How does culture difference influence interior design?

The culture difference affects interior designers’ ways of design and the entire design company culture. When I heard the clients in the US told me I have seen this very same light fixtures at the XXX hotels or the same chairs at XXX restaurants, my reflex would tell me: “damn, I will need to find another light fixtures or furniture!” and it happened to be always the case. The clients in the US usually do not like to have the designs in their home or spaces that have been used by someone else, they prefer to have something unique to them and no one else has. This culture of being different in the US directly affects the design company culture in the US.

All of the interior design companies I had worked at in the US encouraged innovation. Design something out of nothing is so essential for surviving in the interior design companies in the US. The design hobbies such as copying or tweaking are often not encouraged, and are prohibited strictly at some companies. In contrary, design companies in China encourage tweaking and copying existing designs. Chinese interior designers always looked for reference photos on the internet and design magazines in order to tweak or copy other people’s designs.

Unlike American clients who do not like to have the designs other people also have, Chinese clients want to have the designs other people have. This behavioral trend can also be easily spotted on fashion. Americans dress to be unique; Chinese dress to blend in. So, if you have the opportunity to work in China, remember, you will need to learn how to copy or tweak other designers’ designs in order to thrive. Being creative or innovative is just not Chinese clients’ cup of tea.

Integrity of interior design

When I took a marketing class last month, the instructor recommended us using a flash drive to save our portfolios and give to people as a marketing tool. So, I asked the instructor if I save my portfolios in the flash drive and give to people, will my designs be copied by other people much easier? and there was a designer who attended the same class said, of course someone will copy your designs, we all copied someone else’ designs, so it is just a pay-back. I was thinking, it is you, not me! so don’t put me in your category.

I have seen many designers read interior design magazines and tweaked someone else’ designs when they were designing projects, and I totally disagree that kind of design practice since I don’t think tweaking equals to designing. Designers copied someone else’ designs and made some minor adjustments for avoiding being called piracy, but for me,  it is still a crime. We designers are supposed to create, not tweak.

For maintaining the integrity of not to tweak other people’s designs, I always stayed away from interior design magazines when I designed a project. I forced myself to come up with my own design ideas without being influenced or affected by other people’s designs. By doing that, I trained myself to be more creative, in the same time, I kept my integrity as an interior designer, no tweaking, just creating.