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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.

5 Minutes With… Michael Young


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

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