What made you want to become a designer in the first place?
A lack of other options as I was quite unemployable , I guess when I was younger I was just slightly A.D.D and also hated authority , I recently got given an old school report from my mother and it started off with : ” If only Michael had the ability to read and write he could make some progress in class “
So the arts beckoned early on ….
Where did you study design?
Kingston Poly but I went there because I saw a joke on the toilet wall which said
” What happened to Bernard’s personality ?” And later that day I met this fat kid
called Bernard and it clicked and I have been laughing ever since.
What was the first thing you designed?
I guess it was a small woven light which sold very well , I had a few ex girlfriends weaving them , like a sweat shop.
How do you define good design?
Good design is a holistic experience where process , material and economy are combined together well.
What would you be if not a designer?
I quite like mundane tasks like moving boxes or gardening , a gardener would be nice.
Which design of yours are you most proud of and why?
The new Bramah light for EOQ , because it makes complete sense ..one extrusion can make endless shade forms and it’s giving amazing light , you see all of these lights now where one thinks about the light quality ..this has great light.
Anything in your career you wish you’d done differently?
Oh plenty but I live thru design as an open dialogue so I bare my mistakes well and if you do some good things then you’re entitled to do some bad things , we all learn as we go …
Which designers do you most admire?
I tend to avoid talking about design and the industry, I’ve had most of the conversations you can have for 20 years, for professional reasons I get involved when I need to. I’m looking forward to meeting up with Ross Lovegrove on this trip as we get on well together and it’s fun….
Which product do you wish you’d designed/do you think is an example of good design?
The E-Type Jag , captured a great moment in time. Also several Hans Wegner chairs , im a big fan .
At 100% Design you will be running a seminar called :
From Shoreditch to Sheung Wan and back’ can you tell us a bit about what this will cover?
When I moved to China I put a logo on my door which said “FROM SHOREDITCH TO SHEUNG WAN ‘ . Before Shoreditch became what it is now I lived in a cellar in Redchurch Street with damp and rats and i’d bump into Michael Marriot , a big smile chipping down the road on a daily basis really , so it was a charming time , we were all skint and any object you found that was useful improved your life , it was great. Sheung Wan in Hong Kong when i arrived was like that , full of locals and now you cant move for coffee shops …so its really about going full circle via design making gentrification …if you know what I mean.
You can see Michael Young at 100% Seminars at 100% Design this September
details here : www.100percentdesign.co.uk