We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Unto ("Unto").
“Unto” is a designer duo of Ching Yi Chang and Ming Hsi Chou, collaborating since 2014, and have developed a coherent body of work characterized by drawing a close lens on nature, using the significance of objects as cultural conduits, and reintroducing things in a way that we often would otherwise oversee. Perceiving their role as a bridge between craft, industry, object, and user, Unto aims to rebuild our relationship with the everyday objects with a fresh mind and intentions to bring new dialogues and perspectives unto this rapidly changing world.
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Unto.
Designer Interview of Unto:
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Unto : The studio started as a collaboration between Angela and Mish, back in 2014 where they obtained their BFA in Product Design at Parsons The New School, New York. They have since been developing a cohesive body of work in fields of product, communication and spacial design.
DI: What is "design" for you?
Unto : We perceive our role as bridges that connects different fields and perspectives, linking between crafts, industry, objects, users, between people and the nature we live in including the historical, political and social forces that have shaped our environment. Therefore, design is finding what seems to one as an appropriate relationship and realizing that in a beautiful manner.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
Unto : We like to design things with a poetic touch.
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
Unto : We are a fan of objects that speak for themselves, one of our favorite design is Rams’s wall-mounted audio system. Comprised of two speakers, a tape recorder and a control unit, it was first made in 1964. The form is so simple with the intuitive functionality. The quiet appearance and tactile detail make the product shines for generations.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
Unto : Branding and interior design for Japanese cuisine in SoHo, Manhattan
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Unto : We are excited to be in contact with various of materials that our project should lead us to. But often times we find ourselves coming back to what have always been the familiar building blocks such as wood, glass, stones(minerals) and ceramic.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
Unto : When challenged. That is when creativity is called for, in a circumstance that a solution is needed and resources is limited.
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
Unto : It would be design research, and trying to think out of norms in order to find a fresh and suitable answer for a solution to better user experience.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Unto : The strong desire for the unknown.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Unto : The exclamations of joy.
DI: What makes a design successful?
Unto : When the object or experience is made better, by finding a harmonious balance between usefulness, functionality, aesthetics, means of production, and most of all speaks to our emotions.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Unto : If the design brings anything valuable or interesting to the table.
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Unto : Designers are repositories of desire. They vitalize the imagination and drive consumption. They inspire the world to see things be different and believe we can progress toward that imaginary world to making our dream comes true.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Unto : Design plays a fundamental role is sustainability because its the design that determines which resources are employed and how they are used. Design field after post war was aimed to make life better, nowadays we are in an unbalance designboom and great consumption. The future of design should take the responsibility to fix the issues, make the value of reduce, reuse and recycle to construct a healthier world.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
Unto : Tokyo, Japan in Spring 2019 Taipei, Taiwan in summer 2020
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Unto : We are the designers who propagates to work in sync with nature.
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?
Unto : We design by constantly challenging the way we perceive things, and hoping to bring fresh dialogues and perspectives. We want our design to speak for itself, and so not adding too much characteristics if not necessary. In the style language, we take on a style that is rather minimal, and usually nature inspired.
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?
Unto : Growing up in multicultural background, and currently back in the hometown, Taipei, it has been repositioning ourselves to discover the roots that's part of our identity.
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Unto : Life is a rollercoaster we all learnt from struggles.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
Unto : Meditation, research, sketching, model making.
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Unto : We feel like the design does not separate work from life, it is interweaved together and by managing the time is to find the balance of soaking up life and inspirations, could be small things or a planned trip, and being diligent and on top of deadlines at the same time.