Interview with Chien-Yuan Wang, Interior Designer of TOTEM Interior Design, Taiwan

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Chien-Yuan Wang

Wang believes that humanity and nature are intricately intertwined together, created through the best usage of space.

Interview with the 2020 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Chien-Yuan Wang

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

I have a wide range of interests, which drives me to appreciate and enjoy art, motivating me to continue being enthusiastic toward all things. I’m not only an amateur artist but also an interior designer with a martial arts background. This is the first international contest that I’ve ever attended.

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

I’ve always loved art. Therefore, I’ve chosen to become an interior designer. I especially love to participate in charitable events, and was once the club director of Lions Clubs International. One of my paintings was also donated for charity at Art Revolution Taipei 2013.

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

Primeval nature and simplicity represent the start of humanities and cultures. Totem Design guards the essence of the original spirit by creating the aesthetic of space from conversations between humanity and nature, interpreting the liveliness of space and culture.

4What does “design” mean to you?

It is about the conversations between humanity, nature, and the harmony created through space. Let’s return to the starting point and dig deep into the conversation between human and space. Let’s view with different perspectives and lead life to walk into the path of beautiful harmony that consists of nature and delight.

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

I like designs that are carried out naturally through constant innovations, and inner conversations between one’s consciousness and senses.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

Any design that can enrich the substance of life and allows you to accumulate both inner and outer energy is a good design.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I tend to utilize the creating model of oil painting to make organization. For instance, I include all elements such as color, shade, texture, line and structures to compose the melody of design. I mix and match all elements to create a sketch of a painting, and that’s my style and characteristics.

8Tell us about your design process.

I start thinking from a dot, then it will extend to a line and expand into a surface. Then it will clash, stimulate, overlap, accumulate and eventually retroact onto space. Everything starts from simplicity to complex then complex back to simplicity. In the end, the most exquisite part stays.

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

Taiwan is a country that breeds energy. It has developed so far from the period of Dutch occupation, when Zheng ChengGong first arrived Taiwan; from Ching dynasty to the democracy Taiwan we recognize today. Taiwan’s rich energy in historical development clashes the land with great spirit that inspires many designs.

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?

Design is the process of endless tries, resetting to zero and innovate again. Winning the MUSE Design Awards is no doubt a recognition and encouragement to myself and the team. We are on the right track, moving forward with each step becoming more confident and steadier.

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?

Project “Beauty of the Dawn” is designed for a close friend who profession is a doctor. By choosing this project to attend the contest also represents my reflection on our friendship that has lasted for 40 years and the philosophy of human and nature. Through the contest, I felt that it had strengthen our friendship.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

This project was designed for aesthetic clinic. The challenge lies in the display of desire and pursuit of beauty. Through connections from mythological stories, we aimed to truthfully present of the inner desire which required metaphorical design and concept.

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

Winning at the first international award we’ve ever attended is definitely a recognition and an encouragement to our team. Personally, winning the award has inspired me on learning and enhanced my cognition toward design.

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

Concept development, material utilization, and finishing the project.

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

Dutch scientist Jaap Van Etten proved that the land of Taiwan bores a great amount of mysterious energy. Citizens living on this land is highly creative and unique with the gathering of high energy.

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

In the future, more emphasis will be put on environmental protection, changing lifestyles and cultures which lead to the interweave and integration of various fields.

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

Be confident about your design and gain energy from different perspectives that will intrigue your conscious and sensation. Don’t worry too much about the reputation of your project. Instead, you should consistently enrich your knowledge about humanity and arts to lay the groundwork for good creation.

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

I suggest people to approach all kinds of art to cultivate connoisseurship and elevate your own temperament. Designers’ own depth and how they feel about beauty can give their projects liveliness and spirituality, and continue to carry out conversations with people through their projects.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

I’m also a martial artist and have learned under master Tao for 37 years already! I’ve reached a high level at Tai Chi and other kinds of martial arts.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Thinking from a Buddhist perspective, creating canvas paintings, learning martial arts and charity events are all things that inspired me, for thinking determines everything, art fulfills life, martial arts strengthen your health and charity events are accesses to service.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Growing is the circulation of gaining experience, resetting to zero and starting over again. The key to success is to stay humble when learning over and over again. That’s what motivates us to grow.

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Thank you, MUSE Design Awards, for giving me this opportunity and broadening my horizons.

Winning Entries

Beauty of Nordic Dawn | 2020

Beauty of Nordic Dawn | MUSE Design Awards

This is the design project of an aesthetic clinic. To satisfy a true instinct for the beautiful, aesthetic medicine exactly holds an important position...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

TOTEM Interior Design

TOTEM Interior Design combines aesthetics and space together to interpret space and culture together, creating conversations between us and nature.