Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang 15th June 2020 | IN EXPERT INSIGHT | BY SBID

Meet David Chang

founder and design director, David Chang Design Associates International

David Chang was honoured as SBID International Design Awards’ Master of Design in 2018. He is a registered professional member of NCIDQ, ASID, SBID and IIDA, and has more than 25 years of experience in hospitality and high-end residential interior design and management experiences in North America and Asia.  In 1998, David Chang founded David Chang Design Associates International (DCDA) in Vancouver, Canada, and then expanded to China’s market in 2006, establishing firms in Guangzhou, Beijing and Taipei to provide exclusive upscale design services on landmark projects for local top developers. Deeply influenced by Chinese and Western cultures, David Chang emphasises attention to culture and history as sources of inspiration, thereby creating vitality and rich artistic essence for each project. Moreover, David Chang emphasises interior spaces’ comfort, functionality and the creation of soul in each design. Based on these philosophies, David Chang’s innovative works have won numerous design awards in the UK, Italy, Canada, and China.

design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang
design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang

F Bistronome Restaurant |  DCDA

design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang

How has China begun to rebound from COVID-19? How is your studio coping, and are projects that went on hold coming back to life?

After nearly three months of diligent social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and staying at home, the daily number of new COVID-19 infection has come to an abrupt halt. All walks of life are up and running again. During the outbreak, our studio shut down entirely from late January ‘til late February. To minimise the economic damage caused by this pandemic, we reopened at the beginning of March with employees working three metres apart. Every team member wore masks at all times, and their temperatures were checked upon arrival, at lunch time, and before leaving work. Hand sanitiser was also provided three times per day during office hours. Staff were divided into two groups. In March, the first group worked Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while the second group worked Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then in April the groups switched days. All projects were on hold during these three months. By the beginning of May, projects that has been placed on hold indefinitely began to resurrect in the catastrophic aftermath. Signs of intriguing new projects are also springing up in the market, but that being said, supply is still far more than demand.

design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang

Beijing Shimao Loong Palace Type B Villa Luxury Show Villa |  DCDA

design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang

Who is one of today’s cultural influencers, and how will their perspective influence your future?

There are many cultural influencers across the globe, and one who inspires me the most is Bill Gates. He and his wife Melinda established a foundation whose mission is ensuring children and young people survive and thrive with better healthcare and education so they can rise out of poverty, empowering the poorest people – especially women and girls – to transform their futures, while saving lives by providing adequate medical care to those with greatest needs. In the field of luxury interior design, all our clients have enough wealth to afford our services and products. In other words, we only design for the rich and famous. Inspired by the mission of the Gates Foundation, I see several approaches we could take in our future designs. We can donate our design skills to not-for-profit organisations, charity groups, or foundations. We can also donate a portion of the annual revenue generated from our designs and services to these charity groups.

What’s the best way to design for sustainability?

No matter how sensibly and proficiently we design and build, it’s not possible to 100% eliminate negative environmental impacts. But we can surely minimize them to get as close as possible to zero. The best way to do this is incorporating renewable resources as much as we can during the design and build processes, and then planning how they can be easily recycled or composted once their usefulness has expired.

design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang

Poly Garden Sales Center  |  DCDA

design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang
design director, Discussing Design with Design Director, David Chang

What is the one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?

All design-related professions belong to the field of applied arts, whether interior design, architecture, graphic design, or product design. Applied Arts are all the creative disciplines that apply design, science, and decoration to objects or spaces in order to make them aesthetically pleasing and functionally practical. This means we can’t just focus on how we feel and what we believe an object or space should be. The most important lesson I’ve learned in my career is that we must also try to feel and understand the perspectives, psychological needs, and functional demands of end-users.

David is one of the prestigious experts invited to join the extraordinary jury for the SBID Product Design Awards, alongside other renowned professionals across industrial and interior design, brand development, architecture, educational research and forward-thinking enterprise. Click here to view the full judging panel.

The SBID Product Design Awards 2020 is open for entries.

Entries close Friday 14 August!

To find out more about entering, visit www.sbidproductdesignawards.com