No doubt, we all like chitchat, however, it just rarely happened in an interview. Well we made it come true anyway! Pizza & chips with bitter sparking lemonade, and probably two mugs of beer! There you go! An interview geared itself sweetly in this relaxing kind of mood and dark bar vibe. We're pretty fine with that pace for the interview cause you know, nothing that hurry and serious here in Australia, right?
As a project for Live Design Studio in Billy Blue, me and my group kicked off an interview couple weeks ago with a senior in-house graphic designer Tony Wong, who works in an architecture firm called Turner Studio based in Sydney. Turner actually is a big company with over 90 employees from different background. Well as a member in group of four, Tony works in design department which is the very 10% within the business structure. Since it's an architecture firm, 80% of the staff in Turner are architects and the rest 10% is divided by marketing and associate. Wow, it means a lot to me cause imagine you could actually deal with a lot of design works since it is not a big team so far. Hmm, huge opportunity! - Anyway..
"We design for the environment." It started the topic about the roles for graphic designers in Turner. For me, "Environment Design" is a totally new area. (btw, Frost*collective does a good job on environments) However, you can't really tell there's no connection back to graphic design. They all start with simple lines and shapes. Since year two in design college, I was inspired a lot from architecture and landscape design perspective cause it encourages me to think in a macroscopical way. Luckily, after I came across a biography film called "A strong clear vision", the American born Chinese designer and artist Maya Lin turned to one of my idol. She actually led me to an area where filled with massive space but also details on art. She is an awesome woman who has the ability to control the balance between art and architecture. It's the first time I jumped out of the box and tried to see design in big picture. Well back to those who design the internal of an architecture, the key design challenge is "wayfinding" and "signage". The tiny little words on the wall should be designed functionally and also aesthetically. For those who are not familiar with these two terms, "Wayfinding" is a system encompasses all of the ways in which people (andanimals) orient themselves in physical space and navigate fromplace to place; while "Signage" refers to signs collectively, especially commercial or public display signs. So it's designers' job to bring the specific personality to that building with icons and design elements. Besides, materials are vital for their design because it should also match the environment and vibe. The challenge here is to choose the right materials for both design concept and clients cause the reality is - if there's no budget for design part in the end from clients, designers will have to reconsider the material thing but still maintain the design quality. - Tough?
Well, life always has two sides as we all know that in a way. Something like helping architect win the pitch, doing the presentation for clients, updating the identity system in the company, designing printed stuff for marketing team and etc. drive them super busy sometimes. But as what Tony said, "It's fine" cause such rhythm allows him to find the balance between boring and fun and also allow him to adjust his own pace for the work. So you get to know where is your area rather than jump on board randomly where is not suitable to you at all. Ask yourself like.. are you seriously able to endure the pressure from working in advertising industry? -- Sorry I am not trying to stop your bright future to be a mad man hah! Ok I'll leave you alone now!
Oh yeah for the questionnaire, some questions such as "What is the most frustrating situation in your working experience"; "How do you usually manage your project"; "What's the most important characters if you work as an in house designer", etc. Those interesting thoughts and stuff from Tony you could easily find out in the video below! Feel feel to have a look.
Awesome! Well I am a talkative person now I realized it, but I do hope our effort on this interview could help you in some way! As a sweet reminder - DON'T MISS OUT a promising potential career when you step out the Uni or college - being an excellent in-house designer maybe? You know sometimes the opportunity is right there but just because you have never ever thought about it! Well anyway, it's always good to see both sides rather than stick to one, isn't it?
Big thanks to my Wi-buddies:
Benny Pham & Jaz Heiman
for the efforts & love!
Interview Q & A
Afterthoughts & Inspiration