Interview with Yishan Chang of MOONGRAY&CO

A lingerie brand Mariemur | and Mariemur
Lazarev.Agency Unveils Daring Digital Realm for Mariemur’s Lingerie
January 9, 2024
Artem Kropovinsky | London Design Awards
Interview with Artem Kropovinsky of Arsight
January 9, 2024

Yishan Chang

Yishan Chang, from MOONGRAY&CO, grew up surrounded by an architectural heritage. This upbringing immersed Chang in various design aspects, cultivating a sharp awareness of how materials and colors interact within their surroundings.

Interview With The 2023 MUSE Design Awards Winner – Yishan Chang

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
I am Nu Yishan Chang, originally from Zhejiang and I was raised amidst an architectural lineage. My upbringing was steeped in the diverse aspects of design, nurturing in me a keen sensibility for the interplay of materials and colors within their environment.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

Knowing that my personality is relatively gentle and I'm not exceptionally intelligent compared to others, I felt that learning a specialized skill and being able to earn a living without competing directly with society would suit me well. Focusing on doing my best and making myself better seemed more suitable for me. That's why I embarked on the path of a designer.

At that time, industrial design in my country was still influenced by an outsourcing mindset, and brands had not yet emerged. So, I chose to step into an industry that was just beginning to take off.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
MOONGRAY & Co. is an industrial design studio and it specializes in sustainable living and innovative design solutions, aiming to achieve harmony between functionality, aesthetics, and environmental responsibility in their products.
4What does “design” mean to you?

I always thought that my source of passion for life was inherent, something I was born with.

Later, I came to understand that it is design that endowed me with this. It provides me with ongoing creativity and contributes to the establishment of my identity. All of these come from my design and what design gives back to me.

Creating the most suitable design language for each project and delivering it perfectly is not just a sense of achievement in my career. Each project is like a child to me, it has shaped me.

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

I like designs with elegant curves. I feel that designs like that touches my heart because it is visually smooth and subtle in form. It visually blends harmoniously into the environment.

Another design would be the brand, No. 30 Inc and they collaborate with multiple top designers to create desktop objects with specific themes. Most of these objects are not electronics, but when placed on the table, they easily resonate with me.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

If we draw a metaphor between the world of objects and the human world, it's like how everyone strives to stand out in society, seeking visibility through fancy appearances, elaborate language, and unique personalities.

However, a good design is about being true to oneself, building oneself well, slowly spreading one's wings. That atmosphere is what connects with customers and the outside world.

7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

When designing, I begin by analyzing all current products/brands/competitors in the market and addressing pain points towards the next generation, capturing the current trend and a contemporary modern aesthetic. Simultaneously, I aim to maintain the brand's atmosphere, ensuring users wouldn't feel estranged or unfamiliar even when encountering new product launches.

The focus lies in precision regarding dimensions and specifications, maintaining proportionality in appearance and aesthetics, and infusing sentimentality into materials and colors.

8Tell us about your design process.

After gaining a profound understanding of the brand, competitors, and market through analysis, I will immerse myself in the current design trends, making a conscious effort to sense and comprehend the most fitting design language for these products. I will explore how it should be visually represented and conceptualize its appearance.

Similar to envisioning a button on an electronic device, I picture it as substantial as a sofa in my immediate surroundings. I contemplate the surfaces and intricate details, considering how each element contributes to the overall design.

Even though it is a compact device, I recognize that every nuanced detail plays a crucial role in shaping the final design.

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

Certainly! My city is a highly internationalized city. For almost every project research, I don't limit myself to compiling market and product research from just one country. Instead, my approach is to gather information comprehensively, including the latest industry insights and news from my country.

Moreover, in the realm of Design for Manufacturing, controlling and estimating Bill of Materials (BOM) costs for each product significantly impacts the overall business. My country boasts one of the top-quality supply chains not only in the consumer electronics sector but also in various resources like plastics, fabrics, and glass.

Given my background, I am adept at immersing myself in the local context and effectively communicating the design throughout the entire production process.

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?

I've been following the MUSE Design Award for several years, having been immersed in the industry for quite some time.

Observing numerous friends and brands proudly showcasing their achievements after winning the MUSE Design Award, I've noticed a distinct pattern. This award program exudes a more contemporary and modern image. This is particularly significant for brands directly engaging with consumers.

Winning the MUSE Design Award not only strengthens a brand but also creates compelling and persuasive images that resonate globally.

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?

"Our goal is to create an exquisite living atmosphere in the future electric car.”

The AC fan blade design has been used for many years within the automobile industry and has only been changed once Tesla released it. We realized how the brand created a futuristic aesthetic that no other brand has ever done before.

We are convinced that the electric car represents the future of automotive innovation. Our ambition is to align our brand and products with the standards of luxury automobiles, while simultaneously providing users with an environment that is not only safe but also purified. This dual focus ensures both quality and wellbeing for our customers.

Scentag Tea Fragrance Ceramic Scents is made with 100% organic and natural tea extracts, providing a fresh and clean scent that is both eco-friendly and safe for use in your car.

After years of dedicated development and testing, guided by our designers' focus on beauty and perfect balance, we've created the Scentag Magnetic Ceramic Car Air Fragrance. In this Post-Covid world, we want to offer car owners a fresh take on in-car aesthetics and quality. Every time they step into their cars, they'll find themselves in an environment that's not just stylish but also offers clean, safe air. It's a simpler, yet sophisticated approach to enhancing the driving experience.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

I aim to transform the traditional perception of car fragrances, moving away from the typical image of colorful liquids with unpleasant scents. Drawing on my product design experience gained in Silicon Valley, I want to create Scentag in a manner reminiscent of a technological product.

Currently, there aren't many fragrance products specifically developed for electric cars on the market. Recognizing the future trend of electric vehicles, I delved into studying Tesla and subsequently developed this product.

The challenge lies in not having sufficient funds to purchase a Tesla for personal testing. Therefore, during the new product development phase, I needed to borrow Teslas from friends for product testing.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
I am truly grateful for the MUSE Design Awards. On the journey of design creation, in addition to receiving market validation, having such a prestigious award for a new brand is undoubtedly a significant recognition for both the designer and the product.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
ChatGPT, MidJourney and Vizcom.
15Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

During the past, we have done numerous sketches, 3D designs, and renderings. However, with the growing maturity of AI development, we can now easily express our concepts using keywords.

For traditional industrial designers, if we don't transform, we will be obsolete within the industry very soon. In the future, when everyone can easily create their own creations, designers will need to shift their mindset and carve out a unique path to continue utilizing their skills.

16If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Stay with the latest trends and always sharpen your focus on trends and technology. Don't force yourself into something you're not good at; find your passion in one category/field.

Push forward without any hesitation and showcase the best version of yourself.

17What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
Pinterest, Youtube, Dezeen and Behance.
18Tell us something you have never told anyone else
My energy and inspiration are stimulated and collided by the surroundings and the team/group around me. I have high sensitivity and a fragile mind, but I need energy through human companionship.
19Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My former lover is a very delicate individual with excellent interpersonal communication skills. He possesses a strong sense of aesthetics and a refined and delicate heart. Through his eyes, I can learn many aspects of human nature and perspectives in the business realm that I might not have seen before.
20What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

I've never quite considered myself successful; to me, being part of this industry means there's an endless journey of growth and learning. Perhaps, the day I establish a steady and substantial income stream might bring a sense of security. Yet, I recognize that even with financial stability, it doesn't always equate to success. Success and security, while intertwined, may not always mean the same thing.

In my heart, true success lies in being with the people I love, living each day in an environment filled with love, and continuously creating. That, to me, is success.

21Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

As a female designer, surviving in the industry is no easy feat. Even as an entrepreneur, managing one's own brand while taking care of a family is a challenging task.

For women to compete for resources in the world, I would say that it is particularly challenging compared to men. They deserve more attention and recognition from the industry.

A phrase that I've recently come to appreciate is, 'When a woman wins, we all win.'"

Winning Entry

Scentag- magnetic car air fragrance | 2023


The AC fan blade design has been used for many years within the automobile industry and has only been changed once…
(Read more at MUSE Design Awards)

Yishan Chang


Yishan Chang, from MOONGRAY&CO, grew up surrounded by an architectural heritage. This upbringing immersed Chang in various design aspects, cultivating a sharp awareness of how materials and colors interact within their surroundings.

Read more about this interview with Anar Nasirov from the United States, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards.