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Yangsoo Pyo: Good Design Comes from Experience

Yangsoo Pyo graduated with a BA in product design and is now a designer known especially for the design of the "Afro Chair". He started to take interest in design when he was about five years old and saw in an aquarium that fishes could have their "own peculiar colors and shapes, as if they were showing off their unique beauty".

Afro Chair SilverAfro Chair Silver

The Interview

1.When did you first take interest in design?

It would be when I first had been to an aquarium. I was about five years old and I was in awe by the colorful aquatic organisms, especially the fishes. They all had similar body components but none of them looked the same. Each one had its own peculiar colors and shapes, as if they were showing off their unique beauty. Since then, I started to draw different fishes. It made me excited to see how I could come up with endless drawings by just using different combinations of colors and shapes. It quickly became one of my favorite hobbies and it first opened my eyes to art and design.

2. How did you come up with the concept of your “AFRO Chairs"?

I got inspired by the soft and cushiony appearance of an Afro hairstyle that is actually made up of rough hairs tangled up with each other. I wanted to bring that characteristic to a sofa, which possesses both downy feeling and strength at the same time.


3. What is the most challenging part of your profession? And how can one overcome it?

I think the most challenging part in design is finishing given tasks before certain deadlines. Designing requires a lot of time and effort. Sometimes, it can be done instantly. Whether it takes few seconds or months of work, there is no doubt that it is achieved from lifetime experiences and information gained from our surroundings. It will be too stressful if one thinks of design as a work. It will be more enjoyable if one observes and takes a closer look at interesting things from the past or in our everyday life.

4. What do you think is the next flow in design?

Recently, the “Minimalism” was the hottest trend, but I must say that it will change sooner or later. I cannot be sure what the next flow will be but I am predicting that “streamline” could be the next one. Streamline was one of the past trend keywords but I think it would be worth looking for, and bring out something new and fresh from the out-dated style. It will be exciting to see what can be newly generated.

5. Which designs have made the greatest impact on you? Why?

My answer to this type of questions tends to change from time to time. But, currently I am so into streamline shapes as I mentioned on the previous question. I find that the products those designed with the streamline concept are the most futuristic than ones with any other lines.

6. Who have influenced you the most?

There are so many people who have influenced me in terms of design. I have to say that all of the designers in the world are influencing me. Personally, instead of a specific person, my insight is the best motive force.

7. What advice do you have for an aspiring designer?

I think a good design comes from experiences. My designs in my twenties are better than the ones from my teens and I believe that when I turn thirty, it will improve further. There can be a gifted sense that one might have to be born with, but I believe that what one see and listen during their lifetime to is the most important source that can be transferred into their designs. When one follows what they love, they can earn their own unique style and it will make them into better designers.

8. Would you like to add anything else to this interview?

Enjoy. You have to design with enjoyment. Trying hard is not always the answer. You have to do it well. It is your job to find out what you can do well.


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