Interview with Chen Chao-Yen, Design Director of Shining Interior Decoration Design Co., Ltd., Taiwan

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Chen Chao-Yen

Chao-Yen is the Design Director of Shining Interior Design, where his background in architecture and space design allow him to create great residential and living spaces for all.



Interview with the 2020 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Chen Chao-Yen

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your background.

Design Director and boss of Shining and Golden-Horyoung Interior Decoration Group. My background is architecture and space design. I participated in the experience of ancient achievements and cultural assets space which is fully reflected in the shape of my design.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

I used to duck-stuffing education and oppression in the employment environment that made me rethink of the design aesthetics with a pioneer mentality.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I founded Golden-Horyoung Interior Decoration Company in 1997. I strictly persisted on high quality of construction. I was also invited to serve as an industry lecturer at various universities and colleges. I tacked my personal brand design and management system know-how to establish a new expanded company, Shining Interior Decoration Design Co., Ltd. in 2014. Both of our companies were approved by the Government Construction Department.

It needs to be more supervised and technical licenses. Design is a high-pressure industry. I provide a comfortable, quiet, and elegant environment for our professional designers. Our businesses are residential space, indoor and outdoor reception center, high-teach company, medical cosmetic center, public building, and so on.

4What does “design” mean to you?

I think interior design does not only have space embellishments. It also realizes Taoist philosophy of conforming to nature that inspires me to think the harmony between human beings and objects.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

I am fascinated by every design’s characteristics by observing the environment, understanding the owner's preferences and personalities that run throughout my design’s idea. Therefore, I create limitless space art with design aesthetics.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

A good design is the embodiment of a philosophic life. I think leaving blank is a necessity of the design’s element. Therefore, the key points on space and the concept coordination of the owners have become the focus of design.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

Less is more; developing the tension of blank is my design style. The key point of the design is not only the designer's personal taste, but also the harmonious space between the house and the owner.

8Tell us about your design process.

Firstly, I discuss with owners to understand their needs, preferences and personalities. After I check the design work filed I will make a sketch plan and a feasibility project. I will discuss with the owners again and again about design style, materials, lamps, furniture, and etc. And that is how I create my design through these steps.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

I live in Taiwan. We are a multicultural country. The local tradition and foreign thinking impact us a lot. It inspires me to bring up more creative ideas and jump over the invisible framework to create more innovative design art.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2020 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

The award is an incomparable honor to our company and team. Thanks for MUSE giving us a certification and affirmation. It's not the end. It’s not the starting point. It’s a breakthrough. Our team will internalize the experience and enhances the conservation and perspective of design aesthetics.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2020 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

I chose this work because it was a real estate sales center indoor design which was distinct from those regularly with large indoor environments. This design work was in a narrow indoor space. So this sales center indoor design advocates the unconventional design principles that create the smooth that is the biggest difference from other sales centers.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Normally, the long and narrow indoor space makes people feel bored and oppressive that has been of great challenge for us to create a comfortable indoor environment for the client.

We also tried to simulate the futuristic commercial space in this sales center. Ultimately, we used the circular and curved design methods in an attempt to reconcile the harsh senses with the delicate features. Therefore, it been converted into the smooth and elegant space by my team design.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?



Winning MUSE and other awards broaden the horizon of my design. In the global village now, people from all over the world can communicate with every international design awards. Our team also absorbs experience to make future designs perfectly.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1. Listen to and understand the owner's preferences and personalities

2. Joy when design is inspired into physical presentation

3. Integrate the owner's thoughts with my own design idea, and complete the design work that is satisfactory to both parties.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

Many foreigners are natural designers. They like to do their own design and DIY. But most Taiwanese would like to adopt designer "design integrated management”. Plus, there are many teachers in school and practitioners in interior industry are architectural background. Thus, interior design in Taiwan develops diversify in environment friendly, society, culture, philosophy, and etc.

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

The current perceptions of the design industry still differentiate from design aesthetics and construction. In the next 5-10 years, or 20 years, is a "cross-border" industrial alliance. For example, the relationship between AI technology and home design or how to integrate technology, furniture, and space design, will be the future prospect to think over.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Not only knowledge from school but also life knowledge because life is the source of the design concept. Everyone should enrich our knowledge and apply to the design.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

Observing more design in different cultures when you have the opportunity to travel abroad and reading more kinds of design books and magazines can improve your skills in the design industry. All above can enhance your own design ideas. Continue practicing can certainly improve graphics skills .However, I think the emphases of the design is mainly on design ideas. Otherwise, it will only turn out to be a draftsman but not a professional designer.

19Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Sometimes, my son folds Lego bricks can inspire my inspiration. Because children’s ideas are out of the frame. I like to observe buildings, people and things carefully while traveling which can enrich my experience and thoughts. And then translate into my creativity in design, too. The Lego bricks folded by my son inspired my design because the idea springing up from children idea is frameless. Moreover, I like to observe buildings, people and things carefully while traveling which can enrich my experience and thoughts and then translate into my creativity in design, too.

20What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Humble and restrained, and a realistic attitude.

Only by keeping an active learning heart can you improve yourself.



Winning Entries

The Unconventional Waltz | 2020

The Unconventional Waltz | MUSE Design Awards

The contrast of metal and wooden textures invents the distinguishing charms. The mirror columns skillfully relieve the oppressive sense to the long narrow...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Shining Interior Decoration Design Co., Ltd.


Shining Interior Decoration Design focuses on both public and residential spaces with a Taoist philosophy of bringing harmony between human beings and objects.


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