green blue sapphire. The whole construction is built with curve. I think that ring has a very strong powerful character, but yet remain a modest feeling.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
XS : A big cocktail ring with flower element and big color stone.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
XS : Gold, diamond, and color gems.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
XS : When I was relax.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
XS : When I design a jewelry, I focus the most in the balance of beauty and functionality and whether it’s technically achievable.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
XS : It’s usually mixed with expectation, disappointment and satisfaction, those three feeling roll in a rotation. During the process of design, sometimes I would feel that I lost the judgement about the work I’m doing. When I see the working in progress piece, I frequently feel disappointed and worried. But all the doubles will be gone after seeing the finished piece. And would be replace by satisfaction.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
XS : No matter the design need to be further revised or not, I always feel happy to see my designs be realized.
DI: What makes a design successful?
XS : I think a successful design shows designer’s good taste, his or her comprehensive thinking about user experience as well as the excellent craftsmanship.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
XS : Disregard whether it's beautiful or not, I would consider first if it's easy to use.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
XS : I think designer’s key responsibilities for society and environment is to make product that is suitable for society’s evolution trend and at the same time thinking about how to use resource more efficiently and wisely to produce the product.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
XS : As the whole world is more and more replying on new technologies, design won't be isolated from this big trend. Before, we used to think design related mostly with art, in the future, I think design will become a subject that crossover science and art.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
XS : It’s 2017 at Big Code Gallery in Soho, New York. I’m looking for to have the next one in later this year or early 2020.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
XS : My inspiration usually comes from modern architecture and traditional Oriental art and crafts. I gain my creativity from reading and traveling constantly.
DI: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
XS : Concise and is rich in stereoscopic feeling.
DI: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
XS : I grew up in China, I had studied art in both of China and the United State, right now I’m living in New York City. Yes, I do think cultural heritage of China affects my designs. I like to combine modern structure with ancient eastern feeling in my design, and I appreciate the effect from both sides.
DI: How do you work with companies?
XS : In the company, I work as production designer. My job is to transfer design concept to reality through 3D modeling.
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
XS : I think if the company already have a big design heritage and they want to continue, it's better to choose the designer whose style is suitable for company's direction. But if the company is looking for some changes, then maybe looking for designer in different style, and give he/she more space for creating.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
XS : I start with searching for the inspiration, and doing sketches, after I know which direction I will start 3D modeling the concept. And from that point, keep on refining the model until it become the balance in both of aesthetic side and functional side.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
XS : My mac, Tom Dixon Fire Diffuser, JWDA table lamp, Modway Jive office chair, Muji Ultrasonic aroma diffuser
DI: Can you describe a day in your life?
XS : Wake up in the middle of morning, working from 10-6 on my full time job for company. Take some rest in the evening, listen to music or watch some TV show. Start to working on my own design ideals from around 10pm until 2am.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
XS : As still a young designer, I would suggest younger designers to do more research and try to broaden they views at the beginning of their career. This will help them to determine which path they would like to follow up with.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
XS : The positive part is that seeing the idea becomes reality make me feel so satisfied. And knowing my creativity can bring happiness to people is also an incomparable joy. The negative part is that designer can’t always do whatever they want. To make a project successful, there are so many aspects need to be considered.
DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?
XS : I don't have rules, all just follow with instinct
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
XS : Thinking with big picture in mind and good communication skill,
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
XS : Rhino, Grasshopper, Modo, Keyshot, Photoshop, Illustrator.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
XS : I work full time for company. So as for my own design, I usually use time after work or weekend. But when I want to design something, I won’t stop thinking even when I’m not sitting in front of computer or with my sketch book. The idea may come while I was waiting for the train or walking on the street.
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
XS : Depends on how complicate the item is. I tend to slow down this period. Because time can help me to see the imperfection of the design.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
XS : "Did you design this?"
DI: What was your most important job experience?
XS : My current job for working as production designer in such big jewelry company.
DI: Who are some of your clients?
XS : So far my works are not really facing public, so my "clients" are mostly friends and family
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
XS : I like to work on customized design. Such as doing one of a kind design. Because usually with this kind of projects, customers tend to have more specific requests and preferences. As a designer, I will have much more close communication with customers. And in my experience, knowing better what do customers want, is very helpful for finding the right direction to develop the project. And working in a right direction is the key point to make the design achieve customers’ expectation.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
XS : So far I had made mostly fashion jewelry, this year I’m planing to make more fine jewelry with color stones. And will also preparing a better story for each design.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
XS : For my own jewelry design works, I work by myself.
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
XS : Currently I’m working on some fine jewelry pieces that will have gem stones such as emerald, tourmaline, sapphire and tanzanite been applied on. The design will include ring, pendant and earring.
DI: How can people contact you?
XS : People can contact me through the contact page on my website: xiaoheshen.com , also can message me through my instagram account: xiaoheshen