Is the best Pho in France or Vietnam ? How this little chat inspires me as a designer.

 

Hello guys from Vietnam !

How are you doing today ?
Here is pretty rainy (Raining season),
and I just came back from lunch.

I am thinking to start sharing with you more about my daily inspiration
thoughts or inspiration as a product designer.
As I believe that design sketching techniques are just one piece of the puzzle.

Creativity, an other one.
Would this piece of puzzle be something you may like receiving ? Let me know !

Illustration from HelloAuki

Illustration from HelloAuki

Today,
let me share with you a story that may arouse your designer’s mindset.
My aim is it show you that design is everywhere,
and not only within objects, but daily life and random meetings.

This is why I love travelling and meet interesting people on my way.
Have a chat, and discover more about stories they have to tell.
It inspires me, reminds me how humble is our designer life,
and keep learning all life long.
Remember that a designer breath design in every instant,
even when he sleeps.
It’s not a 8 to 6 job.

We got to learn how to listen and observe actively.
If you don’t activate the button ON in your mind,
you may missed out a lot of daily life treasures as a designer.
Like what Jean Claude Van Damme would say: “BE AWARE” !

Two minutes walking from my apartment, I went to a small restaurant.
I met an interesting guy whose name is Banh.
He’s Vietnamese,
and he used to live in France for 3 years,
in Chinatown in the district 13.
There is many good Vietnamese restaurants there.

I asked him between Paris, and Vietnam, where is the best Pho ?

(Pho is a yummy and traditionnal soup made of rice noodle and beef. One of my favourite !)
I assumed Pho would be better, tastier here in Vietnam.
But according to Banh, it’s not.

I was intrigued. So I asked him why ?
He looked at me, and explained the facts that shows it’s not about personal taste.

I opened my ears, and listened.
In Vietnam, there is plenty of Pho restaurant. A LOT !
At every corner of a street, or maybe even more.
An other supply of Pho restaurant also means a lower level
of the average quality.
While in France there is a few, and needs quality to stand out.

Then,
there is a mass production of beef here.
The quality became not as good as french cows.
It’s pretty competitive, and the price is not always
that cheap for the given quality of meat.

Some more, the Pho soup is sold here for about $1.20 the soup,
while in France it is about $10.

In other words, in France, there is so much more quantity
of ingredients served in the soup,
and with better quality.
The budget is higher, the quality follow.

To make the soup tasty,
you need to cook it with bones for long.

However, in Vietnam, to save cost, they tend to replace it with MSG. : /

To conclude,

local people “can’t compete” in taste and quality due to economical reasons.

As long as the soup is made in France
by Vietnamese people,
there is much higher chance that
the tradition of a yummy Pho keep going best in France.

For all these reasons, no matter you are from a Michelin guide or not, or have an experienced palate or not, Pho made in France is the winner !

Anyway, the quick lesson is that whenever you handle
a design project abroad (or not),
remember to think about local people and their context and capacities.
It will make your project even sharper and easier to execute.

I know it may seams far-fetched.
But, do not hesitate to meet real people to talk with,
and not only assuming from images or report you may find from Google.

If you are preparing a project for your degree,
you may not only think about your product first, but the environment,
so you will create unique and innovative projects.
The ideas that cross in my minds was basically about
environmental projects that use local plastic waste,
or ressources such as coconut fibre or else to improve local life.

I encourage you to create products that give a maximum of sense. Instead of following personal intuition that may find source from your personal taste or a cliché.

I hope enjoy these kind of little stories.
It personally resonates in me, and I wanted to share it with you.
Feel free to let me know what you think about it ! 🙂

Have a nice day !

Cheers,Chou-Tac

PS: If you are in Vietnam, let me know.
I have been a very nice Vietnamese Pho restaurant. I can recommend you one, or we could go there eating a soup !

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p dir=”ltr”>Illustration from HelloAuki

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my career, I believe that they can also help you to learn, and help you with your projects. Whether Design is a job or a hobby it doesn’t matter, so long as you do what is important to you.

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