Freeman Lau

Graphic Designer; Product/Industrial Designer / China / Kan & Lau Design Consultants, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Beijing

Freeman Lau’s Book List

When I was growing up in Hong Kong, books played a vital role in providing a glimpse of what life was like in mainland China. Back then, China was still a closed country and we had no photographs or visual reference points as to what life was like there. History books, for example, were composed of monotonous prose, which made history classes extremely boring. It was through publications like the Wuxia novels (traditional Chinese fiction centered on the martial arts) that we imagined the mountains of China, the scenery, and how people dwelled there. It was immensely fascinating for us.

Later on, I started to understand and appreciate design as a tool for learning. This is how and why I became a designer: the Wuxia novels raised an initial curiosity about Chinese culture, and design is a bridge between culture and creativity—an idea that has influenced me ever since.

I have recently developed an interest in Chinese tea and bamboo culture, which I am learning more about through locally sourced (Chinese and Taiwanese) books. The knowledge gathered from these books will be used to inform my upcoming design projects. Design and books for me, therefore, are intertwined entities.

 

劉小康的書單

我從小在香港長大,書是我了解中國內地生活的重要途徑。那時中國還未開放,沒有任何圖片或影像可供參考。比如歷史書,充斥着單調的文字敘述,歷史課因此十分枯燥無味。是各種出版物,比如武俠小說,打開了我們的想象,讓我們看到了中國的山水風景,以及人們的生活日常。大家都深深沈迷其中。

後來,我逐漸開始了解設計,欣賞設計,並將其作為學習工具。這就是我成為設計師的原因:武俠小說喚醒了我對中國文化的好奇,而設計是連接文化與創意的橋梁-它自此以後一直深深影響着我。

我最近對中國的茶和竹文化很有興趣,看了很多相關書籍,學到不少。這些領悟都將反映在我未來的設計項目中。設計和書對我來說,相輔相成,密不可分。

Chinese translation by Lynn Zhang.

6 books
Malcolm Gladwell

This book (the Chinese edition was published in Taiwan by 時報出版, or NEXT) is significant for me as it inspires a different way of thinking. Through analyzing contemporary problems, the author illustrates how finding the right intervention at the right time—in other words, the “tipping point”—can lead to life-changing events. A crucial element in securing success, he reveals, is the concept behind an innovative idea, as well as spending time on the development process. These are all ideas that can be applied to the design process.

引爆趨勢:舉手之勞成大事

本書著重提出了“引爆趨勢”這一概念。一般來說,這個趨勢一旦引爆,你就可以坐享其成,名利雙收。但要保證成功,強大的概念支持是必不可缺的關鍵元素。書中以耐克“Air Walk”系列為例,描述了耐克的板鞋系列如何成功打開市場,在運動鞋中佔領一席之地。更準確地說,是廣告公司嗅到了潮流走向,進而助耐克精確定位市場。如果你希望產品有持久的生命力,有些投資是省不得的。越是功能多樣,新奇有趣的產品,越有可能在目標市場一炮而紅,迅速蔓延。想確保成功,就要在概念發展階段投入更多時間。

Ikko Tanaka

Ikko Tanaka is a Japanese design legend who built a complete design culture and kingdom. His simple yet beautiful designs became a great (aesthetic) influence to future generations of Japanese and international designers alike, while his ultimate masterpiece, the Muji brand, plays a significant role in both local and global markets. This book (not available in English; the title is translated from Chinese and the original was published in Japanese) is a collection of Tanaka’s thoughts and stories on design from which readers will find the most original and masterful insights.

與設計向前行

田中一光是日本設計界的神話,他的設計建立了一個完整的王國。田中一光的設計有著簡潔的美感,受他的影響,其後的日本設計、以至世界其他地方也有這種特色。「無印良品」是田中一光的神來之筆,至今仍在日本穩佔一席位,並向世界各地繼續推廣。這書正是田中一光詳述自己設計歷程及看法,讀者可從中窺見大師的獨突見解。

Cang Lang

This book (not available in English; the title is translated from Chinese) decodes ancient Chinese poems via engaging language and intriguing back stories, inviting readers to open up to and appreciate the essence of Chinese culture. The quotations highlighted in this publication, which include seven-character poems and Chinese couplets, introduce to the reader both an elegant and refined Chinese literary scene and examples of witty language use. Essential reading for future generations of Chinese youth wishing to learn more about their roots.

漢字的魅力

滄浪

書中引用中國詩詞歌賦作例,並以生動有趣方法予以講解,讓讀者了解詩詞背後有趣的故事,多加對中國文化認識,甚有裨益。文中引用眾多詩句、七言詩、對聯,有展示漢字優雅意境,也有展示漢字機智精妙的用法。

Jiang Xun

Chinese calligraphy is a national treasure but, for Chinese designers, it is also a basic graphic design element. The Beauty of Chinese Calligraphy: Dancing Cursive (not available in English; the title is translated from Chinese) provides a detailed explanation of the evolution of Chinese characters, which hold a history of more than 5,000 years; relating progress and development to China’s turbulent history and, consequently, introducing the reader to different calligraphic styles. The book ultimately equips local designers with the knowledge required to interpret and reinterpret calligraphy-based typography.

漢字書法之美—舞動行草

蔣勳

中國歷史源遠流長,漢字的歷史也可追塑至五千多年前。書中細訴漢字在這幾千年多的轉變,並配以晝法字作說明,內容豐富但淺白,適合作為入門閱讀小品。書法是中國國粹,對中國設計師而言,是最基本設計元素之一,這書本除了可以認識各種字體、還可了解當中歷史及演變因由,有助設計師正確演譯書法文字。

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

A must-read, Finding Flow (published in Chinese by CITIC Press) teaches the reader how to spot details that are easily missed or dismissed in day-to-day life. It also demonstrates how to transform routine tasks by adopting a different outlook or perspective toward certain situations. The examples outlined by the author are simple but life altering.

My advice to young designers is not to read design books alone. Design is a means of expression—it is a way of thinking. Young designers should fall in love with another aspect of society like music, culture, or even ecology, and reflect back on their own lives in order to contribute to world development through their creativity.

生命的心流

必讀書之一,《生命的心流》(中文版由中信出版社出版)幫助人們重新找到生命的意義,如何換一個角度看平日忽略的細枝末節,改變生活節奏。作者用了一些簡單,卻足以改變人生軌跡的人和事,教我們如何讓工作、享樂和生活變得更好。

我建議年輕設計師不要只讀設計類書籍。設計是表達的一種方式——一種思維方式。年輕設計師應該瞭解社會的方方面面:音樂,文化,甚至生態,反思自己的生活,用創意回饋世界。

Rolf Jensen

Inspires alternative thinking. Innovation is key for success, but vision can, sometimes, be more important since it allows one to foresee trends and, thus, the future of a business.

理想社會:從信息到想象,把握未來商業轉型

讓你換個角度思考。成功的一個關鍵因素是創新,但比創新更重要的是你的眼界,它幫你預見趨勢,也就是商業未來。

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