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Roger Billington:英国设计师的“国际化”理想

Roger Billington:英国设计师的“国际化”理想

——“黑马”SW设计中心的DNA解码系列访谈之一

  SW设计中心在深圳成立不过三年左右,但它独特的DNA使其迅速成为惊艳设计界的一匹“黑马”,它是中外“混血儿”,其基因中有着来自英国的设计理念、来自北京的管理经验、来自深圳的技术支持……对于越来越开放的中国市场来说,SW设计中心是新鲜设计力量的典型代表。

  它是一家涉及室内设计、建筑概念设计、产品设计、品牌形象设计等等多领域的设计公司,它有国际上多所大学形成了合作关系,能够吸引世界上优秀的年轻设计师来到这里,它可以随时针对特定项目联系一批国际设计专家,它运用的设计项目管理架构是欧洲及世界最先进的模式……基于这些,他们能把自己称为“真正的国际公司”。

  2010年7月,中华室内设计网记者深入SW设计中心,对其董事及首席设计师Roger Billington、副总经理、合伙人之一的刘燕东女士、团队骨干成员李百炼等进行了采访,希望通过多个角度解码SW设计中心独特的DNA。

  SW设计中心合伙人、常驻首席设计师Roger Billington

  来自英国的Roger Billington是SW设计中心的常驻首席设计师,从事设计行业已有三十余年。因为感受到中英文化中的极大差异,加上曾担任过大学教授,Roger. B在SW公司推行了设计师的培训体系,这也正是SW与众不同的重点基因之一。

  Roger Billington简介:SW设计中心合伙人、常驻首席设计师。建筑概念、室内设计师及产品设计师。新西兰设计师协会理事会员、澳大利亚设计师协会会员、英国工业艺术家与设计师协会会员。毕业于英国沃夫汉普顿大学,获空间设计学学士学位、灯光设计研究生学历,在英国、新西兰以及中国都完成了很多优秀的设计项目。

  Journalist: We know the training system in SW has carried on for 2 years, it’s very special and attractive, would you like to talk about its aims and background with us?

  【记者】由您在sw设计中心提出的设计师培训体系已经实行了两年,非常特别而且具有吸引力,您做这件事情的初衷和背景是什么?

  Roger Billington: OK, actually, all I want to do is to develop the ability of the young designers. The purpose and system of the design in China and west is totally different, I want to integrate the two systems together and combine their own advantages. I hope the training can develop the designers’ potential abilities, and in fact, we have a good result. Introducing background information, learning foreign view of design and exchanging the idea with the foreign designers give our young designers a good opportunity to broaden horizon. It’s good for them to step into the international area, I mean in that way they can have international view of design quickly. We often invite designers from New Zealand,Australia, UK and some other countries to communicate with us about the design opinions, giving them the international environment.

  【Roger Billington】事实上我所做的事情是旨在提高中国年轻设计师的设计能力,开发他们的潜在能力。其实中国和西方的的设计体系和目的是有很大的不同,我希望可以综合这两种不同的体系,融合它们的优势。我希望通过培训机制来提升设计师的能力,事实上这两年的培训实践我们也取得了好的效果。通过介绍背景知识,学习国外的设计观点并且与国外设计师进行交流,年轻设计师可以扩大自己的眼界,而且这对他们进入一个更加国际化的环境将会有很大帮助。公司也会从新西兰、澳大利亚、英国等国邀请一些设计师过来,让几国的设计师有更多的交流,促进更多的进步,让国内设计师能和国际设计市场有接轨,有国际化的设计理念。中国的毕业生一毕业就进入企业工作,缺乏设计的国际化氛围,这也是我们这个培训体系想要改进的。

  Journalist:Please give us a brief introduction about the content of the training system, and how to carry out it concretely?

  【记者】请您介绍一下这个培训体系包括哪些内容?具体如何实施?

 

  SW设计团队(右四为Roger Billington)

  Roger Billington: Right, we have many ways to carry on the training, the most important purpose is to develop the ability of design, and help them to be professional. And what kind of the form we would choose? Firstly, the designers should understand the opinion of the clients, we say “thinking clients’ think”, having the idea in the mind then they can communicate with the clients.

  Communication is very important, most of the customers can’t point out what they want directly, and just give a main requirement, the designers should base on the information to put forward the design proposal. In my mind, designers are compared to lawyers, the customers should not ask and arrange the testimony to the lawyer, the lawyer and the designers must have their own ideas.

  We have regular meeting in Friday afternoon, in that meeting we have special selection—presentation. Everyone has the chance to display his topic, this selection we want them to know about the history of design, material history, society history, culture history and so on to have the comprehensive understanding of the design, I think this is useful and helpful when they are faced with real cases. Now I have 44 new topics that our designers will talk about, they would do these research after work in group. These themes maybe concern design history, architectural style, material, pertinence of design and the relationship between design and political. Having the knowledge about all the related information, and have logical idea for design, it’s necessary for them to design.

  And we also have 16 international designers, and they would join us if the project need. They prefer to come here and support the latest technology and design information, this is one advantage of the training.

  Our young designers also need learning the information about the latest material news; thinking about the compliance, giving correct proposal in the particular case and providing professional service.

  We know there is common social condition in China, and the social policy is “the boss is always right”, but in my opinion the boss who have the ability to recognize the talented are smart ones. A good boss does not mean everyone should follow his ideas, but can accept others advice and challenge, and encourage employees to be professional.

  I hope they would have confidence by my work, and dare deal with new project, over two years we got a good results. Now some of the designers have the capability to challenge my design view in our group, no conflict but exchanging ideas, I am very happy about it. Let them grow up in a healthy atmosphere.

  【Roger Billington】我们确实是从各个方面共同来实施这个培训的。首先,设计师要懂得与客户交流,我经常要求设计师在做项目时能结合客户的具体想法,不能系统化,设计不仅仅只是需要你的设计理念,也要考虑客户的需求。这就是很重要的一点——如何和客户沟通,客户很难准确地说出到底想要什么样的设计,只是提出自己的想法,那我们设计师就要培养能根据客户的要求提出设计理念、设计方案的能力,而不单单只是照着客户的具体要求来设计,要有自己的想法,从这一层次上讲,设计师的职业很像律师,律师不能仅仅就根据委托人要求你说什么证词就说什么证词,与客户的沟通很重要。我也经常鼓励年轻的设计师来挑战我的设计理念,鼓励他们用合理的理由把我说服。

  其次,要拓宽知识面,翻译是一种途径,要求设计师对国际上优秀、有价值的某一内容进行必要的翻译并进行深入的了解,设计行业需要对各个方面的知识有很深的了解,这也是马上要提到的每周给他们布置的课下作业。我们培训有个很重要的部分——对历史知识的研究,我们每周五下午会有个例会,每次例会上有2—3 名设计师组成一小组和我们分享他们所做的调研,调研内容包括设计历史、材料历史、社会历史以及文化历史等信息;通过对这些信息的了解,拓宽了视野,对他们设计项目是很有帮助的,在具体项目中也会提出更符合逻辑的想法。我新列出了44个研究主题,包括一些社会、文化、经济现象等的研究,以及设计和经济、政治、文化的关系,也有对家具、材料相关内容的研究。

  第三,我们有16个国际设计师的资源,只要是项目需要都可以请到他们参与到我们当中来,他们涉及各个领域的设计,不单单是室内设计,也有产品设计等等。这些国际设计师过来后也会给我们带来国际氛围,年轻的设计师可以和他们有很好的交流,共同发展。

  第四,要掌握最新的材料知识,了解到目前国际市场上流行什么材料也是很必要的,作为设计师对这些材料有了充分的了解,在设计项目时考虑到这样的设计的可行性是多少,才可以给客户一些切实可行的而非空洞无力的建议。

  最重要的是,中国设计师要学会改变态度。中国目前有个这样的社会现象,就是遵循“老板永远是对的”的观念,这和西方有很大的不同,我们会和老板提出不同的看法,我觉得一个聪明的老板或者上司不是要求你的员工服从你的想法,而是能够发掘出人才,能发现他们的特长,鼓励他们超越自己。“每个人都是平等的”,这是我经常和设计师提起的,希望他们都能有自己的设计理念,并且能够说服我;同时我也给他们适宜的项目去实践,让他们能够建立自信心。这两年培训体系的实施,让我们很多设计师有自信去完成一些项目,他们当中有人也能够来挑战我的理念,这并非是正面的冲突而是大家在一起交流使得项目能更好地完成,这是一种很健康的成长氛围。

  Journalist: What’s your response to the disagreement, when the young designers propose another idea about the project, what will you do?

  【记者】您鼓励年轻的设计师挑战您的设计理念,当他们向您提出反对意见时,您会怎么做?

  Roger Billington: I am always ready to face with disagreements, and glad to discuss with them. If they come here and show me their ideas, they must convince me, give me reasonable evidences in detail, we will discuss them together, combine my style with their style and to see right solution. “I will do it, because I like it”, this is infeasible. Giving the convinced reasons and I will accept it.

  There are many constraint elements in a good design, the knowlege of design, the time, the cost, client, material, the skill of the workers, the technology and so on. The designers should control all elements to make a good design proposal.

  【Roger Billington】这是我一直鼓励的,我也很乐意他们能提出不同的想法,但是提出不同想法时,要给出合理的理由、证据;告诉我你为什么要这样做,这样做的合理性是什么;把所有理由都一点点地列出来,不能只是简单地说一句“我这样做,只是因为我喜欢”,这是不行的,你的想法要用理由使我信服。

  其实一个好的设计项目有很多的限制因素,包括设计本身的知识、设计工程的时间、客户、材料、工人的技术能力、工程技术等等,这些都是设计师要全面考虑的,这个培训就是要求设计师在各个方面都要有考虑,所以设计师要不断提高自己多个方面的能力才能做出更好的设计。

 

  Roger Billington与年轻设计师们在一起

  Journalist: You have gain effect in system training in the past two years, are you satisfy with it?

  【记者】培训体系实行的两年中所取得的成绩您觉得满意吗?

  Roger Billington: I feel satisfy with the result of the training on the whole, now we don’t have interns in the group and some good guys left our group, we still have many good members. They not only have practical capability, but have the proper attitude that their manager, that is me, is helping them to form design idea but asking them how to design. This is the biggest progress, and I am very happy. And for the design, I feel that each project can be better, the process is very important, there is much to do.

  And I also have quite a few idea about the near future. The key plan is to form the Roger B. brand. Making my effort to set up a influential brand.

  【Roger Billington】两年过去了,总体上我对这个培训的结果还是很满意的。我们这个团队中确实有很多优秀的设计师,当然参加过培训的人中也有些离开了这个队伍。我最高兴也是最满意的就是我们年轻设计师不仅仅是设计水平进步了,他们的态度也改变了,他们意识到,我不是在教他们怎么设计,而是在帮助他们,帮助他们能形成自己的设计理念。对于设计而言,我是觉得每个项目都可以做的更好,过程很重要,要达到那个高水平需要更多的努力。对于将来我自己也制定了些计划,包括培训方面的,还有其他设计方面的,尤其是Roger B.品牌的发展。

  Journalist: Can you leak out something to us?

  【记者】那能否给我们透露点你将来的一些计划?包括对于未来的培训体系有什么更完善的想法?

  Roger Billington: I will establish a new website and do some research in my free time. Research related to the recycled material, such as the manufacturability, the function and the process of making. Every designer can know the details about the material and check them out, knowing the manufactory, the price and the function is useful for the designers.

  And I also aim to develop the Roger B. brand, not just the SW studio, but in other fields, in the Roger B. blog people can have the latest information, news and some other useful things, the content of the blog concerning knowledge of design.

  In this blog I will divide into three parts; firstly, my works, my design idea and my views about some works; secondly, about the 16 national designers,some of them are my friends or colleagues, and we have signed a contract with them, they are willing to come to China to do project, but all depend on the need of the project. In this blog will introduce the designers, show their works and pictures; The next thing we can do is let the clients consult the information in the blog about design and product development.

  【Roger Billington】首先在自己空闲的时间里能建立一个关于可持续(可循环利用)材料研究的免费网站,自己出资组织大家进行调研,通过这个网站设计师可以了解这些材料是如何制造的,有什么工艺、性能。设计师在选材时能对其进行很好、很科学的了解,对整个项目的实施有很大的帮助。

  另外我也希望以自己名义命名的品牌Roger B.能够很好地发展起来,不仅是指SW工作室,Roger B.的其它方面也能很好的发展,像设计咨询等等。我会开通Roger B.的博客,大家能从这里获得最新的、有用的关于室内设计方面的信息。博客会涉及三个方面的内容,第一,是我的设计作品、设计观点和对一些作品的看法,第二,有我们16位国际设计师部分,这里会有他们的介绍,以及他们设计项目案例和一些图片,第三,让我们的客户也可以通过我的博客了解最新的室内设计信息并可以进行咨询。

 

  Roger. B设计作品:餐厅设计—法式餐厅

  Journalist: You mentioned that you would have foreign designers come here to exchange the experiment of design, but do you have organized domestic designers to abroad?

  【记者】您刚刚提及了您会组织一些国际上的设计师到深圳来和我们年轻的设计师交流设计理念,那您是否考虑过帮助国内的设计师到国外去参加活动或学习?

  Roger Billington: Actually I am organizing with Zhou from SZIDA an event, we are arranging 10 to 15 Shenzhen—designers to take part in some design activity in the UK and New Zealand respectively at the end of the year. We focus on internationalizing the view of the designers. The world is looking forward to seeing the excellent Chinese designers, but there is much to do. The educational system holds them back, the Chinese graduates can not join in the big design project at once, they are lacking of the practical experience. But what I am doing this is not to let them become the foreign designers, but can understand the change of the concept of foreign design, know about the news of design, meet the international standards of design skill and environment protection. The aim is to broaden their international perspective and SW is a start.

  【Roger Billington】事实上我现在正参与一个活动,就是组织10—15个深圳的设计师到国外去参加活动,去感受国际氛围,这些设计师将分成两批,一些人到英国去,一些人到新西兰去,这对他们是个很好的机会。其实中国在某些层面上已经达到了国际水平,全世界都在期待中国的设计师能设计出达到国际水准的作品,但是这还是需要做很多的工作,这就牵扯到中国的教育体系,中国的毕业生走出学校的时候并没有很多的实际设计经验,也没有机会接触一些国际作品,缺乏国际视野,而我所做的并想达到的效果就是可以拓宽他们的视野,但绝不是要把他们变成西方的或者是国际的设计师,他们还是中国的设计师。

  Journalist: From your experience and works, we can see you are not only engaged in interior design, but architectural design, furniture design even brand image design, how do you understand the meaning of design?

  【记者】从您的经历和作品中我们看到您不仅从事室内设计的工作,还有建筑设计、家具设计甚至品牌形象设计,您如何理解设计的意义?

  Roger Billington: In my mind the design is not only related to the interior design, but also the design of the industrial product, the furniture, that of the environment and city’s program, I mean all forms of design. We know China is the World Factory, having advantages in the production, most industry manufactories are founded in China. We can see many products that made in China all over the world, but we also realize the phenomenon that Chinese is losing the good advantage, as the rising manufacturing center in Vietnam, India and some other countries in Southeast Asia. And many big national enterprises have evacuated from China, this makes many workers lose their jobs in the next 5 to 10 years. So improve the designers’ ability of the industrial product is quite important, it will say the situation into another way: “product made and designed in China.

  Majority design is concentrate on the design of the industrial product, many factories having realized that the success of the product is not just based on the quality, the price, the advanced process of the making, the looks also very important. The company should focus on the industry brand information, company and brand image to enhance the corporate image.

  Having fantastic looks or made beautiful is very significant; for example, I have a project, that’s to help the company design the look of their products. It has good function and quality, but has bad looks. In a word, design embraces interior design, industrial product design, corporate image design and so on.

  【Roger Billington】其实设计不仅仅只是指室内设计这一块,也包括工业产品的设计、家具的设计、环境和城市的规划等等。中国被认为是“世界工厂”,中国有很大的生产优势,国际上很多的工厂都建在中国,但是现在这种优势开始渐渐消失了,因为越南、印度以及其他一些东南亚国家的这种生产中心的优势开始兴起,很多国际企业已经开始撤出了他们在中国的投资,这就会有个很直接的影响,如果没能及时该改善这一情况,那未来的5—10年中国有很多的工人将失业。而解决的办法就是能提高中国工业产品设计师的能力,从仅仅只是“中国制造”变成“中国设计和制造”。

  其实设计还是以工业产品的设计为主,现在很多的生产商也已经开始意识到,产品的成功不只是质量、价格、制造的先进性的优势,外观很重要;只有各个方面能统一配合才能促成产品的成功。企业要注重企业形象、品牌形象的提升,让企业能全方位发展。产品有好的外观,或者说一个企业包装好,有好的企业形象是企业成功与否的关键因素,我有个项目,他们请我去帮忙设计产品的外观,那个产品的性能、质量都很好,就是外观不行。所以说设计囊括室内设计,工业产品设计,酒店设计,企业形象设计等各个方面。

 

  Roger. B设计作品:酒店设计—Morris Hotel—行政层走廊

  Journalist: Design career which is need of accumulation, and you are involved in a wide range of areas, how do you enrich yourself?

  【记者】设计是一项需要积淀的事业,您涉足的领域又非常广泛,您是如何不断丰富自己的呢?

  Roger Billington: Design, design, and design! just kidding. In fact, I have nearly 30 years design experience, the boss in design-company, the professor in University, the researcher in some topics research. I think there is no limit in design thinking. You have design thinking and you can design in specific case. And I have rich experience in design management; deal with the relationship between the designers and the clients. We have 16 national designers; they are involved in the design of all areas. This is also the principle of operating this company, I like the young designers have their own ideas and come to tell me, I will give them advice to enrich their idea and ensure professionalism.

  I recently had a speech, the topic only has three letters “EIS”, the three words are abbreviation for experience, inspiration and success. At that time, we will have 300 designers attending the activity, I divided this speech into three parts, the content is just the portrayal of our training system. In my opinion, I have design experience, and the young desgner have active inspiration, we work together to make success. This is correspond to our training goal.

  【Roger Billington】 不断地设计!(笑)我在设计这行业已经有近30年了,开过自己的设计公司,在大学里当过教授,参与过一些设计相关的主题的研讨,我始终认为设计是相通的,主要的就是设计理念,有了设计理念到具体的设计案例中就都是相通的,在设计管理方面我也很注意,处理好设计师和客户之间的关系,就像我们前面提到的16位国际设计师,也会处理与他们的关系;就像我希望年轻的设计师能不断丰富他们的理念一样,我也会这样要求自己。

  过段时间我会有个演讲,题目就是简单的三个字母“EIS”,到时有300个设计师参加。其实这也是“经验、灵感、成功”三个英文单词的缩写。实际上我觉得这三个字母蕴含的意义刚好符合我们这个培训体系的宗旨:经验,和年轻的设计师比我的经验会丰富点;灵感,他们年轻人总是有很活跃的想法,能提出各种不同的设计灵感,而我自己精力有限不能每个项目都亲自去出设计理念,他们就可以很好地帮我完成也给他们机会去实践;成功,经验和灵感的完美结合,即我和年轻设计师默契的配合就促成各个项目的成功。

  Journalist: We are very pleased to have chat wih you on the experience and feelings about the design, the SW and the Roger B.brand, and thanks for your work to improve the designers ability.

  【记者】今天很高兴能听您分享有关设计、有关SW、有关Roger B.的经验与感想,也很感谢您对年轻设计师的培养!

  Roger Billington: You are welcome! And I want to make a simple summary. It’s not just internationalize the designer but the clients. Designers work in a group, they work together, especially to improve the systems of design, to create more professional environment, much professional relationship with clients, our clients have trust in our ability, so the designers have to develop ability to solve the problem they have,I have mentioned that we are just like lawyers, we should improve our ability to give them professional service. But the clients also should have international practical design information, know something about the international design system.

  So they can understand the designer’s idea and respect the designing professionalism If you go to Shanghai, you would find that the client there have very international design idea, they understand the design system and would like spend millions on the project design.

  Internationalize the designers and the clients would be the hot topic in design industry in next 5 to 10 years. We know our clients who maybe very rich, but they don’t have the design experience, we need challenging their minds, urging them to understand the design view, and knowing what they really want, this is our responsibility, in this way the designers and the clients can be in a harmonious situation, that will be very good. I think our colleges should be improved, try their best to let the young designers have the opportunity to get in touch with the international design idea to get much mature. Thanks!

  【Roger Billington】其实我以及业界的一些朋友都在努力想通过我们的工作,让设计师有一个国际化的设计环境,让他们能达到国际水准;同时也要注意到客户想法的国际化也是不可忽视的,只有客户能理解设计师的理念、想法,整个项目才能更好地进行下去,否则将会影响设计师的设计。就拿深圳的客户和上海的客户做比较的话,我们可以明显感觉到上海的客户水准更高,他们理解设计师的设计,也愿意花更大的投入来做设计,而在深圳还没达这个水平。所以说设计师和客户的国际化都要重视,这也将是未来5—10设计界的一个热门话题,帮助设计师达到国际化水准的同时,也要让客户的观念国际化,同时我们的学校也可以做些努力,尽量给我们学院的学生提供机会去接触国际设计理念。谢谢!

 

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