Interview with Lai Mei Lin of Art Engineering & Design

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Lai Mei Lin

During Lai Mei Lin’s teenage years, she entered the industry, initially balancing work and studies. As she became more independent and established her own company, she gradually achieved her current success, including domestic awards.

Interview With The 2023 MUSE Design Awards Winner – Lai Mei Lin

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
When I was in my teens, I entered this industry and it was tough during the early years when I had to balance work and studies. Gradually, I became independent and established my own company, and it was only then that I slowly began to achieve what I have now, including some domestic awards.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
When I was studying, I often saw various design magazines and books. I was attracted to the works of some renowned designers such as Tadao Ando and Richard Meier which inspired me to pursue this career path.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
The company has a design department and an architecture department. Our services include design for large-scale chain hotels, residential design, collective housing planning, and commercial space design.
4What does “design” mean to you?
Design has become a part of our daily lives. Everything around us requires design, from what we eat, wear, and live in, to how we travel.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
Design that combines both functionality and aesthetics is ideal, and it is even better if it incorporates one's own philosophy, as this can elevate the design to another level.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
Good design requires a subtle philosophy rather than a purely functional form that is visually imposed.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
I don't have a specific design style. My approach is to maintain a standard and attitude towards how I view things, rather than standardizing projects as a routine process.
8Tell us about your design process.
My approach is to take the ideas and concepts of clients and transform them into design elements, and then place these elements in space to create a series of clues, and constantly review and revise the design.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Design in various fields in my country has been continuously evolving over the past decade. Industries that previously did not value design have invested a great deal of effort into it. There has been a shift in overall attitudes, with clients increasingly able to understand the ideas of designers and providing them with greater opportunities to express themselves. This is markedly different from the situation 20 years ago.
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?
For me and my entire team, who have been working in design for a long time, this is a milestone worth commemorating and recognizing. It lets us know that our direction is right and provides the impetus for us to move forward towards the next milestone.
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?
We had many works that could be submitted to competitions, so it was indeed a difficult task to select which ones to submit. In the end, it was decided by my colleagues together, and we were very happy with the results of winning the award.
12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge is still the transformation of some concepts, the interaction with the surrounding environment, meeting all functional requirements, and creating it as a work of art.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
I think I will still lead my team at my own pace to continue implementing all of our ideas. I believe good works will continue to emerge.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
One aspect is that through the process of communicating with clients, we can learn different perspectives. Additionally, each project is like a story, and the process becomes the nourishment for design. Finally, it's the feedback from the clients after the project is completed.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
My country is a place that values functionality and practicality very much. Therefore, practicality often outweighs design, and clients often focus on practicality. Sometimes, this can be a very difficult thing to convince in terms of design, so we must take a comprehensive approach.
16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
The future will enter the age of AI, and the role of designers will become more challenging. Initially, there will be many cheap and immature designs emerging. Then, more cheap but mature AI-designed works will appear. Designers will become more like integrators working behind the scenes.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
The times are changing rapidly and the future will be highly competitive. We should try to learn as much as possible, regardless of our position.
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
There are already many educational resources available on the internet. However, the most important thing is to maintain a desire for knowledge absorption and exploration of novel things in the environment. In the end, these will become nutrients for design.
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I like cats and have adopted many stray cats. I also wish all my colleagues were cats. Hahaha!
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Nature inspires me a lot! We often say that designing a single leaf is no easier than designing a tree trunk, and nature always satisfies its functions while maintaining its unique characteristics and appearance.
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
I don't think I'm successful yet. There are still many areas where I need to improve, but my colleagues say that I always maintain a certain standard and attitude towards things, which may be the key.
22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I am very happy to win this award. Thank you to all the members of the team for their hard work. I look forward to bringing better works to everyone!

Winning Entry

The House of Luxury | 2023

The House of Luxury | MDA

This is an interior design project for the common area of a high-rise residence. Since there is a natural lake next to it …
(Read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Lai Mei Lin

During Lai Mei Lin’s teenage years, she entered the industry, initially balancing work and studies. As she became more independent and established her own company, she gradually achieved her current success, including domestic awards.

Read more about this interview with Mati Papalini and Mark Filipic of Watif for Nobi NV, the Platinum Winners of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards.