I am always thinking.
The topic I care the most about right now is gender. I am dedicating my thesis year in grad school to developing a new methodology for designers to approach “gender” differently in their design process, instead of direct assumptions such as “girl is pink and fancy, boy is blue and simple”. I do not think gender is fixed or binary; it should be a non-linear spectrum. While sociologists tend to view gender as what we do instead of who we are, I believe that it is human to be diverse, it is humane to respect individual difference. We are constantly shaped by the existing consumer culture around us while designing products to reshape this firmly framed social structure. There has to be a way to break that loop.
I am a designer.
My passion about design is grounded in the impact that mass-produced products have on human behavior. I don’t necessarily view industrial design as a method to solve problems. To solve a problem we often tend to create even more problems such as insecurity towards technology, waste, unemployment, etc. Sometimes the problem could solve itself if we try viewing it from another perspective. However, how much impact a product could have on human behavior always amazes me. There is something extremely romantic about the connection between designer and user, sometimes I feel like I can deliver a specific message to the user through my design. Global trade plus the development of transportation and industrial production are offering increasing opportunities for designers’ creativity to reach the public. I find design fascinating.
I, myself, am a product of American culture and Chinese culture.
I was born in 1995 and spent 22 years in Beijing, China. I earned my Bachelors degree in Automobile Engineering and Automobile Styling Design at Tsinghua University, after which I came to the United States to pursue my Masters degree in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Everything in my life changed. The process of adapting to a completely new environment forced me to reconsider things around me that I used to take for granted. Why are the counters taller? Why are the fresh foods much more expensive than processed ones? Why do people start giving me compliments when I look tanner? I always feel confused about my own identity, I can’t fit myself in any existing stereotype from either culture. I think that is why I am always exploring, embracing, being sensitive and grateful for everything I have been given by my life.