Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Good in Consumer Electronics Design.

About Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Tiger ChongSheng Guo is a China-born, New Zealand based designer. Brought up in a revolutionary time for design, with eastern roots grown in western soil, Tiger is a culturally diverse designer with a passion for additive manufacturing, fine detail handcraft, and solving the world’s problems one design at a time. Educated at Victoria University of Wellington in state of the art design and research practices, and versed in cutting edge manufacturing techniques, Tiger now aims to bring the wonders of auxetic materials and voxel-based printing to the design industry of tomorrow.

  • Winner of Consumer Electronics Design Award.
  • Specialized in Consumer Electronics Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Consumer Electronics
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Interview with Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I started studying design in high school almost a decade ago. My teachers Nathan Hey and David Norris convinced me to switch from engineering to design and I moved to Wellington, New Zealand to study Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington. I always wanted to do design, even before what I knew what design was. Watching Weta Workshop designing the Lord of the Rings was inspiring as a child.
What is "design" for you?
Design is the stuff that distinguishes us from our ancestors. The grooves in your knife, the height of your chair, the softness of your couch, the width of your phone, the thing that keeps planes flying. Design is the scientific intent behind every thing made or done.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
The Porche IP84S recliner is one of my favourite designers. It's such a good testament to the study of ergonomics and tried and true old school industrial design.
When do you feel the most creative?
When I'm caffeinated and listening to music after about 9 hours of sleep and a hearty breakfast
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
All of it, design isn't a process where you can play favourites to the steps.
What makes a design successful?
When it impacts people's lives in some way. If your design makes someone happy or keeps someone full or employed, you've done a good job.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
The future of design is a broad question. The future of industrial design is a little more straight forward: digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing, coupled with parametric design systems and new age point of sale models will change how products are designed, made, and sold.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
RENDER18, Victoria University of Wellington. Next one is in Como, Italy.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Inspiration is drawn from trying to succeed and make something useful for the world. My creativity is fed by my drive to strive for better design. I'm inspired by helping people at the end of the day.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
My design style is empirical when need be, but crazy also. I love using qualitative data and researching to justify every design decision, but I also love exploring form and losing myself in the process of it all to give it that unique flavour.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
New Zealand. It's a very uniquely bi-cultural nation, and definitely influences how I design with it's accepting heritage. Pros are it's a welcoming and supportive environment, cons is manufacturing is difficult to source.
How do you work with companies?
I'm very independent. I consult frequently with clients to ensure they're kept in the loop and we're headed in a mutually agreed direction, but I love having autonomy on my own work and pace. I always deliver on a deadline however.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Pick someone who doesn't work hard or smart, but both. You want someone who's going to be hammering out drawings at 4 AM for that last component, and who's also going to make copies of it instead of designing a new CAD file for your new series 6 months down the track.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I start with a lot of research and then start spamming concepts until something stands out among the masses. I like to think I'm mediocre at concept generation, but if I take enough shots that one of them will critically hit.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
I love my HP OMEN, it's an old 2014 model, but its served me through thick and thin. I love my toothbrush. Ye old faithful thousands year old Chinese design. I love my shoerack, it's $16 from the Warehouse, but it's robust, does the job, and looks good doing it. Good design doesn't have to be expensive. I love my Kolinsky Sable brushes. Someone a long time ago thought it would be good to harvest hairs off the little guys, but they are so beautiful to use.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I'm still a young and up and coming designer in my opinion, so I'll leave the comments to the older veterans.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positives: you getta live your dream and work at your own accord (to an extent and before deadlines). Cons: you might struggle every now and again, industry is tough.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
Fusion 360, SolidWorks, Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Pinterest, Google, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Bridge, Lightroom, PremierPro, AfterEffects
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I try to and fail. It's all about knowing which meetings you can cancel for that 20 min nap that will rescue your whole day.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
If it's only a concept, 2 minutes. If it's small, maybe a fortnight. If it's big, maybe a few months.
What was your most important job experience?
National Design Manager of United Nations Youth New Zealand. Taught me how to manage work, colleagues, subordinates, superiors, and politics.
Who are some of your clients?
Victoria University of Wellington, Exsurgo, UrbanGroup, Auckland University of Technology, AgainAgain, United Nations, United Nations Associations of New Zealand, United Nations Youth, Howick Youth Council, Bats Theatre, Yellow Stocking Theatre Company
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Rendering, it's like traditional sketching, but I don't have to run quality control on if my marker strokes are straight or not.

Extended Interview with Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I studied Cambridge International Examinations design and technology in high school for several years. I then completed my Bachelor of Design Innovation, majoring in Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington. I'm currently completing my Masters of Design Innovation at the same institute.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I'm motivated to get to positions of power so I can help people and improve general standards of living and solve world issues. I became a designer originally however because I loved watching design documentaries as a kid.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I became a designer because it was where I thought my passion was. It was a good middle ground between engineer and artist, and it just felt right.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I design a bit of everything, but a large number of my designs would be "industrial designs" or "products". I wish I designed more hardcore industry stuff like engines and machinery.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
I'd hardly call myself a design legend, but I would tell every young designer to try chase their dreams.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
A good designer solves a problem, a great designer prevents them.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
A good design is something that has been thought through thoroughly. If an idea is well conceived, thoroughly evaluated, and subsequently iteratively improved, it is very unlikely that it isn't a good idea.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good design is what separated our ancestors from apes. Good design is what keeps rivers from flooding towns, planes in the sky, our seats comfortable, and our lives bearable. Not investing in good design is essentially self harm in my opinion.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I would love to design armour for the military to keep troops safe. Devices which kept food fresh for longer whilst being accessible to ease world hunger, and better transport so everyone can see everyone. I'm honestly inclined to design for just humanity as a whole.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
I'd love to design my own miniature model series, but haven't had the time.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
I'm really inspired by the lecturers at my university. Simon Fraser is a bit of a hero of mine, having worked at so many huge old school design firms like Porche.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
The Porche IP84S recliner is one of my favourite designers. It's such a good testament to the study of ergonomics and tried and true old school industrial design.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
My greatest design was probably medi-card. It was a medicine dispenser which didn't need power, and it was just such good problem solving at a basic level, but executed so meticulously with precision. I loved the team I worked with on that project, it was a true dream team with amazingly talented individuals.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Be open to new ideas. Design is ever changing, no design is ever really finished. Having an open mind helps you see that better.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is like I said before, the stuff that distinguishes us from our ancestors. The grooves in your knife, the height of your chair, the softness of your couch, the width of your phone, the thing that keeps planes flying. Design is the scientific intent behind every thing made or done.
What helped you to become a great designer?
Aspirations and ambitions, coupled with a sense of duty to my family, friends, and humanity.
How do you think designers should present their work?
Well. There is nothing sadder than a good design presented poorly.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
I'm currently working on some polyjet printed meta materials on the Stratasys J750, expect some stuff that will blow your mind and look super colourful!
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
I'm not sure to be honest. My students always expect me to tell them about how well I'm doing, my peers always expect me to do well, my partner, mother, and closer friends have all rather grown accustom to my success however. Personally I just want to be a better man than I was yesterday.
How does design help create a better society?
Design is scientific intent, which is essentially education and direction. Education and direction defeats ignorance and misinformation, which helps democratic societies make better choices.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
An appreciation of the old school stuff. As much as I love and am grateful for the advancements in technology for design, I can't help but feel like a lot of the older stuff is simply being ignored. We should learn from our history, not deny it.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I think design is going to be an ever bigger industry. People are starting to see the influence we designers wield, and a lot of designers have achieved celebrity status. It's only a matter of time before commercially, designers are pumped out like electricians.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
A big one, maybe a couple months. Usually, I like to finalize a project from concepts to product in just over a month.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
A bit of both. Designs set a trend, that subsequently sets the next few designs.
What is the role of technology when you design?
I want to incorporate the latest and most advanced technologies in my design. That idea really got drilled into me at Victoria University, that we're the pioneers of what new stuff can do, and if we don't make use of that new stuff, those ideas and advancements will take years to come to fruition elsewhere.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Fusion 360, Photoshop, Illustrator, 3D printers, and Lasercutters.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
Colour, materials, and ambient are huge aspects of design. There is a reason why CMF designers are a thing, and I'm a huge believer in appreciating those aspects.
What do you wish people to ask about your design?
How does this help the world. A lot of the time, an underlying goal for my design is to show it is a proof of concept for other bigger things like improving standards of living.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
What is it, how is it better than precedents, how can I learn from this?
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
My ideal design partners are my colleagues from some of my previous projects. I like co-designing where each of us are experts in our jurisdictions, and work in harmony with one another.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
Sir Richard Taylor. He's the man who started it all for me, everything they did at Weta Workshop just fascinated me as a child, and still to this day.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
Art of War. I use it as a philosophical guide for everything, and some of it helps me review my designs from a fresh perspective.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
Through a lot of trial and error, and making mistakes, but trying anyway.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
Da Vinci. I want to know what was going on in that head of his, where he got his ideas from, if he was utterly mad or if there was just some genius behind it ahead of his time.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
I once 3D printed a wooden crossbow. One of the bolts broke and so I glued it together with super glue. I dropped it whilst it was still drying (and I used way too much glue), and it bounced into my eye. Was really fun getting super glue bits surgically removed from my eye.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
Hopefully robots won't control us all. Ideally, we'd solve world hunger, housing issues, and make universal utilities a possibility.

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