5 minutes with Feng Zhu on The importance of Traditional Design Skills

Edit: Due to a server hack and the subsequent WordPress re-installation, we lost a number of files including this podcast. We are as annoyed as you are, and apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Throughout this Icsid congress (and maybe after), I will be running a special podcast series where I will conduct a very casual 5 minutes “unplugged” session with a prominent design professional and ask him or her a question related to a pressing concern in design or something to do with the year 2050.
We kick off this series with none other than our favorite sketch god, Feng Zhu, who is well known for his work with George Lucas in Star Wars and Transformers the movie. In our 5 minutes, I ask him his thoughts on the importance of traditional (or technical) design skills in today’s entertainment industry as well as in industrial design.

Sorry about the background noise, the chat was recorded with my iPhone in a very casual environment!

Feng Zhu was a great guy, very knowledgeable and a consummate businessman. It was a pleasure discussing everything from doing business in China, being a better designer, and the future of entertainment.
For more information on Feng Zhu and his Design Studio: Entertainment 2050, check out the official write up at the Icsid congress website.

  • manit mistry

    January 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm Reply

    hello! mr feng zhu.i have seen your work.its awesome and jawdroping work.i want to join your proffestional cource programme.i have also submitted my name and e mail id in your newsletter sign up,but there is no reply from your side.can you please tell me about the accomodation facilities for the international students.please send me the details as early as possible.my email id is

  • Dan Curtiss

    December 22, 2009 at 8:21 am Reply

    Great to hear that drawing is so important still. Will keep honing my skills. Thanks for posting this!

  • Steve Casper

    December 4, 2009 at 11:55 am Reply

    I have been a long time fan of both Feng Zhu as well as Design Sojourn so this was a nice surprise. Very reassuring words from Feng regarding those with sketching ability. I used to worry I couldn’t compete with those who spent large amounts of time on complex 3D models. Recently I find more and more of my clients want hand drawn sketches to see multiple ideas as well as save time and money. I might also point out it sometimes can be difficult for the modelers to stand out without a style, unlike those who still do work by hand. Thanks for the interview.

  • Rene Lee

    December 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm Reply

    Thanks for the interview. Ever more convinced in the importance of mastering the basics.

  • Shang Lee

    November 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm Reply

    It’s nice to hear that design on paper is still valued. I think this message is somewhat lost in the the technology overdrive in “some countries”. Somehow, better technology trumps better design. Good podcast!

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