Feature Story: Interview with David Chang, Founder of David Chang Design & Associates (DCDA), Principal Design, China

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David Chang

David Chang, a Chinese-Canadian Designer, founder of David Chang Design & Associates (DCDA), Principal Design Director, a member of the twelve-membered SBID expert committee (the only Asian expert member).

David Chang Design Associates International | Muse Awards

Interview with the 2019 Muse Design Awards Winner - David Chang

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
David Chang, a Chinese-Canadian Designer, founder of David Chang Design & Associates (DCDA), Principal Design Director, a member of the twelve-membered SBID expert committee (the only Asian expert member), a registered member of NCIDQ, ASID and IIDA, and ASID, with over 25 years of experience in luxury commercial, hotel, and residential interior design and management experiences in North America and Asia.

David was born in Taiwan, majored in Interior Design at both California State University in the United States and Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada, and studied “Green Building and Community Sustainability” professional certificate program at Harvard University. Deeply influenced by Chinese and Western culture, David Chang emphasizes attention to culture and history as a source of inspiration thereby creating vitality and rich artistic essence for each project. Moreover, David Chang emphasizes on interior space comfort, functionality, and creation of souls in each design. Based on these philosophies, David Chang's innovative works have won numerous design awards in the UK, Italy, and Canada. In both year 2017 and 2018, David Chang was appointed as a jury member for the Italian A'Design Award & Competition and was awarded 2018 SBID Master of Design accolade.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
In 1998, David Chang founded David Chang Design Associates International (DCDA) in Vancouver, Canada, and expanded to the China market in 2006, established firms in Guangzhou, Beijing, and Taiwan, to provide exclusive upscale design services on landmark projects for local top developers. The interior design and space planning projects encompass multiple fields such as luxury apartments, villas, sales and marketing centers, clubhouses, hotels, private bespoke homes and etc. Projects such as “Heritage Estate”, “Chinoiserie Villa”, “Runze Palace”, “Eminence Mansion” and “Shimao Xishan Loong Palace”, etc., have been listed as exemplary projects in the real estate industry.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Some of our previous projects have also won design awards from Britain, Italy, and Canada, and our Muse Awards is undoubtedly a great affirmation of our design work. All the designers who participated in the award also felt very excited, which inspired us to firm up our aesthetic taste and design more excellent works.
4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
Our winning projects include a restaurant, two residences, and a sales department located in Beijing and Guangdong province, China. The two residential projects (Chinoiserie S3 and Shimano Loong Palace) have some Chinese design elements in them, so we chose these two projects to let the world realize the charm of Chinese culture and art. The restaurant is completely different from the previous two projects. It is a French restaurant located in the most prosperous area of Beijing CBD, which represents the elegant and modern design tendency. The selection of different types of design works into the award selection, but also hope to comprehensively demonstrate the design strength of the company.
5What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge for design projects is to avoid homogenization, because there are many works with similar design styles in the Chinese market, and people will follow the trend to design with the same style if the market has a high acceptance of the style, because there is no risk, but the most valuable original meaning of design is lost. We want to be different, our work should have the spirit of independent research and development, of course, the original must be more laborious than imitation, but this is the real fun of design.
6How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning the award will let us be determined in the design of the road to go, let's make sure our taste is accepted and appreciated by everyone, let us have more confidence. The source of confidence is very important for a designer, as it creates a stable strength in his/her work.
7What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Scriptwriting: when receiving a project, we should first write a script suitable for this space, find the inspiration of the design, and then write a story along the line of inspiration. This is a creative process, and we will have a great sense of achievement after completion.

Travel: because we are engaged in design work, so often we will have the chance to go to all over the world. In addition to business contacts, we will take some time off to find all kinds of interesting things, including local exhibitions and various performances. It inspires us to have a extending the boundaries of design.

Time race: to do design work. Very few do not work overtime as developers give a very tight time window. We need to go all out to work around the clock, although it's a little hard, but it can stimulate one's potential, letting us know that it's possible to complete the work.
8What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
We added a lot of nationalization in the design, such as the Chinese traditional folk manual art intervention, some of the intangible cultural heritage, the lost art, etc. We apply it to the space design, combining Chinese traditional arts and crafts and practical art, has obtained a good visual effect and has certain significance of cultural heritage.
9Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
It will be more intelligent, personalized, functional, and direction-forward. The introduction of high-tech changes people's lives and improves the overall comfort level of living.
10If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Muse Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Do design that is not behind closed doors, take steps to see the outside world, absorb nutrition from all sides, add inspiration to the design, and it will give a person a bright feeling. Also, when the youth design try not to be too flowery and notice the culture feeling from the overall designs.
11What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
Travel and expose yourself to any subject that is related to aesthetic and the five senses.
12Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
Something that is preferably remained as mysterious. After all, it is the mysterious unknown that provides us with an intriguing desire to explore, conquer, and move forward in making the world a constantly progressive and prosperous place.
13Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My family, my wife, and children have given me a lot of help and understanding towards my work and life. Because of work, they followed me from Canada to China, enabling me to work here and develop my career. So I would like to express my special thanks to them.
14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Perhaps the key to success is that I do things more carefully - by being a little more careful, put in a little more effort, and this creates more opportunities than others. As the Chinese saying goes, "no pain, no gain".
15Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
It is a great pleasure for me and all my colleagues who are involved in this project to win the Muse Award. Thank you for giving us this honor. I think we should not forget our design "heart" as there will always be a surprise waiting at the front.

Winning Entries

Beijing Shimao Loong Palace Type B Villa | 2019

Beijing Shimao Loong Palace Type B Villa | David Chang Design Associates International | Muse Awards
The project is situated in the Shangzhuang area, North Haidian District, Beijing, home to renowned universities and high tech industrial bases and representation of the dynamism and vitality of China emerging technological and... (read more)

Beijing Chinoiserie Villa S3 | 2019

Beijing Chinoiserie Villa S3 | David Chang Design Associates International | Muse Awards
Beijing Chinoiserie Villa interior uses simple neoclassical framework to build a spacious interior. Adding Chinese motifs and patterns as decorative details to reveal modern time glittering characteristics... (read more)

F Bistronome Restaurant | 2019

F Bistronome Restaurant | David Chang Design Associates International | Muse Awards
The inspiration of design came from the blue logo of F Bistronome. Blue is a symbolic color of France. From the flag of France (le drapeau tricolore) to the national team uniform (les bleus), and from Blue Frankish... (read more)

Xinhui The West Coast Sales Center | 2019

Xinhui The West Coast Sales Center | David Chang Design Associates International | Muse Awards
When designing the project, we should highlight its cultural background, take traditional Chinese calligraphy art and silk fine brushwork as inspiration source, extract the essence of calligraphy and painting... (read more)

David Chang Design Associates International

DCDA (David Chang Design Associates International Ltd.) is an international full service design company.

The firm originated in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, and later established offices in Guangzhou and Beijing in 2006 to provide space planning, interior design and soft furnishings services for major real estate developers in China. Completed real estate projects in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Suzhou, Dalian, etc are well received and have been set as the design standards for development and design collection in the real estate industry.