I’m a french caribbean designer from Martinique. I work in Yunfu town, Guangdong Province for one year, until November 25th 2017.  The company I work for is a new industrial design studio focusing on two kind of material. First, marble  because this region mainly trade marble blocks. You can see on the main road (10km ) many companies selling marbles blocks or panels. Second,  cement because China is one of the biggest cement manufacturer in the world so that this material is really cheap. But also because some design companies make products for daily life using cement as main material. I’m the only one foreigner in this town. I consider that like a chance to learn Chinese and even learn some Cantonese word.

I know your first question, why I choose to work in China ? No it’s not for money, because believe me, because actually my salary is half  of what I earned in France. Ok I eat and sleep for almost free. But it’s not a reason, I’m an expat :-). Far away from my home town, my darling, my mom, my brothers, my cat … So I choose to work there, because my old chinese friend told me if you want to spent one year in China to speak Chinese, I have old classmate who is  starting a company.

And I began my job as artistic designer in 2016, 25th November for one year. I lead three designers to design basin made of marble. We focus on basins for family.

At the beginning it was very difficult to work with the team. Because my Chinese language was so poor as the english of my team. Even now we have many App on our phone to translate, it’s not easy when you need to express an idea quickly. Hopefully we can make drawing and be patient with each other. Like a chinese friend told me  » 慢 慢 来 ».

So I’m in charge to find a design direction, it means who we want to design for, what we want to design ( is it a basin or a set of basin, or a new bathroom? ) , how we want to do it ( it includes technology and material ). In this part before drawing anything, in my opinion two things are very important :

first look at what others designer made before yo, even works you don’t like. With your team you can criticize them, see what works and do not work, try to no know what kind of customers they designed for ( it’s important because theses questions impact the material and the technology used ).

Second it’s to have a vision, I mean the big question we want to solve ? This, gives the direction to the team.