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Interview with Chia-Lin Tai

What was your major?
Graphic Design MFA.

What year did you enter and graduate?
Enrolled in Fall 2001, Graduated in Spring 2004

What is your best memory and experience at AAU?
I’ll never forget one afternoon in San Francisco. I took my Nikon FM2 with me, walking down the street in Hayes Valley, trying to find objects that resemble the letters of the alphabet. It was for an assignment to make a narrative book describing a neighborhood by collecting images of the city. We had to collect abstract letters from A to Z (such as a chain’s shape represent the letter “Y”) and also telling a story in the picture. The journey of taking photos, researching in the San Francisco Public Library, even searching for the materials of bookmaking, was composing a song in my memory. Through that process, I fell in love with the city and it cured my homesickness in one afternoon. This process helped me realize the true value of design, from observation, transformation, finally to original creation.

What you are doing now and how does it relate to design?
Now, I am a visual communication designer in the Industrial Design department at ASUSTeK Computer, Inc. Before entering the IT industry, I was looking for a creative role to suit my enthusiastic design approach and for a place where I could contribute my skills and experiences. I had the professional education for strategic thinking and learned the ability to develop innovative solutions at AAU. They perfectly applied to my career. From user scenarios to problem solving, I had practiced it all in class. I love the process of brainstorming, when ideas and concepts are generated, it’s just like looking at the forming of a pearl, it’s intriguing and amazing.

What awards have you received?
Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2007, Projects Chosen for Graphis New Talent Design Annual 2005, Winner of the 2004 AIGA Enrichment Scholarship, Hallmark Award for Design Excellence First Place MFA Portfolio Review Fall 2003, and The President’s Honor List of Spring 2002, Fall 2002 and Spring 2003

What would you like to say to students in Taiwan?
Choose what you love and love what you choose. Self-motivation and hard work will help you succeed. Let design to be your second language, and speak through your work. Be courageous, you will have the audience.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
Keep looking for the beauty around you, including every person you meet, every cuisine you try, every song you listen to, and every book you read. Enjoy every moment in your life, for it is the fountain of inspiration.



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