Today on Radio Johnny Daniel Szuc chats with Douglas Wang and Itamar Medeiros who both work at Autodesk Shanghai, China. They talk about topics including design in China today, skills a designer should possess, and challenges and opportunities in working as a designer in Asia. This is the first of a series of interviews with designers in Asia to better understand “Design in Asia”. Enjoy the show!
The size of the design population [in China] is much bigger than 10 years ago…we have a lot of designers in the talent pool…however the maturity of these professionals is not there yet.
Let’s face it, good design costs money and because cost is still the differentiator for a lot of the markets, there is a resistance for design to penetrate in those markets.
There is not a lot of critical thinking that is simulated in design education. I think that is a big challenge for the design education moving forward in China. The other skill I see as important is definitely a sense of empathy…if you’re talking about user centered design you need to be able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes… more important than all of these would that of communication.
In a lot of companies, designers are only involved in the process of “making”. The planning and research are all done with other people either Engineering, team leaders, or product managers. They do the design work before designers make the design visible to the stakeholders.
Itamar Medeiros and Douglas Wang from Autodesk in Shanghai share the perception of the local design community from those outside the discipline; the position design holds within the Chinese business community; and the powerful opportunity to draw inspiration from the Asian traditions and history that make up this beautifully rich culture.
Itamar and Douglas also discuss the essential need for designers to learn about the human elements behind design, such as empathy and communication, so that future leaders can ensure their ideas are understood and valued by the interdisciplinary teams that make up every business today.