Keep It Simple — Presenting Indot’s Minimalist and Free Dialogue

An Interview With Armin Cheng, the Design Director of Indot Design

3 people with each perspective, the different backgrounds generate their individual creativity. The one thing they have in common is that they all hold the persistence in the vision of a better life. 

We take this opportunity to ask these our friends a few questions, and how they think about light associating with their professionals.

“Minimalism” and “interaction” are elements embedded in the DNA of SEED lighting. We believe the purest essence brings the simplest joy. There is one person in Taiwan’s interior design industry who shares the same belief. He is both a designer and illustrator. With his simple and sharp lines in various drawings, he has made a name for himself like no other. He is Armin Cheng, and his pen name is caterpillar.

Back then, destiny seemed to have played a joke on Armin. He has loved to draw ever since he was a child. He mistakenly thought architecture was mostly about drawing, so he chose it as his major. But he then learned that architecture requires rational thinking of every detail and turning these thoughts into blueprints methodically. It was actually a very painful experience. It was not until right before graduation that his friend gave him a collection of works by the Japanese master architect Tadao Ando. Armin studied it thoroughly and discovered the fun in architecture. From the floor plan, design to the atmosphere of the entire space, the works exude a tension that struck a chord with him so deeply it opened the door to a life dedicated to spaces.

Armin now puts out amazing designs from time to time, constantly evolving within minimalism. By dotting every i and crossing every t, he makes the living conditions more memorable and enjoyable for the inhabitant, paving his road to success in the interior design industry.

Creativity grounded in problem-solving

One of the main responsibilities of a designer is problem-solving, which is what interior designers do on a daily basis. “Our job is to find a solution for clients and spaces. Every design is like solving an equation.”

As an architect, Armin has a comprehensive view of spatial planning, so he focuses most on the environment as a whole in execution. The floor plan and the interior-exterior connection are top priorities. The floor plan is like the “inner beauty” of the space. If you neglect what is on the inside, you are basically just dressing up the appearance, which will not improve the living conditions. Therefore, Armin always addresses the problems of the floor plan before focusing on the arrangement of materials and colors to create the best design.

A dialogue between life and space

“Minimalist design is a dialogue between life and space,” Armin puts his approach to minimalism in a nutshell. The fixed, inanimate space comes to life when one lives in it, forming a chemistry that turns into a colorful dialogue. “My minimalist design is not just presenting the structure. I explore the connection between life and space.” However, not a lot of people have a minimalist house. With the addition of children to the family, it becomes even harder to maintain the home in mind. But people still want to live in a neat and tidy space, which is why they try to improve it by storing things, making a mess when using them and putting them away the rest of the time. This is part of a minimalist lifestyle.”

Since founding the design company, Armin has established a signature style of design: large areas of pure grayish-white color that match the crisp, woodsy tone with elements that cater to the taste and needs of the homeowner, forming a good balance. The proportions are tailored to the homeowner, and the materials used are consistent so that the design is distinctive yet clearly representative of the brand.

In the past two years, Armin has grown “tired of the same old designs,” so he pushes himself to try new things and has started to add some colors to spaces. White is the most compatible with any color. You can get spectacular results no matter what color you use in a white space. Armin’s organic yet precise technique is just like the way he speaks, laid back but cogent where every word reflects years of training. 

Creating a free and versatile space through interaction

Armin believes that life is breathed into a space only when people live in it, so his works often depict the interaction between people and spaces. “The different ways of life and experience in a space inspire all kinds of perceptions and imaginations.” He said this is a very fascinating experience. Whether it is different kinds of slides or combinations of movable walls and sliding doors, they create numerous possibilities in the home when people interact with them.

▲ Overhauled by INDOT Design, SEEDDESIGN Taichung brand store is equipped with several sliding-rotating wall to invite the graphicness of sunlight inside.

Because of the versatility, every day is a new experience that never gets dull. Since people spend much more time at home than before, fun designs will most definitely liven up the routine that repeats day after day, constantly infusing energy and inspiration into an otherwise stagnant life.

The house is fixed, but the mind is free. Armin shared his story without reservations, and we are so thankful for Tadao Ando’s book that sparked the fire in the heart of a young designer. We look forward to Armin creating more brilliant works that show “Indot’s minimalism” and even inspiring the next generation of young people who are lost like he was back then. 

▲ SEEDDESIGN Zhubei brand store.   Interior Design: INDOT Design

Q & A

Which time of the day do you enjoy the most?

There are two that I really enjoy, midnight and morning. Midnight is the quietest period, and I can unwind and do the things I want to do. I go to bed pretty late, but if I happen to wake up early, I really enjoy the morning sun pouring through the windows, which is very soothing and fulfilling. But this does not happen often, so I really cherish the time in the morning.

Which of SEED’s lamps is your favorite?

The XY lamp (discontinued) is my favorite. I prefer linear lighting. The XY lamp is slender, the craftsmanship is very refined, and it looks really neat from a distance. It is not that noticeable but quietly plays an important role in the space, which is why I have always liked it.

In terms of space, what makes the lighting comfortable?

Good lighting depends on direct light and indirect light. It can be adjusted to the user’s lifestyle. For example, direct light is more functional and is used for reading, eating, and watching. On the other hand, indirect light creates an atmosphere. It can provide a pleasant mood when you want to wind down. Although other elements, like color temperature, also affect lighting, I believe the design and arrangement of direct and indirect light are still the most important.

What is the role of lighting in spatial arrangement?

Lighting is essential in creating layers. It is crucial at night and can warm up the space. The layers that lighting brings to the space are very important to me, so I think lighting and interior design should be considered at the same time.

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