Name: Lu-Wei Chen
Occupation: Founder and designer at Drilling Lab
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I don’t consider myself a designer with such a sharp characteristic. However, I can be pretty tenacious about certain things, which makes me go for what I crave for no matter what it takes.
I design products ranging from consumer electronics to home ware, and really enjoy creating design in various categories. With my industrial design background, designing fashion accessories is novel domain for me. Rather than constructing my own style, I’m more concerned with breaking the existing framework of fashion accessories. I would like to bring disparate ideas to consumers through my design.
2. What's a typical day like for you?
I’ve been keeping my daily routine ever since I started my business. Most of the time I’m working on what’s in front of me, and that takes up a great deal of time; from time to time I do head out to see new stuff.
I studied mechanics in college and never heard of “product design” as a discipline until I saw it on TV news. I’ve been into graffiti ever since my childhood, and product design is a field that combines my knowledge in mechanics and my passion for portraying humanity. That was why I chose to study Industrial Design later in university.
4. What inspires your work?
Thanks to interdisciplinary learning, I realised that different people can have entirely different perspectives on the same thing depending on the shoes they’re in. Different logic, different definition. From my perspective, a so-called good design or beautiful work of art can be appreciated with varying mindsets. What I want to do is hop between different conceptions and create products that respond to divergent lifestyles, or even invent new ones. Design can shape numerous universes, like a role playing game.
5. Any advice you would give to budding designers or entrepreneurs?
Designers are romantics. Deep inside, they crave to create what they desire. If you work as a designer in a company, you might make unbiased decisions with the advice from your colleagues. If you start your own business, you’ll have to strike a balance between creation impulse and rational market analysis. Learn from people in your field or your target customers. Make your design competitively original and originally competitive. Also, set an agenda and manage your progress: while designers are known to be picky, it’s important to avoid making constant adjustments.
6. What's your favourite piece in Drilling Lab's collection?
Every piece of work has been a favourite of mine at some point in time. Over time, rationality kicks in and my obsession over it fades. My current favourite is something I’m working on about demonstration and designation.
Thanks for your time Lu-Wei - check out Drilling Lab's Clamp Series here!