Previous Competitions / Interviews / Interview: Kevin Wong

Always look at the bigger picture

September 1st, 2021 - Voice of Design

I’ve now got as far as the last winner in a cast of five, representing an equal number of countries: Japan, Belgium, Germany, England, and – the United States. Kevin Wong, who received his B.S. in Industrial Design from the Cal State University Long Beach, lives in the Los Angeles area.

Kevin came in second in the 2020 TLDC, with his AIRTRO self-automated baggage trolley system, designed to rectify the all-too-common situation at airports, where baggage gets delayed during transfer.

What did he think was the most difficult aspect of cracking the brief? “One of the limitations was that one airport is different from the next one. So trying to design around those limitations proved difficult,” Kevin said.

I asked what Kevin’s been up to since the competition?

After finishing off his senior year at college, he started working full time as an industrial designer. “The company’s called Innova Electronics, and they design automotive after-market diagnostic tools and equipment,” explained Kevin.

So, did Kevin have a line, a quote, that would sum up what he thought was the best aspect of the competition? “What I liked about the competition is that it involves the whole world now,” he said. “And how it showcases all these great ideas and the talent of designers from all over the world, that’s pretty cool.”

He’d definitely recommend the competition “It’s a great opportunity, and [your contribution] will be a great addition to your portfolio,” Kevin opined.

The new contest, the 2022 TLDC, is already underway, and the challenge this time around is finding a way of dealing with urban micrologistics. And how it relates to – or coincides with – micromobility. What are your thoughts on the fact that they encourage entrants to form multi-disciplinary teams? “Well, getting people from different professions collaborating is a good thing.”

Please tell me what’s your chief inspiration, as a designer? “I would say that my greatest inspiration is my family,” said Kevin without a split-second of hesitation. “They’ve worked hard so that I could achieve my dreams. And they’ve inspired me to try and make the world a better place.”

So, by way of concluding, do you have any thoughts or advice that you’d like to pass on to the participants in the new competition? “Always look at the bigger picture, when you’re trying to problem-solve. Because designers often want to focus on details,” said Kevin. “But by looking at the overall picture, and how it would benefit all the stakeholders, would make a superior solution,” Kevin thought.