Whether it's about improving people's lives or simply enhancing them, there is always a need for design. On a recent trip to Hong Kong, former chief designer of Porsche Pinky Lai — a judge at this year's A&D Trophy Awards 2015 — talked to Perspective about design in all its many facets and fascinations
Born and raised in Hong Kong but departing his former semihippy lifestyle in his early twenties, Pinky Lai began his extraordinary design journey without much planning, as he explained recently to Mark Lui, composer, designer and guest editor for the January/February 2015 issue of Perspective. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, the destiny has brought Lai back to his roots, dividing his time between the territory and Italy, which is still his primary base.
Still enjoying a flamboyant status in the automotive industry even though he has now retired from his career at Porsche, Lai continues to act as an ambassador for the marque. He designed the legendary Porsche 911 as well as the exterior designs of both the Boxster 987 and the first generation of the Cayman, and the complete model-line of 911 Carrera (996 series).
On a recent trip to Hong Kong, he was the guest of honour at a dinner organised by the Porsche Club Hong Kong at The Repulse Bay — the perfect setting for a line-up of Lai's Porsche series. Many of the car owners who turned up to meet and greet the hero behind their col l e c t ions we r e young, underlining the timeless quality of Lai's designs in their appeal to all ages. "Car design, among all the design disciplines, has its own bubble, because a car is always a reflection of lifestyle," Lai says. "You could describe anything and everything as a lifestyle, but the car is the highest expression of it."
This is a preview of the "Beyond design know-how” article from the June 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.
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