Interview with designer Shang Cai (SC), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Yunxi Characteristic Restaurant.

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Interview with Shang Cai at Monday 4th of May 2020: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SC : The inspiration comes from the cloud in the city where the restaurant is located. Chongqing is a low-cloud and rainy city where cloud and fog weather take up most of the time. I tried to express the characteristics of this city in a more modern way.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SC : The main focus of the design is the embodiment of the cloud. I want to use light and substance to see the shape of the cloud, not just the media image.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
SC : We try to build such restaurants in diffrent cities in China and all over the world, to achieve the local cultural temperament, in our unique way of using sound and light.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
SC : About 2 months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SC : I think my idea is a good way to fullfill the client's desire of buiding a representative restaurant in the city.

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?
SC : I own the intellectual property rights.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
SC : Based on my previous experience in stage art design, I tried to break the barriers of dance design and soft design to make the space more stage and ritual.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
SC : The expression of divinity in the works of Tadao Ando is my favorite.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
SC : People with good aesthetics and high budget.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SC : The dynamic and variable dance technology makes this space full of vitality and magic, surprising everyone who walks into this space.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SC : The name derives from ancient Chinese poetry, which describes a goddess' beauty as the moon. The homonym Yunxi of this word represents the aggregation of clouds.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
SC : Computer hand-painted board is the most useful tool.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SC : The most unique thing is that all the devices on this site can change the position and color to create different effects. I once hosted a dinner for the most famous dancer in China, and allocated her unique peacock-themed lighting.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
SC : I designed it independently.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
SC : We used MA2's lighting console, digitally controlled fans, digitally controlled lifting equipment and a large number of lighting systems.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
SC : No.None.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
SC : The big challenge is how to balance the spatial difference between the naked eye and the photographic equipment, so that both are aesthetically pleasing, so I spent a lot of time in the selection and debugging of the lighting.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
SC : By a frend's recommendation.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
SC : I have learned a lot, such as how to find a balance between the dynamic and static of the space.

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