Across the worlds of art, entertainment, fashion, business and technology we’ve seen first hand the power of creative thinking to define the future.

Throughout our work with industry leading minds we’ve noticed three key themes have formed the basis of our approach to every partnership — culture, curation & collaboration.

This series explores these themes with the people we admire most through a set of playful exercises. For our twelfth volume of Creative Counts, we spoke to Conway C. Liao. Conway is an entrepreneur and multidisciplinary designer/artist. He’s the Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Hudson Wilder, a home and experiential lifestyle brand. In his art, he combines digital technologies with traditional techniques, and explores contemporary cultural themes. His work spans digital, physical, and ephemeral mediums.

Headshot credits: William Cipos


After sending us the Creative Counts worksheets, we had a few follow up questions for Conway:

What about the exercise did you enjoy?

The packet being hands-on is different. I was expecting something that was a little bit more digital, and the fact that you guys took the time and effort, you know, it’s heavy cardstock. I’m a user experience designer. That’s my discipline. So I think about things holistically, and I think you guys did a really good job of thinking the whole thing through.

Why do you think curiosity and culture are so important to craft?

Curiosity, first and foremost. I think you have to be curious about everything around you. Anything from how something is made. Whether it’s food, whether it’s this glass cup, whether it’s a phone. I’m a tinkerer, I like to take things apart. Or digitally, like how is a website made? Curiosity is the thing that keeps you constantly seeking out new things and new knowledge.

Tapping into culture is just tapping into the world, and into how something has grown from start to finish, cradle-to-grave. Thinking about how something is manufactured in the sense where it’s a raw material. Where does it come from? Is it dug up somewhere like iron ore to produce the flatware, or like Kaolin clay to produce our porcelain? It’s having a full understanding or that curiosity to seek that knowledge. I find it’s people like this that I want to make stuff with. And that’s the type of individual that I hope people aspire to be.

As the Design Director for Hudson Wilder, are there questions you are trying to answer or problems you are trying to solve in your work?

I wouldn’t say that I’m trying to solve any particular problem. I think problem solving is very much talked about in the digital side. I would say, you know, I’m not Jay Z, I don’t have ninety-nine problems. I have passion in the sense where this is my creative outlet and I love design holistically. It’s my expression. I think a big part of it is also the process of design. And my formal education is in industrial design. So it’s just a combination of all my interests. Wanting to create something that is positive. Wanting to create something that brings people together, like tabletop food. That’s the one thing that everyone could relate to.

Where did you get the phrase “A thousand mile journey starts with one single step”?

A Chinese philosopher, Laozi, who I found out recently is an ancestor of mine, from my mom’s side of the family. I always quoted that. He wrote the book Dao De Jing. Growing up reading that by choice and then finding out last year that he’s my ancestor was really cool.

Any exciting things coming up for you?

We have a new product launch, which I’m sure we’ll do an event for. I’m planning the photoshoot right now. 

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