Last year’s Bilateral Design Exchange (BDE) Forum series, which was held in October in different cities in Taiwan and Malaysia, was host to a few good key speakers from both of these participating countries. International design events in Malaysia are hard to come by and it’s simply this reason why the BDE Forum is something you would expect a graphic designer to pick up on, as there is lots to learn from other more established graphic designers. Surely, design is about communication, don’t we all agree? In this interview we spoke to the organiser of the BDE Forum, KF Lim, to get a glimpse into what the future holds for the forum.

Q: What did you discover about the design platform in Malaysia after doing the Taiwan x Malaysia Bilateral Design Exchange Forum?
A: I think Malaysia has a lot of young and talented designers around and most of them are keen in learning more about design. However, some of them who attended the forum said that there’s very few design events such as the BDE Forum, and so this lack of exposure has limited the way they learn and exchange ideas with others.


Q: What was the theme of the forum and why was Malaysia chosen for this design dialogue?
A: With “impression” and “learning” as the main themes of the BDE Forum, we hope to promote understanding of each other’s design and culture through design communication. Through this forum, we also wanted to encourage creative people from Malaysia to participate in more cross-border cooperation projects. The Taiwanese government invests in culture and art; holding a variety of international major design exhibitions and art events every year is one of the ways to welcome commercial cooperation and creative exchanges with other countries. This move from Taiwan is highly respected by the international community for it has produced many excellent designs and creative workers. It is worth learning from them.


Q: What was the biggest takeaway from the forum?
A: The Bilateral Design Exchange Forum is only to throw out a brick to attract a jade and we hope that more units will join us in the future to grow and become more active in the design scene. It is the kind of exchange that we will see more of in terms of an increase in design synergy, more opportunities for cooperation, and bridging the cultural and creative gap between Taiwan and Malaysia.

Q: What is in the pipeline for the BDE?
A: BDE Forum 2.0 was planned to happen around July this year. However, everything is changed and postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia. The good news is that everything about the BDE Forum 2.0 will continue after the pandemic is under control.



Q: As an expatriate living in Taiwan for 10+ years now, what was the most valuable aspect of your stay there?
A: I think it’s the design resources and the welcoming environment of Taiwan towards design that is friendly, mature and active.

Q: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your job as a graphic designer?
A: So far, I’m not much affected by it. I am still able to connect with my clients and partner via conference calls and emails. However, some of the projects like the BDE Forum needs to be postponed until further notice.

Q: What’s your take on design in business? In other words, how important is design for businesses today?
A: Design is like clothes; every people or business needs clothes to show their personality, characteristics, and specialties. The global spread of Covid-19 has caused many businesses to get onboard the digital/online platform. Since then, design has been playing an even more important role than before the pandemic to help businesses get noticed. Moving forward, I believe that good design will become more crucial and in demand because of the changing market trend and needs.




Good things are meant to be shared. 😉 To see more of Bilateral Design Exchange (BDE)’s work, check out the links below!
Vimeo: Bilateral Design Exchange