Mond Qu is a designer, animator, and digital craftsman who works between disciplines to explore solutions for contemporary issues through design. His projects and experiments upend the status quo, challenge norms, and explore a brighter future.
Mond is dedicated to building a world and future that we all want to live in and he uses waste, immersive experiences, and the physical world as touchpoints for his work. In our conversation, he unpacks his thoughts on the relationship between art and design, the role of a designer, and how he views the creative process. We chat about a few of his recent works and his current interest in sustainable homes and furniture.
Mond shares his ideas on how priorities can be mapped out, about the layers that go into good design and the need for a variety of perspectives instead of a uniform solution. Our conversation explores what the future of design looks like and the idea of overlap between the physical and digital worlds that we might witness in our lifetimes. We finish off with some thoughts from Mond on the current state of the world and how he is choosing to react to the coronavirus pandemic.
Key Points From This Episode
The difference between Art and Design (according to Mond)
Anything can be Art whilst Design is focused on Problem Solving. The most important part of the design process is the Empathy Research phase where you place yourself into the environment to truly understand the problem.
Good design vs. bad design
Not all design is good design. An example of bad design? Single-use plastic. An example of good design? Mond’s work with a local barista that mixed used coffee grounds with a bio-resin that could be grown into lampshades. Good design can transform waste into something beautiful and functional.
How to interact with clients who may not understand the design process
Clients often don’t care about the process and want just a clear idea of what they’re going to get as a final product. Designers must help clients understand the importance of research and the rest of the design process, communicating how it will lead to an even better product than they initially hoped for.
Platforms are just a tool. How we use them is where the power lies.
When Mond wanted to raise awareness for illegal mining, he created a fictional country that he uploaded to Google, wrote a custom Wikipedia page, and made live-streamed a miniature set from his apartment in London. His project was so successful that eventually A National Geographic Photographer tried to visit it. Platforms are opportunities to be gamified.
Mond’s Ask, Offer, and Question for the World
Ask: Everyone please find your design and storytelling language. Start a design journal, put whatever you want in it, archive everything you do, and look back on what you did and what you were thinking.
Offer: More than happy to chat with anyone! Reach out here: unitedmake.com.au
Question: What does success look like for you?
“For me design is a subset of art. Art for me is life, it’s everything.” — Mond Qu [0:03:3]
“Everything you see around you, everything you touch, has in one way or form been designed.” — Mond Qu [0:07:15]
“Personally I think good design has many layers and it tackles the problem head-on.” — Mond Qu [0:07:31]
“For me, storytelling plays a massive role in our design studio.” — Mond Qu [0:11:27]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode
Benjamin Von Wong
Mond Qu on Instagram
United Make on Instagram
“A Touch of Magenta” — Zumbo Circular Quay
Aditnálta — a place dispersed across the internet
Coming Up Next
Make sure to check out Impact Everywhere next week for Von Wong’s conversation with Casson Trenor. Casson is an ocean activist with a vast portfolio. His work ranges from intercepting whaling vessels to opening a sustainable vegan sushi shop to writing children’s novels.