Interview with Qihang Fan for Four Typologies

Fan Yang | MUSE Creative Awards
Interview with Fan Yang from China
June 13, 2024
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June 13, 2024

Qihang Fan

Qihang Fan is an award-winning multidisciplinary designer, independent developer, and product owner. He is dedicated to creating experiences that embody inclusiveness, enjoyment, and innovation, seamlessly integrating avant-garde technology into everyday life for the next million users.

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

My name is Qihang Fan and I am an award-winning multidisciplinary designer, an independent developer, and a product owner, dedicated to crafting experiences that embody inclusiveness, enjoyment, and innovation. I seamlessly integrates avant-garde technology into everyday life for the next million users.

With a solid foundation in architectural design, I have honed an astute appreciation for user experience and the dynamics of spatial interaction. My avid passion for technological advancements has furnished me with an extensive software repertoire, encompassing graphic design to 3D production, along with expertise in programming languages such as JavaScript, C#, and Python. Presently, I am pioneering the use of augmented reality to revolutionize surgical procedures.

2Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

As an independent developer, I established my brand with a clear and persistent mission: to create products that simplify the complex. My overarching goal has always been to make advanced technology easily understandable and enjoyable for everyone. A prime example of my work is a website I developed that offers web-based 3D interactive experiences. This platform enables users to deeply engage with intricate architectural and fashion design concepts, providing immersive 3D experiences even to those who lack access to XR devices.

Currently, I am a user experience designer and product engineer at Arthrex, where I focus on utilizing augmented reality to enhance surgical procedures. My role involves exploring how augmented reality can revolutionize these procedures, combining my expertise in user experience design with groundbreaking product engineering.

This work is gratifying as it enables surgeons to perform their operations with greater precision and safety. My passion for innovation is a driving force in my career, motivating me to deliver impactful and user-friendly solutions, whether working for an employer or running my own business. This lifelong commitment to exploring and implementing emerging technologies underpins all my professional endeavors.

3What does “creativity” mean to you?

I perceive creativity to be about stepping outside of conventional thinking patterns. It involves breaking away from the usual approaches and norms to explore ideas and solutions that are not immediately obvious.

Creativity means looking at familiar situations through a new lens, asking different questions, and daring to be different. This approach allows for innovative breakthroughs and transformations in any field, pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. It's about thinking laterally and combining elements in novel ways to come up with unique and effective solutions.

4To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

To me, a 'creative' design doesn't necessarily mean reinventing the wheel or building everything from scratch. Instead, it involves exploring different possibilities based on existing systems and knowledge. A truly creative design leverages mature design patterns effectively, using them as a foundation to build upon.

It's about seeing the potential for innovation within the familiar, pushing the boundaries of how established elements can be reconfigured or combined in new ways. This approach allows for the development of solutions that are both innovative and effective, pushing the envelope while ensuring reliability and functionality.

5Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

In my role as a user experience designer and product engineer within an R&D team, my creative process is deeply intertwined with my development exploration. It revolves around a meticulous examination and careful balancing of design and development elements, ensuring that the designs we envision can be realistically implemented.

Design is fundamentally an iterative process, where creativity comes into play through constant re-evaluation and adjustment of ideas. Through this approach, creativity is not just about generating new ideas but also about problem-solving and refining these ideas to fit within the feasible scope of development, ensuring they meet both our standards and the users' needs.

6What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

My favorite part of the creative process is the empowering ability to think from different perspectives. Creativity pulls me out of the conventional 'rabbit hole' of thinking and guides me along unexpected paths toward solutions. This aspect of being creative is particularly exhilarating because it challenges me to step outside of routine problem-solving strategies and explore new angles and approaches.

Discovering novel approaches makes the creative process not only a journey of design but also one of personal and professional growth, where each project brings its own set of unique discoveries and learning opportunities.

7Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

My creative style is deeply rooted in what I consider a natural habit: the practice of breaking conventional thinking patterns. In my process, I emphasize divergence, consistently exploring multiple avenues and considering the less obvious aspects of every situation.

This method allows me to uncover unique perspectives and solutions that might otherwise be overlooked. Another critical characteristic of my creative style is open-mindedness. I actively seek out and welcome new ideas and different viewpoints. This receptivity is essential. This approach not only leads to innovative designs but also ensures that these solutions are thoughtful and inclusive, reflecting the needs and perspectives of a broad audience.

8Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Winning the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards is an extraordinary honor that deeply resonates with me as an independent developer. This award is not merely a recognition of the hard work and dedication that I have invested in my projects; it significantly elevates the visibility of my website and the innovative work I've been undertaking. This accolade serves as a powerful endorsement, greatly enhancing my reputation within the creative industry and substantially benefiting my personal branding by amplifying my visibility and credibility as a designer.

Most importantly, it celebrates the innovative and creative approach I bring to ensuring that design is accessible and enjoyable for users with diverse abilities. This recognition reaffirms my commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity and inclusivity in every project I undertake. It motivates me to continue innovating and making design decisions that contribute to a more inclusive world, ensuring that creativity reaches every corner of society.

9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Four Typologies is a responsive interactive media website that introduces new decentralized and localized Garden Fashion Factory Typologies evoking humanity and resisting industrial mechanization trends. The design results from the overlapping fields of architecture, digital media, user experience, and immersive web design.

Traditional 2D diagrams and renderings often fall short of capturing the richness of fashion concepts and architectural experiences. To remedy this, easily accessible via a web browser, it offers users a seamless 3D immersive experience without needing specialized VR technology.

This platform allows users to explore spatially and discover design features from a macro perspective, appreciating the intricate miniatures, to a micro level where they can engage with nuanced interactions and dynamic textures. It immerses users into a nonlinear upcycling handicraft workflow tailored to each architectural miniature spatial concept, which makes architectural designs more tangible, interactive, and accessible to a wider audience.

10Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

Something I haven't shared widely is the deep conviction I hold about creativity—it requires both passionate and persistent practice. While it's essential to nurture your passion for design, as this passion is the driving force that helps you overcome challenges and setbacks, there's more to it. Creativity isn't just a burst of inspiration; it's a discipline. It demands continuous, dedicated effort. The enthusiasm for creating and innovating does more than just fuel my creativity—it's a commitment that requires nurturing every day.

This persistent practice shapes every project I undertake and is something I consider a private yet pivotal component of my work. It's about reminding myself why I started designing in the first place and allowing that original spark to continuously guide and influence my journey. This blend of passion and persistence not only deepens my own creative capabilities but also aims to inspire and impact those around me, making each design resonate more meaningfully.

Winning Entry

Four Typologies | 2024

Four Typologies | MUSE Creative Awards

Four Typologies is a responsive interactive media website that introduces new decentralized and localized Garden Fashion Factory Typologies …
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Qihang Fan

Qihang Fan is an award-winning multidisciplinary designer, independent developer, and product owner. He is dedicated to creating experiences that embody inclusiveness, enjoyment, and innovation, seamlessly integrating avant-garde technology into everyday life for the next million users.

Read more about this interview with Yuan-Sheng International Performing and Artistic Co.,Ltd, the Gold Winner of the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards.