Simon Yan
美国工业设计师协会成员

“人生开始于舒适圈的尽头”,美国的一位作家曾经这么说过。我们常说,人要走出自己的舒适圈,才能变得更加优秀,但是需要足够大的勇气才能跨出第一步,许多人有这个觉悟,却迟迟没有行动。而我们今天访谈的主人公就拥有这样的勇气和行动力,在自己事业和生活最平顺的时候选择走出了自己舒适圈,经过多年的努力,他为自己当初的决定交出了一份满意的答卷。

 

Simon Yan,美国工业设计师协会成员,出生于香港,1988年毕业于美国纽约普拉特学院,而后在美国多家知名设计公司担任高级工业设计师、项目经理等,2001年在美国创立属于自己的工作室Bluemap Design。在其设计生涯中,Yan曾收获多项知名设计大奖,包括iF、红点、PDC金奖等,其设计作品也曾先后发表在纽约时报、华尔街日报、时代杂志、iF设计年鉴等各大书刊、报纸、国际杂志中。Yan设计风格干净、现代、永恒,追求形式和功能之间的平衡,注重用户的身体与情感之间的关联性。


No.1这一切都是为了走出舒适区,挑战自己


您出生于香港,为何会想要出国发展呢?

You were born in Hong Kong, why do you want to go abroad for development?

 

Yan

1984年,我决定离开香港前往美国纽约普拉特艺术与设计学院学习。适应一个全新的国家不是一件容易的事情,但是我不能忍受被限制在一个我已经习惯的空间里,我需要看到更多,这里是一种强调反复学习和实践的亚洲教育方式,几乎没有留给你想象和反思的空间。我记得,我在普拉特大学绘画课上的第一个家庭作业是画一幅我们选择的静物画,我很兴奋,花了好几个小时画了一幅非常精细、超写实的画,我为它感到骄傲,我认为这是我画过的最好的一幅画。而当教授评价的时候,我很震惊,他认为我的画缺乏精神,太胆小。他指着我旁边同学的画,我当时觉得画得不太好,他说:“这是一幅伟大的画,它有活力和生命。”我花了一些时间才明白他在说什么,最后我在那门课上得了第一名。普拉特大学的教育开阔了我的视野,让我从那时起以不同的方式看待事物。如果我不出国,我永远也做不到这一点。

1984, I decided to leave Hong Kong and go to New York, USA to study art and design at Pratt Institute. Adapting myself to a brand-new country is not an easy thing, but I can’t stand confining in a space I accustom to, and I need to see more. Coming from an Asian style of education which emphasis on repetitive study and practice, it leaves very little room for imagination and reflection on yourself. I remembered, my first home assignment of drawing class at Pratt was to draw a still life of our choice. I was excited and spent hours working on a highly detailed and super realistic drawing. I was so proud of it thinking that no doubt it is the best drawing I have ever done. When it came to the critique, I was shocked that my professor thought my drawing lack spirit and is too timid. He pointed to my classmate’s drawing next to me which I thought was not that good at the time. He said, “this is a great drawing, it has energy and life” I was puzzled and lost for a while. It took me some time to understand what he was talking about. I ended up finishing on top of that class. The education at Pratt opens up my mind and allows me to see thing differently ever since. I would have never able to do that if I didn’t go aboard.

 

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NYC Street Lights


您在几家顶级的工作室工作后为何会想要自主创业开一家自己的设计工作室呢?

You had worked in several top-ranked design studios, why do you want to start your own practice later?

 

Yan

这一切都是为了走出舒适区,挑战自我。2001年,我在纽约一家著名的设计公司担任设计总监,管理他们的工业和图形部门。当时我处在一个舒适的环境中,生活似乎很平顺。我正在做的项目很好,但远不及我认为我能做得到的程度。在这一领域我有多年的经验,我觉得是时候大胆尝试一下自己做了,而我想用自己的方式来做。Bluemap设计工作室就这样诞生于2001年11月,十七年后的今天,我们仍然在做着令人惊叹的作品,我们的设计获得了重大的国际奖项,也得到了客户的认可,更重要的是,我们的客户对成功的产品感到兴奋。我相信我的直觉和设计感,这证明我做出了正确的决定。人们在舒适的环境中往往会失去想法,有时给自己制造一个不自在的环境是好的,让自己紧张,限制自己的选择,挑战自己,它将带来新的见解和可能性。

It is all about getting out of the comfort zone and challenge yourself. In 2001, I was design director at a well-known design agency in New York managing their industrial and graphics departments. I was in a comfortable situation where life seems to be pretty easy. The projects I was doing were good but far less than what I think I could do. With many years of experience in the field, I think it is time to venture out and do it on my own. I want to do it the way I want. Bluemap Design was born in November 2001. Seventeen years later, we are still doing amazing works our designs won major international awards, and were acknowledged by our pierces, more importantly, our clients are thrill with the successful products. I trusted my intuition, design sense and it proved that I made the right decision. People tend to lose perspective when in a comfort zone. Sometimes it is good to create an uneasy situation for yourself. Putting yourself on edge, limit your option and challenge yourself. It will bring new insight and possibilities.

 

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SAY2 Smartphone


请与我们介绍一下Bluemap Design工作室以及它的战略定位。

Please introduce something about Bluemap Design and its strategic positions.

 

Yan

Bluemap设计是一家屡获殊荣的工业设计公司,位于美国纽约市,专注于消费电子产品、办公产品、家居用品结构、图形包装和品牌等领域。我们强调用户体验对产品的重要性,我们努力为客户的产品开发需求确定最佳解决方案。凭借多年的经验和国际认可,我们的设计师建立了一个全面的设计流程,并取得了许多成功的设计。

Bluemap Design is an award-winning industrial design firm in New York City USA, specializing in consumer electronics, office products, housewares, structural and graphic packaging, and branding. Our approach emphasizes the vital importance of a user’s experience with a product, and we strive to determine the best solutions for our clients’ product development needs. With many years of experience and international recognition, our designers have established a comprehensive design process that has resulted in many successful designs.

 

No.2自然是最好的灵感来源

 

您提到您的灵感来源之一是大自然,那么大自然为您的设计带去了哪些方面的启发?请举例。

You mentioned that nature is one of your source of inspiration, what enlightenment nature has brought to your design? Please give us an example.

 

Yan

大自然往往使事物看起来毫不费力。例如,你在河里看到一块光滑的鹅卵石,它是美丽的,并不是经过人工雕琢的,而是多年来沙子和水自然打磨的结果。我喜欢毫不费力的设计,而不是被迫的设计,喜欢设计方案是显而易见的,但之前没有人想到过。

在设计TiO厨房工具时,我们将相同的轻松设计思想应用于项目。我利用金属冲压和成型工艺,手柄区域印有槽,以便在成型过程中材料膨胀,形成完美贴合手部的轮廓形状。凹槽提供触感握持,握持牢固且舒适,并散热以保持手柄凉爽。我们让材料自然形成,而不是被迫形成一些不应该形成的狂野形状,所有元素,形式和功能都可以无缝地工作,这才是一个自然的设计灵感。

Nature tends to make things look effortless. For example, you see a smooth pebble in the river. It is beautiful, yet no one purposely makes it. It was a result of years of polishing with sand and water by nature. I like design that is effortless, not forced, and design solution that is obvious yet no one has think of before.

When designing the TiO kitchen tools, we apply the same effortless design thinking to the project. I take advantage of the metal stamping and forming process. The handle area is stamped with slots to allow the material to expand during the forming process to create a contour shape that fit the hand perfectly. The grooves provide a tactile grip that is secure and comfortable to hold as well as dissipating the heat to keep the handle cool. We allow the material to form naturally, not forced into some wild shape that is not meant to be. All the elements, form and function work seamlessly. It is an effortless design inspired by nature.

 

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TiO kitchen tools

以您的观点来看,何为永恒的设计?

In your eyes, what is timeless design?

 

Yan

对我来说,永恒的设计是形式、功能、颜色、比例和比例的平衡,这些设计元素的完美结合创造了一个永恒的设计,它不受文化、时间或地点的限制。一个永恒的设计可以在几千年前,也可以在今天,它可以由当地的部落工匠或著名的设计师制作,它可以来自远东,也可以来自西方。工业设计师迪特尔·拉姆斯(Dieter Rams)和建筑师路易斯·卡恩(Louis Kahn)的作品是永恒设计的典范。

To me, timeless design is a balance of form, function, color, scale, and proportion. It is a magic combination of the perfect level of these design elements that give birth to a timeless design. It is not bound by cultures, time, or places. A timeless design can be made thousands of years ago or today. It could be made by a native tribal craftsman or a famous designer. It can be from the far east or the west. Good examples of timeless design are the work of industrial designer Dieter Rams and Architect Louis Kahn.


No.3 The design style of Yan

 

您如何让您的设计达到形式与功能之间的经典平衡?

How do you get your design to achieve a classic balance between form and function ?

 

Yan

你走在一条平衡形态和功能的线上,如果你太注重形式,可能就太过头了,另一方面,太强调功能,它可能又会太功利。许多设计师首先关注的是美学(形式),然后再让工程师弄清楚它的功能。不尽人意的是,工程师可能会改变设计人员的意图,以满足工程需求。最后,您可能无法识别自己的设计。我喜欢从多个角度来处理一个问题,试图在形式和功能之间找到一个平衡点。有时甚至是由内而外。了解它的工作原理(功能)最终有助于实现您想要的外观(形式)。

例如,在iPad Air项目的打字键盘上,市场上有许多iPad键盘产品,大多数都只有一个或几个固定的视角,都没有可拆卸键盘。通过我们的研究,我们意识到人们在打字时想要自由地调整视角,而实现自由旋转运动的唯一方法是从内到外进行设计。因此,我们与一家世界知名的铰链制造商合作,开发了一种专有的微摩擦铰链,它非常小,但扭矩值可以在任何角度安全地支撑iPad我没有马上开始设计产品的美学,相反,先解决机械问题,然后形式就位。当你在玩形式和功能游戏时,知道从哪里开始,什么时候停止是很重要的。

You are walking on a fine line balancing form and function. If you focus too much on the form it might be overdone, on the other hand, too emphasis on the functionality, it might make something too utilitarian. Many designers focus on aesthetics (form) first and let the engineer figure out how it works (function). The danger is that the engineer might change the designer’s intent to fit the engineering requirement. In the end, you might not recognize your own design. I like to approach a problem from many angles, try to find an equilibrium between form and function. Sometimes even from inside out. Knowing how it works (function) ultimately will help you achieve the look (form) you want.

For example, on the TYPO keyboard for iPad Air project. There are many iPad keyboard products on the market. Most of them have one or few fixed viewing angles. None of them has a detachable keyboard. We realized that people want to adjust the viewing angle freely for typing during our research. The only way to achieve a free pivoting movement is to design it from the inside out. So we collaborated with a world renounce hinge manufacturer to develop a proprietary micro-friction hinge. It is super small but has the torque value that could hold up the iPad securely at any angles. I did not start to design the aesthetics of the product right away. Instead solve the mechanical problem first, and then the form falls into place. It is essential to know where to start and when to stop when juggling form and function.

 

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Typo Keyboard for iPad Air

为使作品满足用户的情感需求,您认为设计的关键是什么?

What is the key of design in order for the work to meet the emotional needs of the users?

 

Yan

设计的关键是与客户建立联系,用户可以从情感上联系到的东西,这种联系可能是多方面的,它可以是一种颜色,一种形状,一种声音,甚至是一种气味,它可以是明显的,也可以是微妙的。我关注人们的生活方式,以及他们如何与他人、与产品互动,这有助于我在设计产品和包装时与人建立联系。

在设计柯达V-570数码相机时,我们想要更深入的接触用户,我们希望人们爱上相机。当所有相机的镜头都移到身体的一边时,我们选择将镜头置于相机的中心。我们生活在一个对称的世界里,对称代表美和秩序。无论你的年龄、性别或国籍如何,它都是普遍的一样,因此,人们潜意识里倾向于对称的事物是很自然的。当你看到相机的时候,你会立刻被它吸引,不得不把它拿在手里。平衡布局不仅看起来不同,它还在情感上与客户联系在一起。

The key to the design is to make a connection with the customers. Something that the users can relate to emotionally. The link could be many things. It could be a color, a shape, a sound, or even a smell. It could be obvious or subtle. I pay attention to the way people live and how they interact with each other and products. This help me make connection with people when designing products and packaging.  

When designing the Kodak V-570 digital camera, we want to touch the customers on a deeper level. We want people to fall in love with the camera. While all the cameras have the lens off to one side of the body, we choose to position the lens in the center of the camera. We live in a symmetric world. Symmetry represents beauty and order. It is universal regardless your age, gender or, nationality. Therefore, it is natural that people subconscious gravitate toward things that are symmetrical. When you see the camera, you are instantly attracted by it and have to hold it in your hand. The balance layout didn’t just look different it connects with customers emotionally.

 

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Kodak EasyShare V570 Dual Lens Digital Camera


您一般会从哪些方面去了解客户的需求并将产品理念传达给最终消费者?

In what ways do you generally use to understand the customer's needs and then communicate the product concept to the final consumers?

 

Yan

在项目的研究阶段,我们采用了访谈、产品矩阵映射、用户场景开发、探索性头脑风暴会议、竞品评审、市场研究、趋势研究、门店审核、用户观察等方法来了解和挖掘用户的需求。

很多时候,这些收集到的数据以录音、视频剪辑、笔记、数字、图表、图片等形式出现。将这些看似无关、抽象的数据联系起来是一项艰巨的任务。重要的是分析和组织这些信息,并将其转化为有意义的观点。这些观点能让我们建立指导方针,以帮助概念的创造。如你所见,我们从收集数据开始,并进行分析和组织,直至将它们转化为有用的观点,并帮助指导概念,最终转化为最终产品。

During the research phase of the project, we use many methods such as interviews, product matrix mapping, user scenario development, exploratory brainstorm session, competitive products review, market study, trend study, store audit, and user observation, etc. to learn and understand what customers want.  

A lot of time these collected data are in the form of voice recording, video clips, notes, numbers, charts, pictures, etc. Making the connection of these seemingly unrelated and abstract data is a big task. The important thing is to analyze and organize this information and turn them into meaningful insight. These insights allow us to establish guidelines which aid the concept creation. As you can see, we started by collecting data, analyze and organize them, turn them into useful insight and help guide the concepts and eventually turn into the final product.  

  

您的包装设计作品大都比较简洁、直观,您认为这种包装风格可以带来哪些优势?

Clean and intuitive are the main styles of your packaging design, what is the strategy this packaging style can bring?

 

Yan

它带来清晰和联系。消费者只有很短的时间跨度从商店的大量产品中选择,而很多包装设计强调的是一个大胆和响亮的图形。视觉上干净的包装设计将使您的产品脱颖而出,独特的包装结构设计可以让消费者直观的感受到产品。

It brings clarity and connection. Consumers have very short time span to choose from a large number of products in the store. While a lot of packaging design emphasis on a bold and loud graphic. Visually clean packaging design will make your product stand out more. A unique packaging structure design could invite the consumer to pick up the product intuitively.

 

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RING Video Doorbell Packaging

您认为国外的设计水平如何?有哪些是我们可以学习借鉴的?

What do you think of the design level in Western Countries? And what can we learn from it?

 

Yan

过去,西方主导着设计世界,我们从他们身上寻找灵感和方向。今天我觉得设计水平更均衡了,好的设计无处不在,从东到西,从北到南。世界变得越来越紧密,越来越小,我们应该互相学习。尽管如此,我们仍有许多东西可以向西方学习。

例如,美国是一个相当年轻的国家,没有太多包袱和遗产。她的天性就是珍惜探索、冒险和发现新事物,正是这种自由、活力和态度帮助设计蓬勃发展。我们可以从这里学到的是勇于尝试,不怕失败的精神。我们要尊重历史,但不要太拘泥于过去,发现自己的长处,发展自己的风格。人必须放手才能有所得。

For example, the US is a rather young country and don’t have too much baggage and legacy. It is in her DNA to cherish exploration, taking risk, and discover new things. It is that kind of freedom, energy, and attitude that help flourish design. What we can learn from here is the willingness to try and not afraid to fail. We need to respect history but not hanging on too much to the past, discover our strength and develop our style. One must let go to gain.

In the past, the west dominates the world of design. We look at them for inspiration and direction. Today I think the design level is more even out. Good design is everywhere. From east to west and from north to south. The world is more connected and getting smaller. We ought to learn more from each other. Being said that there are still many things we can learn from the west.

 

No.4 生活丰富了工作工作生活更有意义

 

您对生活与工作分别持一种怎样的态度?

What’s your attitude toward life and work?

Yan

灵感就在我们身边。你不能保证在9点到5点的办公时间里有一个好主意。如果你想成为一个好的设计师,你不能下班后就把所有的设计思维都关掉。设计师不是一份工作,而是一种生活方式。我认为生活和工作是相互联系的,一个激发另一个,生活丰富了工作,工作使生活更有意义。

Inspiration is all around us. You cannot guarantee to have a good idea between the office hours of 9 to 5. If you want to be a good designer you cannot just turn off all your design thinking after work. Being a designer is not a job it is a way of life. I think life and work are inter-connected. One inspires the other. Life enriches the work. Work makes life more meaningful.


您在美国已学习工作多年,如今可说事业有成,是否有想过回故乡开分公司?

You have been studying and working in the United States for many years. Now your career is very successful. Have you ever thought about going

back to your hometown to open a branch?

 

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VeriFone Digital Taxi-Top Advertising Display

Yan

如果有合适的时机和机会,我将考虑在我的家乡开一家分公司。

If the right moment and opportunity arise, I will consider opening a branch office in my hometown.

 

您希望您的子女将来继承您的设计产业吗?为什么呢?

Do you want your children to inherit your design industry in the future? why?

 

Yan

作为一个设计师,我喜欢我每天做的事情。如果我的孩子有同样的激情和决心,我会鼓励他们成为像我一样的设计师。然而,我相信每个人都有自己的命运和使命。如果你沿着命中注定的路走,你会做得很好。否则,做出妥协,强迫自己做一些你不喜欢的事情,将是一个悲剧。

As a designer, I love what I do every day. If my children have the same passion and determination, then I will encourage them to be a designer like me. However, I do believe that everybody has his or her destiny and calling. If you follow the path that is meant to be you will do well. Otherwise, making a compromise and forcing yourself to do something you don’t love will be a tragedy.