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5 Minutes With… Michael Young

The Hong Kong based British designer gives Indesignlive.asia his honest answers on work, life and dream projects.



BY jesse

March 15th, 2012


Since moving to Hong Kong in 2006, designer Michael Young has built for himself a formidable presence in Asia. Globally, his award-winning works can also be found in leading museums, and have spawned many copies.

Young’s clients include leading brands like Magis, Established & Sons, Emeco, Tittot, EOps and Dupont Corian, just to name a few. The designer is constantly questioning typologies and habits in his work, and has a pioneering passion for technology.

Describe your design philosophy.

I like to work with progressive technology and materials. Employing this makes design more interesting for me. I guess the word ‘discovery’ is very appealing to me.

Projects you are busy with at the moment.

Designing new lines for a new Asian furniture brand called EOQ and getting ready for some launches later in the year. A lot of new electronics, and shortly, some facade for an Italian fashion brand opening in Shanghai.

Top 3 influences.

Beer, chocolate and meat.

The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer.

The moment I realised I could not read, spell or write. That meant failing everything at school so I learnt to draw. It took me several years to learn to be free but I drew a chair and it had a logic that made sense and it added up and that was when I was about 19 years old.

Favourite landmark/building.

Buckingham Palace. It gives me a thrill every time I go there for coffee.

Dream project to work on – real or imaginary.

I guess it would have to be to re-design a Mini Moke.

Dream person to collaborate with.

I guess I would like to do a film set for Johnny Depp.

Favourite decade of design.

The 1950s when factories started to exploit investment in technology from the war. There was a level of exploration that was very fresh and very pure, it was so optimistic and after the war objects were appreciated.

Favourite chair.

Hans Wegner designed the greatest chairs but I love the Nanna Diztel chair called 113.

Number 1 concern for the design industry in the coming decade.

Designers need to place themselves more in the position of business now, to protect themselves, which is not what a lot of designers are good at.

One item in the workplace you can’t live without.

A toilet.

The most interesting thing about the way you work.

I don’t need to ‘think draw’. I tend to think things and then at any moment make a quick drawing, but concentrating makes me anxious.

Michael Young
michael-young.com


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