Designer to develop bed concept for China mfg'ing

What sort of designer can develop bed concept for manufacture in China?

I’d like to develop a conceptual idea for a carved wooden canopy bed into sketches and a 3D model suitable for manufacture in China where I’ll be traveling shortly. Anyone with insight into tradeoffs of working with designers in China? I’d prefer to work with a native English speaker who has previously designed furniture for mass production.

I’m a Stanford-trained mechanical engineer comfortable in SolidWorks and want to try my hand at the Chinese furniture sourcing biz. I appreciate a good eye, solid communication skills, and am prepared to pay a bit more for insight but keep in mind that this is an independent venture that is likely to lose money…after all, that’s why this is a thinly-veiled job posting on a free forum.


These guys are Chinese speaking industrial designers that I know of:

Scott Yu at Gingko Design, SF:
(good designer known for early use of 3D alias, etc.)

Eric Chan at Ecco, NY:
(famous dude with big name clients)

David Shaw at Metaform Product Development:
(nice guy, works with small start-ups on fee for royalty contingency and has manufacturing resources)

Wai-Loong Lim or something like that at Y-Studios:
(dunno much about him but assumes he speaks Chinese and worked at GVO)

Carl Liu:
(Cool sketcher, ex-Astro Design guy and in living in Asia. Just published a book of ideation sketches)

There are probably more if I think harder…

Do they speak Mandarin or Cantonese?

Most likely they speak Mandarin as it is the most common of all Chinese dialects and is the official language of government. Cantonese is really only spoken in and around Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Guangxi in the southeast.

Guandong “Canton” takes up a large portion of SouthEast China. Cantonese is commonly spoken in HongKong, Guandong, Macau, Vancouver, Toronto, SanFrancisco, Queens/Manhattan, Houston, OrangeCounty and Chicago. Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat are both Cantonese speakers, who also speak mandarin. Actually most Cantonese people speak Mandarin as well.

They all speak Mandarin except I think Eric Chan is a Cantonese speaker since he has a slight Cantonese accent when I heard him speak English.

Mandarin is the official language of China. You can use Mandarin in Taiwan too.

Taiwanese Mandarin is different than Mainland China Mandarin…

Thanks for the help.
Anyone know how using designers in China compares to designers here?

It depends as always on the designer, and how well he/she is in touch with the culture. They are pretty good. But how well would a European Ider design for Guatemala? There are form developers and gadget inventors everywhere, but having the forms and gadgets resonate with the needs (emotional to the “theres gotta be a better way!”) is very hard to do. Chinese designers are very good at implementing design intent. Creativity is not a proprietary quality of the Northern hemisphere

and judging by the Shanghai Motor Show their aesthetic senses are becoming pretty damn refined.

Taiwanese Mandarin is different than Mainland China Mandarin…[/quote]

Please give examples of how they are different?

I think other than accent and some slang or local talk they should all be able to communicate in Mandarin just fine for all intents and purposes as it relates to a design project.

Usinga designer in China is of course cheaper cost wise in general but you may not know what you are getting…Not all designers are created equal. I goes for using designers anywhere in the world. It is about talent and creativity. If you just want something implemented you can go anywhere. If you want something special and that edge then it is mor about the designer him/herself rather than where they are geographically.

If you are designing for certain markets and aesthetic then you may be better of with a person from a certain place. Other than that I thin it is all about who you hire and not where they are from.

You will need to be abl to work with them closely and communicate so take that into consideration.

I’d go with a USA based designer close to you that you can work with hand in hand to make sure all the specs are right then find a manufacturer over in China. At least you have better control this way. Designers here still have an edge at the moment, especially in the Bay Area where there are lots of great ID folks. Someof those mentioned above can communicate wtih yuor eventual Chiense partners too so I’d go with someone one here that can work with you closely and then later with folks overseas.

I agree. Go with a USA designer who speaks their lingo and yours as well. You’ll need a good bridge culturally and linguistically.