Interview

Mar 8, 2016

3 Questions to… Johnson Li from Lenovo

Johnson LiDesign creates business. This statement hardly comes as a surprise– especially with regard to the PC, tablet and smartphone market. Johnson Li, Executive Design Director at Lenovo, gives us a deeper insight.

By
Andrea Vorm Walde

During his 16 years as part of Lenovo’s Innovation Design Center, he has dedicated himself not just to developing innovations but to a consumer-centric focus as well. Besides earning him countless awards from all over the world, this approach has boosted Lenovo’s competitiveness and enhanced the image of Chinese design in general.

It’s no coincidence that the biggest personal computer manufacturer in the People’s Republic of China has been right at the top of global market leadership rankings for years. Several years ago, the company presented an inexpensive alternative to Apple products in the form of the Yoga Tablet; now a 10-inch notebook in Yoga style is set to hit the market.

From concept to production all the way to premium sub-brand status – at the Design Research & Design Strategy Conference on September 22nd Johnson Li shares the complete story and gives us an insight into the company’s design strategy. In his presentation, he talks about multicultural design teams, a revolutionary design language, the innovation factor and, above all, the wants and needs of the products’ users. But previously he kindly took part in our new series ‘3 Fragen an…’ and answered our 3 questions:

‍Johnson Li

Which economic and cultural value does design currently represent in China?

China has long history with real rich culture which contains diversity culture. Western style and traditional style are harmony in China. From economy perspective, large companies are building core capability to become international players. So much small and middle business tries to explore local market request.

There are opportunities for them to define new form factor product based on local request. There are huge startup-companies which are exploring next revolution product with flexible internet business model

What are the biggest challenges in design at Lenovo?

How to continue to create leading product and support business going forward is critical for design team in Lenovo. IT industry is open/global competitive area. Technology brings huge possibility in the past ten years and there are so much new business model/new product category/new service appear every day.

From design innovation perspective, what is the core that can be maintaining forever and how to define new design theory that support design forward? How to consider user as center to group technology as new opportunity? It is still open topic for the whole world design team.

 

What is your personal connection/approach to design?

I built up diversity culture design team to consider how to make object for the future. I set up design prototype ahead of process 10 years ago for Lenovo. I encouraged design team to create human centered new form factor to support Lenovo brand in premium position through leading usage mode. For my understanding, it is new manmade object generation that considers human centered to define new life or working style.

I also spent whole my spare time on some furniture concept to train myself to be engaged in pure design thinking. Design future will be style first and then fill in technology.

You are interested to learn more from him? Then join the Design Research & Design Strategy Conference and register here!

Andrea Vorm Walde

PR and Communications

Andrea takes care of our PR and likes to show how innovative and versatile Indeed is. Actually, she is responsible for the words - nevertheless, she usually leaves us here first because we as designers and developers want to report authentically in our blog. And that’s what we can do best ourselves.

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