We, as the Designer Interviews ("DI") had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview award-winning, most creative and innovative Justin Bridgland, Jaycee Chui ("JBJC").
MDO is an architecture and interior design practice based in Shanghai dedicated to creating innovative and beautiful bespoke solutions. Our approach is highly spatial, exploring scale and proportion, and creating journeys and stories rich in detail, material and light. MDO was founded by Jaycee Chui in 2014. An ARB qualified Architect and interior designer, Jaycee over 16 years of experience in London, Hong Kong and China. Her international background fused in Eastern and Western cultures, helps to develop the practice across China. Her approach focuses on the emotional response to space and design and the beauty of everyday space. Justin Bridgland is an RIBA Chartered architect from London with over 17 years experience working on award winnings projects in London, China and the Middle East. His work is sculptural, focusing on scale and proportion and the use of light. His projects are highly detailed, emphasizing the relationship between concept and craftsmanship.
Justin Bridgland, Jaycee Chui Designs
We are pleased to share with you original and innovative design work by Justin Bridgland, Jaycee Chui.
Designer Interview of Justin Bridgland, Jaycee Chui:
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?
JBJC : I studied architecture originally before moving to more interior design when I came to China. I actually wanted to be a musician, it’s still my other favorite pastime.
DI: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
JBJC : MDO is an award winning architecture and interior design practice based in Shanghai dedicated to creating innovative and beautiful bespoke solutions. Our approach is highly spatial, exploring scale and proportion, and creating journeys and stories rich in detail, material and light.MDO was founded by Jaycee Chui in 2014.
DI: What is "design" for you?
JBJC : Everything. All things have the potential to be well designed, to create and emotional response. If not, it’s a missed opportunity.
DI: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
JBJC : Ones where the client is engaged and where we can experiment with space.
DI: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
JBJC : I don’t like favorites things as they are limiting by definition. I am always happy when I find new things.
DI: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
JBJC : A boathouse for a rowing club in Bray, London. It was my first architectural job in London and my boss gave me a great opportunity.
DI: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
JBJC : Light. Without light there is no space.
DI: When do you feel the most creative?
JBJC : In the shower. I keep my phone close to record ideas
DI: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
JBJC : We are architects working on mostly interior design, so we are interested in the relationship between the two. We treat our designs as journeys.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
JBJC : A mixture of anxiety and pleasure. You need to go down before you can come up.
DI: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
JBJC : See question 10!
DI: What makes a design successful?
JBJC : A good team with a trusting client.
DI: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
JBJC : Does it move me?
DI: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
JBJC : To make our surroundings better then when we received them should be a common goal.
DI: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
JBJC : It’s a little too big a subject, but I believe some design will try to solve our current problems, whilst others will just make it worse.
DI: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
JBJC : We haven’t had time yet to put on a physical exhibition, but our work is exhibited digitally.
DI: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
JBJC : We love to travel as much as possible. Inspiration can hit anytime.
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?
JBJC : We try not to have a style, more an approach or methodology to out work.
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?
JBJC : Shanghai, China. It’s a city with lots of energy which is very influential. The speed of China is both positive and negative. Our designs welcome this energy, but also try to create space and time for people to be able to relax.
DI: How do you work with companies?
JBJC : Amicably.
DI: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
JBJC : Its important to find like minded people.
DI: Can you talk a little about your design process?
JBJC : Testing, testing and more testing.
DI: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
JBJC : The table my wife designed for our dining room, its called the Hide and Seek table where our young children and dog can play. The red shelves my wife designed which balance beautifully with our table. Our Ligne Roset Togo lounge chair, beautiful design and everyone fights to sit on it. My study’s Thonet S32 chair. My 1959 Gibson Les Paul in Tea burst finish.
DI: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
JBJC : Not to rush too quickly. Designers are lucky in that they get better as they age.
DI: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
JBJC : It’s a tough job with many uncertainties, however it allows you to do your passion for your living.
DI: What is your "golden rule" in design?
JBJC : Proportion and scale.
DI: What skills are most important for a designer?
JBJC : To keep an open mind, and persevere.
DI: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
JBJC : Hand sketch, 3d modeling and physical samples. Its important to balance the real with the digital
DI: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
JBJC : By prioritizing, being efficient and delegating.
DI: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
JBJC : Depends how long the client gives you.
DI: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
JBJC : Give me something special.
DI: What was your most important job experience?
JBJC : The ones where you learn the hard lessons.
DI: Who are some of your clients?
JBJC : We work with many of the top residential developers in China.
DI: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
JBJC : Projects which involve interesting challenges.
DI: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
JBJC : Grow our practice in China. We would like to develop our luxury design projects. We are also planning to start developing our own projects in other countries. We have started our first of these projects next to Edinburgh Castle.
DI: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
JBJC : I usually start the project myself and then work with my team to develop it. Its important that the team see the project through from concept to completion to ensure the idea is realized. Its also how we can test and evaluate our designs.
DI: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
JBJC : We are working on Yacht club in Muscat, Oman where we are the architects and interior designers. Hopefully it will complete in 2021.
DI: How can people contact you?
JBJC : By email.