Interview with Ian Tang for Aquapod Jacana

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Ian Tang

Ian Tang is an industrial designer at Woodmax Ky Industries Corp. With a decade of experience as an innovative product designer, he is dedicated to using his design skills to help create a better future for the world. His passion for innovative design drives his commitment to making a positive impact through his work.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
I'm Ian Tang, an industrial designer at Woodmax Ky Industries Corp. With a decade of experience as an innovative product designer, I am passionate about using my design skills to contribute to a better future for the world.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
As a child, I loved imagining and drawing robots and other cool creations. This passion led me to major in Industrial Design at university. Now, as an industrial designer, I find the work both fun and challenging, allowing me to channel my creativity into practical and innovative solutions.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
Woodmax is a professional one-stop solution for drinkware projects and a leading design and manufacturing company, customizing lifestyle products for global brands since 1986. My role in the company focuses on new product design, where I contribute to creating innovative and customized solutions for our clients.
4What does “design” mean to you?
In my role as a new product designer, I contribute to creating innovative and tailored solutions for our clients. For me, design is the journey from the present situation to a better future, transforming ideas into impactful products that enhance everyday life.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
A design that provides excellent functionality while also delivering emotional value not only meets the practical needs of users but also creates a meaningful connection that enhances their overall experience.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
I would think that a design that matches well to the brand's marketing strategy because it ensures consistency and strengthens the overall brand message, creating a cohesive and memorable experience for the consumer.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
A design should strike a balance between good functions and an aesthetically pleasing, metaphorical form, ensuring that it is both practical and visually engaging. This harmonious combination not only meets the user’s needs but also evokes emotions and tells a compelling story through its form and function.
8Tell us about your design process.

I begin my design process by identifying and defining the real problems that people need to solve. Once the core issues are clear, I integrate the necessary functions with a storytelling form, ensuring the design is both practical and visually compelling.

This approach allows the design to not only address the users' needs effectively but also engage them on an emotional level, creating a more meaningful and impactful experience.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
I believe that my design process is uniquely influenced by my personal style, approach, and perception of design, making it distinct from others. I recognize that each of us is shaped by different factors, which adds to the diversity and richness of the design world.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
It's a significant achievement, both for the company and for me personally. We are incredibly glad and grateful to see these results. This success greatly encourages us to continue creating more innovative products.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2024 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Aquapod Jacana is the world’s first rechargeable flowmeter straw, a groundbreaking product in the market. We entered it into the design award to gain greater exposure and enhance our company’s prestige.

By showcasing this innovative product, we aim to highlight our commitment to cutting-edge technology and excellence in design.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge with this project was coordinating the electrical components with the mechanical parts and ensuring they were seamlessly integrated into the overall design. Achieving a harmonious balance between functionality and aesthetics required meticulous attention to detail and innovative problem-solving.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
It's a huge recognition for my designer career and I look forward what awaits me!
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1. Full of challenges including learning new things.

2. I get to meet lots of talented people and experts.

3. The feeling when your product is doing wonderfully well and see it impact the world.

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

My country is well-known for its technology and semiconductor industry, boasting a strong foundation in manufacturing. This robust industrial base greatly assists designers in transforming their ideas into tangible products, providing access to cutting-edge technology, high-quality materials, and skilled craftsmanship.

The synergy between advanced manufacturing capabilities and innovative design significantly accelerates the development process and enhances the final product quality.

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

Over the next 5-10 years, I see the design industry evolving in several key directions. There will be a stronger emphasis on sustainability, with a focus on creating greener, more energy-efficient solutions that minimize environmental impact. Designs will increasingly aim to offer greater emotional value, creating deeper connections with users through thoughtful and meaningful experiences.

Additionally, there will be more cross-domain coordination, where designers collaborate with experts from various fields such as technology, psychology, and environmental science. This interdisciplinary approach will lead to more innovative, holistic solutions that address complex challenges and enhance the overall quality of life.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
You should most definitely go for it! You never know what the outcome is until you try.
18Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I feel extremely blessed to become a designer.
19Who has inspired you in your life and why?

In the design world, German designer Luigi Colani and Singaporean designer Feng Zhu have been my greatest sources of inspiration. Their designs embody a sense of freedom and passion that I deeply admire.

To me, their work reflects the unrestrained creativity and fervor of their minds, setting a standard for innovative and expressive design.

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

For me, the key to success lies in discovering the purpose of my life and wholeheartedly embracing it. When you have a clear sense of purpose, it drives your passion, guides your decisions, and fuels your perseverance through challenges.

My parting words of wisdom would be to seek out what truly motivates and inspires you, and let that purpose be the foundation of everything you do. Living with purpose not only brings fulfillment but also propels you toward achieving your greatest potential.

21Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I extend my heartfelt thanks to all the jurors. This award holds immense significance for me, as it validates my hard work, creativity, and dedication. It serves as a powerful motivation to continue pushing the boundaries of design and striving for excellence in every project I undertake.

Winning Entry

Aquapod Jacana | 2024

Aquapod Jacana | Ian Tang and Woodmax Ky Industries Corp

Ian Tang

Ian Tang is an industrial designer at Woodmax Ky Industries Corp. With a decade of experience as an innovative product designer, he is dedicated to using his design skills to help create a better future for the world. His passion for innovative design drives his commitment to making a positive impact through his work.

Read more about this interview with Xinyue Geng of Kohn Pedersen Fox, the Platinum Winner of the 2024 MUSE Design Awards.