CHIA-MIN LIN

Good in Information Processing Design.

About CHIA-MIN LIN

Chia Min Lin is a quiet yet rigorous and evolving designer. She dedicates to challenging traditional design thinking by embracing systematic and holistic perspectives. She has studied both cybernetics and aesthetic. Her works focus on highlighting the in-between-relationships since how human think/act interests her. From her point of view, design is never about a trend or a style. It's a language of how we interpret the world around us.

  • Winner of Information Processing Design Award.
  • Specialized in Information Processing Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Information Processing
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Information Processing Design


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Interview with CHIA-MIN LIN

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 have a background in graphic design and interaction design. The over 10 years of graphic design experiences have made me more aware of and interested in information architecture and cognition/behavior. So I gradually developed my own way to observe people's decision making process and turned me into an experience designer.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LinStudio was founded in 2009, specializing in graphic design and integration design from systemic social perspectives. We take design as a profound language to communicate and solve problems for better relationships. We ask questions such: how could we inspire new dialog between human and technology? What kind of society do you want to live? What's the societal potential being neglected? LinStudio seek the harmonious interaction between machine and people.
What is "design" for you?
Design should be a profound language to communicate future possibilities. It shouldn't be considered only as a mean to achieve some style or form factors. People should pay more attention to the design process, instead of outcome.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
Anything that include challenges or learning opportunities makes me excited.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I like things that couldn't easily identified they have been designed, but yet still have a trace of elegance and elaboration. In other words, I like the invisible design — guiding people/users/audiences when they don't even know they've been introduce to something new.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Material: paper / Platform:Google map & Adobe / technology: tourbox
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
I focus more on defining what's the problem, what's the scope and what's the prerequisite of possible solutions. This helps me to find the edges of a system and when you laid everything on the table properly, usually means the right answer is somewhere there.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Depend on what stage you are in right now. The first ideation process is usually about panicking and screaming. But once you found the answer, the emotion will become focused and energetic.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Super excited. Someone resonate with my work is the power to keep me running.
What makes a design successful?
When it is actually being used. Wears and tears makes a design project fulfilled.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Depends on the scope & conditions. Some design are horrible in terms of production and execution, but yet very inspiring to others.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Just thinking of responsibilities to other is an amazing achievements. Bring the concept of "from cradle to grave" to the design process is extra difficult, not to mention thinking systemically. But I do think knowing your work and its influences from holistic perspective is crucial to modern designers.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
I personally believe there will be no lines between different design field in the future. Modern design requires multi-functioning skills applied across the industry. But experience will continued to be highlighted, both digital and real-life expreiences. How we see technology today might shift to focus more on emotion and companionship.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
Let exhibition was 2018 CCS student show. Haven't think about the next one yet.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Inspiration usually come from living experiences, especially when I notice something I am not happy about it. I feed my creativity from observing other people's behaviors. Are they consistent to what they're saying? if not, there must be something wrong. What's the reason causing this discontinuous? How to make it better?
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?
America. Pros: I have plenty of time to think because this is a really isolated place. Cons: There is nothing in between. It's either too much or too little, in terms of everything.
How do you work with companies?
Define what's the scope of the problem. Discuss the prerequisites with clients and colleagues. Ideate. Execution. Collecting feedback and reflect on your solutions.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
Define what's the scope of the problem. Discuss the prerequisites with clients and colleagues. Ideate. Execution. Collecting feedback and reflect on your solutions.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Wake up at 8 am and took my allergy pills. Work for another 8 hrs then go home cooking. Take my dog for a night walk.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
Don't let yourself go easy. Designers need to be able to handle stress on daily basis. So be harsh on yourself.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positive: be able to work on fun and challenge projects. Negative: Have to keep learning. It's really exhausting.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Be honest to yourself. You have to believe in your work in any condition.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Keep working all the time and sleep as much as you can when you can. Think stretegically before work. Make plans but don't stick to it. Be flexible.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
could be hours, or days, or months. Sometimes it runs for years. It really not your choices.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
What do you do? How do you do it? what's your inspiration come from? What kind of book you're reading now?
What was your most important job experience?
Working with renowned artists & editors in a small studio. I've learned lots of valuable working attitude about how they treat their works. They treat everyone/everything with rigorous and resilient approaches is really a million dollar lesson to me.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Projects that required with a little constraints but not too much. Limitations makes people be more creative.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
Depends on when the pandemic will ends. Really not sure right now but I will keep running.

Extended Interview with CHIA-MIN LIN

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I have a master degree on graphic design and interaction design. Been working in the field for over 10 years now. I've worked as illustrator, teacher, designer. Handle projects from OEMs, museums, publishers, artists, theaters... etc.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
My biggest motivation is usually when I see the work I done went public, the achievement. See my efforts have become something really makes me happy. That's probably why I choose to be a designer.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I guess both. I choose to be a designer because I thought that looks like a cool job. But the reality is not that cool. Most of the time you have probably 40 percent time to design, then the rest 60 percents is dealing with all kinds of nonsense. So I kind of force myself to keep running on this road.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I design interaction between machine and human. I hope one day I could show people why interface is way more important than they think. Experience and interface are really two sides in one. It's way more powerful then we think. Too bad it was considered only as aesthetic issues.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Keep walking and don't limited in one field. Be versatile and a cross-field designer.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
Good designers have good ideas. Great designer bring ideas to life.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
When it fits its project scope. The great work usually fits its context seamlessly and has the ability to guide people to gradully change their behaviors. When a user couldn't remember how was his/her life looks like before that specific product showed up, I think then the work could be called as good design.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good design reflect & provoke people's life. It tells people how they think about themselves. Good design invites introspective thinking and improvisations.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I usually design fictional stories when I have some free time. I wrote and draw my stories. It's the pleasure only for myself.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
My tips is good ideas usually showed up when you're doing something unconcious, such as taking showers, felling into asleep, or walking. If you derive enough observation from daily life and learned enough, good ideas will jump out. Let your brain do the job. It connects thoughts without us knowing it.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
2005 Japan Expo. So nicely blend into local culture with a respectful attitude.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
My favorite project is the Chinese Kan Opera Calendar I designed in 2015 when I was a graphic designer. I designed the calendar from scratch all by myself and it only went through one iteration with the client. It's such a delicate gift and has so many different layers to indicate the subtle transition with the Opera story. The reason I like it the most is not just because of the visual, but for its surprising experiences the calendar provides when an audience first open it. These tangible serendipities is hard to find within digital era. Interaction design has overemphasized the smoothness of functionalities and neglected the importance of creating possibilities. And this has become my ultimate goal as an IxD designer now.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Don't let yourself go easy. Design is a continuous, life-long process. Keep learning and keep working.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
A profound language, inviting relationship & conversation between the object and the person.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
I have met lots of good people along the way. They are my teachers, friends, family. They all kindly provide support in different forms of my career.
What helped you to become a great designer?
A small theater in my head that always wondering. And I do self-teaching from time to time.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
Social skills. I am not an extroverted person but that's important in this industry to have connections with others.
How do you think designers should present their work?
Participate design competitions and forums. Write books or blogs.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
Maybe I will come up with something to help us to deal with this pandemic. Especially something with highest level goal of a social economic system
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
I really hope how people see interface could change in the next couple of years. Look beyond the aesthetic and typography. It's a really powerful touch point between our conscious and reality. It decide what we see and how we see things. Shouldn't be judge by how it looks. It represents a point of view, an attitude.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
I hope design could focus more on real-life experiences, instead of everything goes digital. I hope designers could focus more on the meaning of an object. Bring back the old notion of take objects seriously.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
Figure out what's the problem. How should I define it. I usually ask myself: What's the frame of this project?
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
Both. most designers let trends set themselves, some designers sets the trends.
What is the role of technology when you design?
A catalyst to seduce more playful interaction. A boost to bring concept to reality.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
I need to do research about its story and context. Or sometimes just let the "wow" feeling runs for a while.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
Someone who knows me. The ideal co-designer have to be compatible to each other, in terms of skills, way of thinking, open minded, and most importantly, there need to be some mutual trust.
Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
My previous boss. He taught me so much about typography and information architecture. He is the founder of my design career. Then my professor at CCS. He changed my way of thinking the moment he walk into the classroom. He showed me how to be logical and conceptual and specific during the chaotic design process.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
Self-learning. Be proactive finding solutions when you have a problem.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley in 19th century. Really want to see how he came up with the unconventional illustrations against the trends.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
It takes lots of time and effort to join these awards. Not an easy tasks.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
I like all real colors in nature. Favorite place depends on who I am with. I like sushi and seafood. Favorite thing is dreaming when I slept. Favorite brand: 22 studio.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
Once a client told me they have their logo in file and when I opened it, I realize it's a word documents.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
When I see my efforts become something real and useful. Achievement drives me the most.
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I draw on my father's white wall. And I read a bunch of Manga.

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