We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Tiger ChongSheng Guo ("TCG").
Tiger ChongSheng Guo is a China-born, New Zealand based designer. Brought up in a revolutionary time for design, with eastern roots grown in western soil, Tiger is a culturally diverse designer with a passion for additive manufacturing, fine detail handcraft, and solving the world’s problems one design at a time. Educated at Victoria University of Wellington in state of the art design and research practices, and versed in cutting edge manufacturing techniques, Tiger now aims to bring the wonders of auxetic materials and voxel-based printing to the design industry of tomorrow.
Tiger ChongSheng Guo Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Tiger ChongSheng Guo.
Designer Interview of Tiger ChongSheng Guo:
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?
TCG : I started studying design in high school almost a decade ago. My teachers Nathan Hey and David Norris convinced me to switch from engineering to design and I moved to Wellington, New Zealand to study Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington. I always wanted to do design, even before what I knew what design was. Watching Weta Workshop designing the Lord of the Rings was inspiring as a child.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TCG : TG Design Studio aims to connect people with good design.
DI: What is "design" for you?
TCG : Design is the stuff that distinguishes us from our ancestors. The grooves in your knife, the height of your chair, the softness of your couch, the width of your phone, the thing that keeps planes flying. Design is the scientific intent behind every thing made or done.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TCG : Products, about handsized, often including some form of mechanical movement.
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TCG : The Porche IP84S recliner is one of my favourite designers. It's such a good testament to the study of ergonomics and tried and true old school industrial design.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TCG : Venus, a homeware cup.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TCG : Favourite material is copper. Favourite platform is the 3D printer/STL databases. My favourite technology is the oldschool lathe.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
TCG : When I'm caffeinated and listening to music after about 9 hours of sleep and a hearty breakfast
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TCG : All of it, design isn't a process where you can play favourites to the steps. Design is a holistic process where each step influences one another, and thus must be considered as such.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TCG : Focus, joy, terror, amusement, satisfaction
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TCG : The same, but usually more anxious too
DI: What makes a design successful?
TCG : When it impacts people's lives in some way. If your design makes someone happy, healthy, or keeps someone full or employed, you've done a good job.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TCG : Whether or not the end was proportionately as valuable as the means invested.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TCG : To design for a better tomorrow.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TCG : The future of design is a broad question. The future of industrial design is a little more straight forward: digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing, coupled with parametric design systems and new age point of sale models will change how products are designed, made, and sold.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TCG : A' Winners' Exhibition at "MOOD" Museum of Design, Ex Chiesa di San Francesco, Como, Italy. Next exhibition is in Wellington, New Zealand. I want to hold an exhibition in Shanghai.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TCG : Inspiration is drawn from trying to succeed and make something useful for the world. My creativity is fed by my drive to strive for better design. I'm inspired by helping people at the end of the day.
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?
TCG : My design style is empirical when need be, but crazy also. I love using qualitative data and researching to justify every design decision, but I also love exploring form and losing myself in the process of it all to give it that unique flavour.
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?
TCG : New Zealand. It's a very uniquely bi-cultural nation, and definitely influences how I design with it's accepting heritage. Pros are it's a welcoming and supportive environment, cons is manufacturing is difficult to source.
DI: How do you work with companies?
TCG : I'm very independent. I consult frequently with clients to ensure they're kept in the loop and we're headed in a mutually agreed direction, but I love having autonomy on my own work and pace. I always deliver on a deadline however.
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TCG : Pick someone who doesn't work hard or smart, but both. You want someone who's going to be hammering out drawings at 4 AM for that last component, and who's also going to make copies of it instead of designing a new CAD file for your new series 6 months down the track.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TCG : I start with a lot of research and then start spamming concepts until something stands out among the masses. I like to think I'm mediocre at concept generation, but if I take enough shots that one of them will critically hit.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
TCG : I love my HP OMEN, it's an old 2014 model, but its served me through thick and thin. I love my toothbrush. Ye old faithful thousands year old Chinese design. I love my shoerack, it's $16 from the Warehouse, but it's robust, does the job, and looks good doing it. Good design doesn't have to be expensive. I love my Kolinsky Sable brushes. Someone a long time ago thought it would be good to harvest hairs off the little guys, but they are so beautiful to use.
DI: Can you describe a day in your life?
TCG : About 8 jobs, 5 meetings, and 0 sleep.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TCG : I'm still a young and up and coming designer in my opinion, so I'll leave the comments to the older veterans.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TCG : Positives: you getta live your dream and work at your own accord (to an extent and before deadlines). Cons: you might struggle every now and again, industry is tough.
DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?
TCG : If it's a shortcut, you probably shouldn't take it.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
TCG : Open-mindedness, adaptability, perseverance.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TCG : Fusion 360, SolidWorks, Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Pinterest, Google, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Bridge, Lightroom, PremierPro, AfterEffects, XD
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TCG : I try to and fail. It's all about knowing which meetings you can cancel for that 20 min nap that will rescue your whole day.
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
TCG : If it's only a concept, 2 minutes. If it's small, maybe a fortnight. If it's big, maybe a few months. My current design is certified internationally and has taken over a year before production began.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TCG : What do you actually do?
DI: What was your most important job experience?
TCG : National Design Manager of United Nations Youth New Zealand. Taught me how to manage work, colleagues, subordinates, superiors, and politics.
DI: Who are some of your clients?
TCG : Business New Zealand, Shwoop, Exsurgo, Victoria University of Wellington, Exsurgo, UrbanGroup, Auckland University of Technology, AgainAgain, United Nations, United Nations Associations of New Zealand, United Nations Youth, Howick Youth Council, Bats Theatre, Yellow Stocking Theatre Company
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
TCG : Rendering, it's like traditional sketching, but I don't have to run quality control on if my marker strokes are straight or not.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
TCG : Finishing this project for Exsurgo.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TCG : Both
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
TCG : Not that I can legally.
DI: How can people contact you?
TCG : email@example.com +64278101696 tgdesignstudio.com
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TCG : Not today