1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
My name is Jialiang Guo and I am a student designer from China. I am about to pursue my M.S. degree in Furniture, Lighting, and Fixtures Design at ArtCenter College of Design. With a B.F.A. degree in User Experience Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, I would say that I am strongly committed to creating furniture that addresses user needs that enhances interior spaces.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
When I was a child, I once attended the Salone del Mobile Milano, where I saw furniture from various brands showcasing their unique design tastes. It was at that moment I realized that becoming a furniture designer capable of creating aesthetically valuable pieces might be the future I aspire to.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
I will soon be entering ArtCenter College of Design in September 2023 to pursue a Master of Science degree in furniture, lighting, and fixtures design. Over the next two years, I will undergo systematic learning to become a better furniture designer!
4What does “design” mean to you?
Designs to me are solutions and the designers are problem solvers. As a designer, I am very passionate in using design to solve unresolved issues. For me, my focus is on solving the problem of creating furniture that not only serves its functional purpose but also enhances the aesthetics of interior spaces.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
I love the Bauhaus design style the most. This is because I strongly identify with Bauhaus' prioritization of functionality, aiming to fulfill the intended purpose of furniture. The significant simplification of design, removing extravagant decorations, allows for better mass production.
Influenced by the Bauhaus design philosophy, I hope to collaborate with experts from various fields to create intriguing furniture pieces. Additionally, I am enthusiastic about researching and utilizing new materials in the manufacturing of my furniture.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
I believe that a good design should undergo user and market testing. As a designer, I may naturally think of my design creations as the best, but sometimes, after testing, they may not meet the users' needs. Therefore, a design that undergoes user-centered testing is what truly constitutes a good design.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
As a newcomer about to start learning furniture design, I don't have a specific design style yet. However, I know that I want to create minimalist designs that not only serve their functional purpose but also add aesthetic value to the space when they are not in use. Additionally, ease of production and transportation will be key objectives in my design.
8Tell us about your design process.
I observed a cat stretching and yawning gently. Its serene behavior brought to mind the comfort of sitting in a chair. I outlined the first design that sparked Languido's creation, drawing from the cat's stretched stance and integrating fur hues into the colors for a lifelike appearance from a distance.
In reality, Languido's curled tail serves as a holder for reading materials and includes an integrated LED light that enhances the reading experience. Languido's base, backrest, and seat are linked to ensure structural stability when sat on.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Most definitely, I do acknowledge that I am influenced by Chinese culture.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
As a student about to embark on furniture design studies, I am delighted to have received a Platinum in the 2023 MUSE Design Awards. This is a tremendous source of encouragement for me and has given me the confidence to believe that I can become a proficient furniture designer in the future.
Once again, please allow me to express my gratitude to the judging panel for their recognition of the Languido Lounge Chair.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
The Languido Lounge Chair features a design inspired by a lazy stretching cat with its tail raised. I chose this project to participate in the MUSE Design Award because I believe that Languido would offer a visually striking experience, instantly captivating observers and making them feel that it looks incredibly comfortable, evoking the desire to relax in it. Another reason is to see whether the public would appreciate this type of furniture.
12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
I plan to complete this project by the end of 2023. The design of the Languido Lounge Chair is exquisite, but the manufacturing process posed some challenges. I am still exploring ways to mass-produce this furniture while keeping costs under control because I certainly don't want to produce just one Languido Lounge Chair!
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning a Platinum award holds significant meaning for me. Firstly, it signifies that professionals in the field recognize this type of furniture which boosts my confidence and makes me believe that I have what it takes to become a qualified furniture designer.
Through this award, my furniture design will gain more exposure and I hope to have the opportunity to enter the furniture industry when I start working.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
The first would be the testing process as it helps me figure out whether my furniture is accepted by the public. Secondly, it provides me with a platform to introduce myself and my work to a wider audience. Thirdly, it boosts my self-assurance and strengthens my resolve to pursue a career as a furniture designer.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
China possesses a robust industrial manufacturing capability, providing designers with an excellent platform to mass-produce the products they design.
16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
Designers can utilize AI as a powerful tool to expedite the design process more effectively. Designers can harness the potential of AI as a potent tool to significantly enhance the efficiency of the design process. This not only accelerates the design phase but also enables designers to make more informed decisions, experiment with various design iterations, and ultimately create more innovative and impactful designs.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
I hope that you can find the time to receive feedback from industry professionals because it will only help you improve your designs and yourself!
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
As someone about to start learning furniture design, I believe the best approach is to enroll in a school to study.
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I've consistently questioned whether opting for Furniture Design over continuing with UX Design is the correct choice.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My father has been a source of inspiration in my life because he is someone who never gives up on anything, and I have adopted the same mindset.
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I don't consider myself successful yet but I believe that to achieve success, one must persist in their design principles, and eventually, they will be embraced by the public.
22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I really hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with professionals in the furniture manufacturing industry to make the Languido Lounge Chair accessible to every home!