Telum Talks To… Yen Kien Hang, Freelance Writer

Telum Talks To… Yen Kien Hang, Freelance Writer

Can you tell us more about your role as a Freelance Writer?
I contribute written feature works for printed magazines - which recently have also included content for websites and social media channels. Contrary to popular beliefs, I’m not an all-nighter type of writer and mostly follow a 9 to 5 schedule and a 5-day work week. But no matter what sort of schedule one follows, there is always three rule of thumbs that I think makes a good freelancer: Good work, Good attitude and Punctuality. 
Aside from being a Freelance Writer, you are also the Founder / CXO of OOTP Magazine. Could you tell us more about the online magazine?
OOTP means Out Of The Package. Taking inspiration from “unboxing” videos online, the initial idea of the magazine is to show and talk about what it’s like to visit and experience design fairs around the world - particularly the biggest one of all - Milan’s Salone del Mobile (Furniture Fair). Hence the magazine has the byline: Experience. Design. Life. Of course, with the pandemic affecting travel and subsequently the cancellation of most shows, the magazine had to take a different approach in reporting. Luckily, since it was not bound by deadline and advertisers. I was able to take a hiatus to think about the future. In the meantime, I rely on Instagram (@ootpmag) to provide constant news to inspire readers.   
Where do you get your inspiration for design and architecture writing?
Mostly via design websites, press releases, galleries, and museum shows. However, I preferred a notebook to jot down any interesting ideas and to plan ahead. This was an inspiration from Japanese author Haruki Murakami. It doesn’t have to be something fancy, even scrap paper will work - but as I learned, it might not be a good idea when you lose the paper. 
What kind of press releases and virtual invitations you are open to?
Since sending a press release via email nowadays is virtually effortless, I think design companies need to learn from the fashion industry and be more exclusive and creative with their invite and presentation. Also, instead of having a real-time zoom launching, a previously recorded and choreographed “live” presentation is much more welcome. It will eliminate the burden of time-zone viewing while showing each company’s creative marketing and communication skills. For me, the recent Stockholm Furniture Fair launch was a great example to watch. 
Tell us what’s the next big design architectural trend for 2021/ 2022?
Wood - especially wood buildings. From the American Pavilion in Venice Biennale to the French government announced a law that will demand public buildings in France to be built from at least 50% wood, and even a new Stockholm hotel suite that is made of 100% Swedish wood from floor to ceiling - wood as a construction material is back on designers’ radar. Not to mention it is also a sustainable material compare to concrete and steel.     
In your opinion, how and why media plays such a huge role when it comes to interior design and architecture?
Humans are visual animals: previously, people rely on printed materials like books and magazines for design inspiration. Nowadays, with the popularity of social media like Pinterest and Instagram, not only was design widely available for the masses it has also become a new method for new creators to express themselves. Personally, as much as I liked scrolling through my screen, nothing really beats the experience of being close or in front of such design. Therefore, media outlets will have to reflect on that experience or feeling rather than just “copy and paste” from press releases. 
Would you share with us your favourite style of interior design and architecture?
I liked interiors that are “balanced”. Not too eclectic, while not too bare either. Recently the word “Japandi” was coined and that really suits this notion. The style is a combination of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian warmth that I really love. An interior design like that tends to be not too cluttered with stuff, yet still feels very homey. As for architecture, I’ve always admired the first women architect that won the Architectural Pulitzer Prize: Zaha Hadid. I even went to see 12 of her buildings around the world and wrote a book about them. She’s truly ahead of her time.  

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