Today on Radio Johnny Daniel Szuc, in his continuing series on design in Asia, speaks with Michael De Regt at Philips about his experience working in Hong Kong. Originally from the Netherlands, Michael shares experiences about cultural differences – corporate and lifestyle – in addition to different approaches to the design process in Asia compared to Europe and other parts of the world.
I still feel that Hong Kong is a very busy place to get used to! I expected a bigger change coming from the Netherlands but I must say Hong Kong is completely accommodating to ex-pats and to people coming from other countries to work here… On the other hand if you’re not from Asia …so you tend to only scratch the surface of real China because I know under the surface there is still a traditional Chinese culture going on in Hong Kong.
There are always big discussions when a decision needs to be made about what would the user think? Anyone can have a different opinion about it and designers should look at what [others] think during the build. Those insights with examples, studies, etc allows for a good decision to be made.
I do believe being [in Hong Kong] a big part of the work we do here – that is different in parts of Europe – is in pre-product development. As a designer you have to be quick on your feet… and really quite pragmatic… you have to speed up your thought process on designs. You spend working time outside work or in the early morning to create concepts and analyze.
Michael shares his experience working in Asia. He talks about specific attributes or characteristics that he’s found successful while working in Hong Kong. Specifically he notes the speed with which products are developed and the ability to be agile and creative in all design solutions.
Michael also discusses the opportunity for designers to play a key role in product development beyond the pixels on the screen. A few ideas include seeking the chance, whenever possible, to immerse themselves in meetings and discussions with business leaders. In addition Michael shares how designers at Philips take a leadership role with multi-disicpplinary teams in brainstorming and explaining the value behind specific design choices.
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