Wu: Bonjour, Mr. Maxence, straight to the point. What do you think of the current status of design business industry in China?
Maxence: It is fragmented but changing at a fast pace. On one side, there are some companies trying their own things, and crafting the made in China with the risks that it implements, and on the other side, entities that rely on foreign culture to market themselves, by a lack of confidence.
Wu: Do you think there is good design work from Chinese companies? In addition, who or whose design work do you highly respect and recommend among Western hi-tech companies?
Maxence: I think that there is always people trying to make it right but that does not mean that they would be famous or successful. Good design and success are not always tied together. For foreign designers, I am quite sensitive to the work of Erik Spiekermann (type designer) and Paul Rand, the overall philosophy, the dignity behind their approach. Dignity is a strong topic if you don’t want to be eaten alive by your client.
Paul Rand work
马桑：我认为总是有人尝试做到好的设计，但这并不意味着他们会出名或成功。好的设计和成功并不总是绑在一起。在西方，我对Erik Spiekermann（德国字体设计大师）和Paul Rand的作品非常敏感，欣赏他们整体的设计理念以及他们态度背后的尊严。如果您不想被客户压榨干，尊严是一个很重要的议题。
Erik Spiekermann work
Wu: As you have experienced Europe and China, what do you think the difference between the two design styles? Is there anything that can be combined or good mixed?
Maxence: I do not like to talk about style, as it would mean following a certain aesthetic approach in a field. An important part of the process during the design development is by doing research, field research on a particular topic. The main difference between working in Europe and China is that in China deadlines for projects are much shorter, so this faster pace brings faster proposals. Sometimes fast can be good, but it can also damage the quality of the design. On the other hand Chinese clients can be more opened to try something new, which can be a positive side.
Pierre Paulin Declive
Wu: What are your inspiration for the aesthetics of traditional Chinese design? Recently, do you think that it is on the way of recovering, as the fact of Cultural Revolution had indeed destroyed the arts development for long time?
Maxence: I believe using traditional culture as an inspiration is a difficult exercise as you need to project things from the past into a contemporary scenario, means going through reinterpretation otherwise you take the risk to end up in nostalgia. The revolution was for sure a trauma, but going to villages, smaller town brings you things which you thought were long gone. You will still find crafts, old technics. As long as shopping mall stay far away from these villages the craft should have a chance to survive.
Wu: Talk about two famous designers/your colleagues, Pierre Paulin and Philippe Starck. What do you think of their design works? Do you think whether Xiaomi considers Starck design as a tool of marketing?
Maxence: These 2 designers have a very different design philosophy. Pierre Paulin was all about comfort, harmony, elegance, and not putting himself in front, to disappear behind the project. Starck on the other hand made himself as a brand, being often in front of his products, doing many interviews, doing controversial proposals. In the case of Xiaomi it was definitely a marketing move as Starck stands as a strong brand.
Wu: Depends on your own experience working in Europe and China, what is your present personal design philosophy?
Maxence: Having been to Shenzhen where you will find high-tech industries, and remote areas such as Guizhou were farmers still use animals to do the land, I try to imagine a process which involve the past and the future. Too often I see 2 camps. The people that are into crafts, the past, and people that are into technology and lake broader knowledge. Studying the past, the present and think about the future seems an important aspect for me.
Wu: What kind of design ability do you think that Studio can offer to enterprises or organizations? What change and impact should a good or suitable design brings to inpiduals, corporations and even dailylife?
Maxence: To help them define their own identity, and be confident to be outsiders in their own field. I would say a good balance between aesthetic, function, quality, and still give some uniqueness to each proposal, but that does not mean to be different. Doing different for the sake of being different is a superficial approach often used by poor marketing (I am different therefore I am).
Profile/Maxence Loisson (Referred to as Maxence):
Maxence Loisson de Guinamont was Born in1984 in Versailles. He graduated in interior design from the Beaux Arts schoolin Dijon and in product design through a master from the Ecal school ofLausanne. In 2012 ,he wasselected among the most promising young graduated designers for the VillaNoailles Parade.
Furthermore, Maxence has worked for PierrePaulin (designer of a social revolution) and Philippe Starck (designer ofXiaomi MIX), and later he went to China, working for the Guizhou CulturalHeritage Project, Lenovo, and Yi Technology (Mi Ecological Chain Company), andhas obtained Red Dot Award.
Maxence with some creative designers set upa design studio, to provide design consulting services among graphic (UI/VI,Logo), video, industry, interior design.
马桑先生1984年出生于法国凡尔赛，获得BeauxArts的学士学位与洛桑Ecal学院的硕士学位，2012年被选为“Villa Noailles Parade”最有前途的青年设计毕业生。
Profile/Colin Wu (Referred to as Wu)
Mr. Wu graduated from Beijing NormalUniversity and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has worked in Hi-techcompanies such as C-trip, Mi Ecological-chain Company, and Bitmain. He has beenengaged in the filed of marketing and branding.