Interview with Zecheng Zhong from China

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Zecheng Zhong

Zecheng Zhong is an automotive styling design director with over 10 years of experience, currently employed by a prominent Chinese automobile company. He has served in various well-known automotive firms and has contributed to the design and development of several automotive projects.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
I am an automotive styling design director with over 10 years of design experience. I have worked for a number of well-known automotive companies and participated in the design and development of several automotive projects.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
I was drawn to a career in car design by my lifelong passion for automotive aesthetics. From a young age, I've been captivated by the sleek lines and precise proportions of cars, which inspired me to pursue a path where I could contribute to crafting such beauty.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
I am currently working for a well-known Chinese automobile company, where I am responsible for leading a team in car styling design. Our company is committed to driving innovation and development in automotive design, constantly challenging the conventional wisdom of the industry to meet the growing needs of consumers.
4What does “design” mean to you?
To me, design means meeting people's needs and aspirations by creatively translating ideas and concepts into reality. Design is not only about the beauty of appearance, but also about functionality, sustainability and user experience.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
My favorite design is the Porsche 911, a masterpiece of automotive art. Its elegant yet dynamic exterior captivates me, blending timeless charm with a rich heritage. This iconic model stands as a testament to the enduring legacy and classic beauty of car design.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
For me, good design should be innovative, practical, and emotionally resonant. It needs to balance aesthetics and functionality, and be able to keep up with the times and meet the needs and values of contemporary society.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
The main characteristics of my design style are simple, smooth and dynamic. I pay attention to the smoothness of lines and the coordination of proportions as well as to the processing of details and the performance of quality.
8Tell us about your design process.
My design process usually includes phases such as market research, concept conception, sketching, digital modeling, prototype production, and final validation. At each stage, I work closely with the team to ensure that the design achieves and meets the intended goals.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
My country and cultural heritage have influenced my design process, providing inspiration and reference, as well as shaping my design philosophy and aesthetics.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Design Award, this is a great recognition and honor for me and my team. This shows that our design is recognized by the industry and professionals, and also inspires us to work harder to innovate and break through the market.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2024 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
My winning entry for the 2024 MUSE Design Award is an all-new concept electric C-Class sports sedan. I choose to participate in this project because I believe that electric vehicles are the future trend of automobile development, and I hope to show our team's innovation ability and design level through this project.
12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenge of this project is to balance the functional and aesthetic needs of electric vehicles with symbols of traditional culture, as well as to meet consumers' expectations and needs for electric vehicles.

At the same time, the technical characteristics and sustainability of electric vehicles need to be taken into account.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning the award has had a positive impact on my practice and career development, it has enhanced my confidence and motivation, and also enhanced my professional reputation and status, laying a good foundation for my future development.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
The three things I love most about the automotive design industry are the opportunities to innovate, the atmosphere of teamwork, and the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that design brings.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
I think what makes my country unique in the automotive design industry is the rich automotive culture and tradition, and the constant pursuit of innovation and technology. We have many excellent designers and engineers who have made important contributions to the development of the industry.
16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
The development direction of the design industry in the next 5-10 years is likely to be intelligent, digital and sustainable. With the continuous progress of technology, design will pay more attention to user experience and environmental friendliness, but also incorporate more intelligent technology and digital tools.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
If you are an aspiring design student or a MUSE Design Award submitter, my advice is to keep thinking creatively and keep learning, challenge conventional wisdom, keep exploring and practicing, but also be a good team player and actively participate in industry exchanges and competitions.
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?

I recommend several resources for anyone interested in advancing their design skills. Enroll in design training courses to build foundational knowledge, dive into books and magazines to stay informed about industry trends, and attend trade shows and seminars for hands-on experience.

Additionally, keep up with the latest developments and case studies by following design websites and engaging with the community on social media platforms.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
There are some things about my design inspirations and creative sources that I have never told anyone, because I think it is important for designers to maintain a certain sense of mystery and uniqueness.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
The key to my success is to continue to learn and improve, to maintain the passion and persistence of design, but also good team work and communication. What I want to tell you is that you should never give up pursuing your dreams, face challenges bravely, and persevere in the pursuit of excellence.
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Thank you for this opportunity to share my design experience and insights. I hope my answer can be helpful to you, and I look forward to more exchanges and cooperation opportunities in the future. Thank you!

Winning Entry



Zecheng Zhong

Zecheng Zhong is an automotive styling design director with over 10 years of experience, currently employed by a prominent Chinese automobile company. He has served in various well-known automotive firms and has contributed to the design and development of several automotive projects.

Read more about this interview with Renyi Zhang and Xianming Sang, the Gold Winners of the 2024 MUSE Design Awards.