Interview with John Liao, Director of Dong Lin Interior Design Construction, Taiwan

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John Liao

John’s awareness and passion for interior design allows him to curate uniquely accentuated designs within limited spaces.

Interview with the 2020 MUSE Design Awards Winner - John Liao

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

I’m the director of Donlin Interior Design. I have been in this field for over thirty years. I will describe myself as a passionate life practitioner, an artist and an extreme sportsman. I love to cook, paint, and to go surfing in the ocean. To me, life is full of excitement and it can be both energetic and exquisite just like interior designs. Luckily, I have won several IF Design Award, Red Dot Awards, A’Design Award, London Design Awards, AIA Awards, and Singapore Interior Design Awards, and TID Awards. By participating in International design competitions, I would like to have conversations with the world, through my design works.

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

I remember that I have always been aware of the the “sense of space” since I was little. Space configuration is particularly important to a country with small spaces and high urban density such as Taiwan. I enjoy the challenge of using interior design to accentuate an unique feeling of designs within limited spaces.

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

Most of our works are focusing on residential, detached houses, offices and any kind of interior design.

4What does “design” mean to you?

For me, interior design or any kind of design is part of our life, and they are unbreakable. A functional design can make your life easier; on the other hand, an aesthetic design can deliver a more elegant life. In other words, I believe that design is to make people’s lives more decent.

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

I wouldn't say that I 'prefer' any specific style. As I mentioned in the previous question that life and design are related. Each design should consider what it needs during different circumstances. For example, every customers personality are different, the spaces I am given are different, etc. Finding the best way to suit all these elements is the most important , meanwhile hardest, thing to do.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

I think a good design is not just about the appearance, but also about convenience and practicality. I like things that are more minimal and simpler, sometimes 'Less is more'.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

Same as question 5, I think the signature of my design is that they are designed based on each customer’s interests, cultural background and their lifestyle.

8Tell us about your design process.

Imagination, site plan, recording, review, and reconfiguration.

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

I am a firm believer in freedom and an enthusiastic attitude. Ordinary yet lively lifestyle brings energy into my creations.

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?

It is an honer to me and my team. It will surely be a good experience that we will all remember.

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?

This work was completed just in time for the 2020 MUSE Awards.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The costumer is an immigrant from Japan. The biggest challenge is to combine the elegancy of traditional Japanese style with modern design elements. We did a lot of research and putted in a lot of efforts in this project trying to innovate and present the modern Japanese living space to the costumer.

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

To me, it is only the beginning of learning. It is a great starting point for me to continue working, and hopefully create more exciting works.

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

Flexible, challenging, and interactive.

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

Enlightened attitude, passion, and great execution.

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

As technologies are growing faster nowadays, I think AI technology will take over some operational details. But 'ideas' will always be irreplaceable.

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

Learn from others’ works, strive yourself to be better. Always keep in mind that we never stop learning new things. Think and try to innovate your own ideas and cultivate your acuity perception of aesthetic awareness in designing spaces.

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

Try new materials. For instance, sustainable materials, even air or water reuse systems etc.i think it's very important to keep up with how the world is gaining more and more awareness towards protecting the environment. Our technologies are progressing, how could we design with out taking advantages from the environment?

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

Even though people might see me as a person who is very carefree, but the truth is I have always been working about my future design projects.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

When I ran out of ideas, I would find a way to relax. I would drive my way down to the beach and dump myself into the ocean. For me, back to basics is the only way to help me find back my free and untamed soul.

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

I wouldn’t use the word “successful” to define the works I've done. I would say I'm still on my way to success because there are still a lot of things that I need to learn.

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

Stay optimistic and prepare yourself to get ready for tomorrow.

Winning Entries

New Art | 2020

New Art | MUSE Design Awards

This house with the design style of new art is filled with vitality, where is cozy and pleasant for either gathering or family activity. This is...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Minimalized Hotel | 2020

Interview with John Liao, Director of Dong Lin Interior Design Construction, Taiwan

Located in the alleys of Hengchun Township nearby the Kenting Forest Recreation Area in Southern Taiwan, this design project is...
(read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Dong Lin Interior Design Construction

Dong Lin is an interior design company that focuses on the designs of residential, office, or any occupied spaces.