Interview with designer Jason Cheung (JC), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Salon De Te Introductory For Watch Fair.

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Interview with Jason Cheung at Thursday 21st of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
JC : Since this is a marketing component of the trade fair and opened to the general public, the idea was to bring a feeling of luxury and romance into the introductory space of this new zone which housed over 140 international high-end watch brands. Therefore our idea was to evoke a feeling of luxury and romance as part of the visitors experience based on the nostalgic concept of a “Deluxe Train Journey.”

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
JC : The story line of the experience journey was important from daylight train ticketing area to an evening lit train platform scene when entering into the exhibition hall. Another element was to heighten the drama and surprise element with the use of AV technology and voyeuristic story telling of each zone through the carriage windows.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
JC : It gives us confidence to make this into a case study on how to make a memorable event within our internal event designer team and some design educational to inspire young exhibition design talent.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
JC : The initial concept was two week and from there to the physical build 4 months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
JC : The design was originated by the HKTDC creative team. The “Deluxe Train Journey” as a concept was developed for two main reasons: First, the train journey idea evolved from a mixture of old movie using this genre to give us the romance and the luxury travel by looking at classic royal train carriages as well as the classic Orient Express. Second, it allowed us to divide each carriage to represent the 4 different zones within the Salon de TE hall. As such each journey presented a different season: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
JC : No, it is a one off bespoke temporary design which lasted for 5 days.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
JC : The intention of our work was to help uplift the lifestyle element of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s trade events. It is also a good opportunity to work and coordinate with a diverse team of specialist and make the idea come alive. Lastly, the emotional reactions from visitors when they journey through the space are all reasons to make us want to design this type of work.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
JC : Influences were from our research of the Orient Express, royalty trains carriage and old movie during the golden age of cinema.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
JC : The general public, watch collectors and various high-end watch brand exhibitors.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
JC : The Salon de TE was different because it provided a design experience introductory space, instead of coming into a traditional trade hall and the first experience are rows of exhibition booths.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
JC : This reason the concept was named “Deluxe Train Journey” was that it reflected upon the introductory space design. This dramatized approach are obvious, the concourse reception was transformed into a daytime grand train station scene, while juxtaposed inside the exhibition hall with a contrasting evening train platform setting. While all the train carriages with various messaging were based on our research of royalty and travel which relates back to the name of the design.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
JC : Microstation, Photoshop and Illustrator are the basic.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
JC : The Salon de TE was unique because it provided a design experience introductory space, instead of coming into a traditional trade hall and the first experience are rows of exhibition booths. In addition other unique aspects were the train carriages windows that visitors can peer through to see the various visual stories and sounds to introduce the Salon de TE.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
JC : As well as our core in-house creative team we collaborated with film/theater lighting designers and multi-media content specialist.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
JC : We used technology to enhance and aid our visual cues to enhance our story telling within the space.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
JC : N/A

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
JC : The main difficulty was we only had 3 days for both the move-in and onsite setup. Our solution was to do vigorous off-site testing for construction methods, A/V rehearsals, propping and multimedia. This was crucial to ensure the 3 days setup was met.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
JC : We had many positive reactions from high level delegates, associations and visitors therefore decided it would be worthwhile to try to showcase our hard work and creativity to a highly prestigious international competition jury.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
JC : We learnt a lot from each other’s disciplines and that team work and ensuring we were properly prepared are important aspect to gain project success. Also the power to create and orchestrate that emotional journey was a key learning factor in this project.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
JC : None