We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Li-Yu Cheng ("LC").
The architect, Li-Yu Cheng, is a lecturer of Interior Design Department in Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan. To fulfill ambitions toward modernist architectures and contemporary spatial design, in 2010, Li-Yu Cheng founded Studio X4 at a multi-cultural city, Taipei, where the teams dedicating to urban languages and interdisciplinary studies toward both exterior and interior spatial design.
Li-Yu Cheng Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Li-Yu Cheng.
Designer Interview of Li-Yu Cheng:
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LC : Studio X4 is a design studio + workshop based in Taipei, Taiwan. Founded in 2010, Studio X4 consists of 6 problem solvers engaging in architecture, interior space and product design. They focus on materials and proportion which brings the abstract feeling into solid experience, and engaging in projects that lasts with the passing of time.
DI: What is "design" for you?
LC : Constantly solving problems and resolving to practice will make the outcome a good design.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LC : Interior designs.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LC : Steel, glass, woodwork, concrete.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
LC : Mostly in the morning.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LC : The paradigm of UI and graphic design had a radical change and become simpler around these 10 years. Even though space design is far from it. I prefer simplify complicated issues and I think it’s the trend in the future. My principle of design is “less is more”, meaning that to uncover the essence of things to make them less. And I also believe in “form follows function”. Only the style that truly solves problems makes it lasts long. We have to recognize which of them are design techniques and which ones are the style. Authentic styles have their implied meaning.
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?
LC : We try to use model thinking to meet the requests of our clients not only aesthetically but also in everyday experience, including five senses, then the “style” was formed. We are all humans so that these artificials would have our characteristics inscribed. The style between the users’ requests and the way of working it out makes the designer’s style.
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?
LC : Taiwan is a place with complicated histories. Since the migration of KMT to Taiwan in 1949, people mixed lived with former Fujian immigrants. After 2 to 3 generations, varied cultures integrated. Due to its complexity, sometimes we’re not sure which one we belong to. We are more like the mirror inherently. We switch between different cultures and eventually develop our own one. This is the most distinctive part of culture in Taiwan.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LC : Some people would see a project the key in their life, but sometimes it’s only a slightest part of it. We have to reconsider it from a long-term perspective. What we do in the project “MASTECH Workspace” is no more than fix a bug in the machine. The company is like a robot or organs in human body, and our mission is to deal with overlaying issues between RD/PM, and accounting/sales departments. The reformation of the layout could reconnect the people so employees could work more efficiently.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LC : I encourage students to follow in masters’ steps like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. At the age of 20 to 40, they were designing houses. They engaged in large projects and commercial buildings only when they were mature enough. This way, you can handle different scales in every new case, eventually knowing which one suits you most. We will lose the delicacy of space design if everyone dives into large scale projects.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
LC : The comprehension of different scales and proportions.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LC : Mostly SketchUp and Layout.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LC : Make sure five most important things be done every morning.
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LC : Usually from 6 to 8 months.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LC : We work as a team, trying to come up with best ideas through discussing.
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LC : Right now we are working on a project much different from interior design: A kit for dentists which helps them with dental implanting.
DI: How can people contact you?
LC : Please go to our website https://www.studiox4.com/