East Pavilion had an opportunity to chat with Griffin Yang, the designer from Haoshi Studio based in Taiwan. Haoshi, which is translated into "Good Things" in Chinese is a home and living design studio established in 2009.
East Pavilion (EP): Chinese design is becoming more developed and it is becoming increasingly popular within the international design community. What do you think about that?
Griffin Yang (GY): Instead of saying Chinese design is becoming more developed, I would rather say Asian designs are getting more popular on the international design stage. It's really great to see many Asian faces featured in design awards and exhibitions. Design is about cultural exchange. It’s helps countries know more about Asia, about us.
EP: Haoshi Studio’s work has simplicity and whimsy and we think it’s a unique style within Chinese design. What’s the inspiration for the work?
GY: I like to observe all things around me and all inspirations are from my daily life. We can see a sparrow show its curiosity to this human world and this is the inspiration of my new Sparrow x Vase, it is a sparrow popping it’s head out from a tree hole and surveying the world around it. That is my daily inspiration: to have curiosity and to have little fun in it. I try to capture these moments into my design.
EP: How does being Taiwanese and/or working in Taiwan influence your work?
GY: Taiwan is a cultural country and with a lot of existing traditional handcraft skill. The best part of working in Taiwan is I can a find master-carver to hand carve the detail of my design product and due to creating my products locally, I can oversee all aspects of its production to provide the best craft detail in my final products.
EP: Who and what are your greatest sources of inspiration?
GY: My daily life is my greatest sources of inspiration. I cultivate a habit of looking around, and closely observing everything near me. You can find life is beautiful and full of funny things.
EP: What are some of the hardest design lessons you’ve learned with Haoshi Studio?
GY: Haoshi was established in 2009. From personal accessory to wall clock and recently I began to develop to large home items, such as a real size lion light and deer vase, which are different types of design product. The hardest part is to put “Haoshi style” and atmosphere into these products with different functions and also to different design product lover.
EP: Tell us a bit about your earliest interest in design?
GY: I liked drawing since I was a child. As a student, I had significantly more drawing than notes in my textbooks. After I finished senior school, I chose to study at an art high school and began to expose myself to art and design. I studied at art school not only enrich my knowledge of art and design, but also to develop my personal interest in design and style.
EP: How did you start Haoshi Studio?
GY: After I graduated from university, I participated in many art and design projects, such as a public area sculpture design of Taichung Science Museum and public art project in Tainan Xinying. Then I worked in an international personal computer brand company in charge of product accessory design. I remember my first design was a laptop bag. One day, I saw someone using the bag I designed when I was walking on the street. I started to think "Why can’t I have my own brand that totally represent my life concept?" and finally, I started Haoshi Studio in 2009 and have been working on my own since then.
EP: What would people be surprised to know about you?
GY: When you see Haoshi products, it is about peace and a clean look, everything is calm and quiet. But what is inside my mind is violence and chaos, maybe you can say closer to animal nature. For example, a lion opens its’ mouth roar to the world, the rhino fights for food, the giraffe runs and tries to escape from attack. But the final product presents in a calm and peaceful way, I think that is really an interesting contrast between my draft and the real product.