Interview with Siyuan Fang, MOVEAWARD winner 2014. Won an internship at Volvo Design Department in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Education: Master Program of Transportation Design, Umea Institute of Design
How did you find out about MOVEAWARD and what motivated you to apply?
I learned about MOVEAWARD through my professor in school. When browsing its website, I was fascinated by the design brief and the winner’s work. There were wild ideas that push the boundary of mobility in so many ways – new form, function, material, technology and Siy experiences and stories, this uniquely creative platform really intrigued me to be part of it and create something fresh and meaningful. Moreover, it was always my goal as a student to connect and learn with the real industry, and MOVEAWARD is able to provide exactly that pathway, by rewarding student winners with internship opportunities at world-renowned companies, simply mind-blowing prize, I told myself that I must seize it.
How did the move award influence your career?
MOVEAWARD greatly accelerated my transition from a student to a professional designer, as it gave me a stage to practice my talent, and literally rewarded me with entry tickets to my dream jobs. As one of the winners back in 2014, I very fortunately got the chance to be an intern at Volvo Design, a place that I admire so much, with zero hassle. The internship experience later led to a sponsorship by Volvo on my master thesis project, full supported by the team of experts, I was able to create one of the my proudest work in my life. And shortly after my graduation, I was offered a full-time job at BMW Designworks, as my project aroused their attention. Thanks to MOVEAWARD for the initial push, step by step I eventually became a designer that I dreamt to be.
What is your profession at the moment and what are your goals for the future?
I am a senior interaction designer at BMW Designworks Los Angeles Studio, focusing on digital experience and mobility service design. The reason I signed up for car industry is to contribute my skills to the ongoing mobility revolution, it is the most meaningful thing for me to try reinventing cars as we know for more than a century, creating much greater benefits to people’s lives, instead of hurting them and the environment. As a firm believer in digitalization, sustainability and autonomous driving, I would continue to devote myself into these efforts in the foreseeable future, and leverage my hybrid knowledge between physical car and digital interaction to create more holistic mobility experiences.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in design?
I’d like name two person here, as they supplemented each other to inspire me with the full picture of design. First one is Chris Bangle, the former design director of BMW. Some of his work, such as BMW Gina, represent the purist form of design – crafting timeless beauty that everyone desires. I had the honor to meet him in person during 2012 Beijing Auto Show, when he was surrounded by students and casually chatting about design. His enduring passion for creativity touched every one of us on the spot and planted a seed in my heart. But design isn’t only about the looks, the second person made that clear to me, Don Norman, one of the great design thinkers in our time, who coined the term “user experience”. His design books and speeches opened a new world for me, where design can be a serious science, to study about user, business, technology and more, designing solutions to solve various problems. From these two person, I saw purity of art and depth of science converging in one discipline, that still captivates me to this day.
What is your tip or message to future MOVE candidate’s?
Everyone has a different design journey, begin with embracing yourself for who you are. Look for things you feel truly passionate about, and learn to design for them with curiosity and care, so you could naturally achieve excellence. Focus on your strength and develop your own unique ideas and skills, standing out from the sea of sameness. Lastly, keep moving with the fast-changing world, breaking out of your comfort zone ever now and then, and adapting yourself to the new normal.