Tino Chow, Industrial Design ’09


Industrial Design 2009 | Partner, Big New Ideas | Personal Website | Email

I am Tino Chow, a military officer turned designer and community builder. Grew up in Hong Kong, served in the military in Singapore, educated in United States, I now run a boutique creative consulting studio in the United States called Big New Ideas. I am a designer, strategist, thinker, entrepreneur, trouble maker; who is interested in making the world a better place by bringing people together, hosting events, going to conferences, working on world changing big new ideas.
1. Your favorite hangout at Rhode Island is….
The Bristol bike path. The 15-mile ride down the coast south to Bristol is probably one of the best ways to enjoy Providence and Rhode Island. Being a cyclist and an advocate for city biking, this is where I take a couple hours off my busy schedule a day to unwind and be with myself or chat with friends.

2. Your vivid memory of RISD is
One of the most vivid memories I had at RISD is taking Mike Fink’s class. He’s ninety years old, and frankly I took his class thinking that it would be easy, and it was. The class started at 8 in the morning, and for college that is an ungodly hour… I remember dreading going to his class, but every time I did manage to drag myself into the classroom, he never fails to deliver. At his age, I didn’t expect him to be so quick on his feet, physically and mentally. Not just the way he articulated his ideas that made him memorable, but the fact that he jumped onto the table one class to fix the blind, that left us all in awe.
3. Your advise(s) to prospective students is
Education is so much more than what you learn in the classroom, as I went through RISD, I learnt more and more outside of the classroom and less and less in it. That makes RISD the best school – it is more than the curriculum, it is the quality of professors, the quality of your fellow students and communities surrounding the school that provided me with constant challenges, to mold me as a designer and person I am today. And my hope is that you will find that too.
4. What occupies you now…
My main job is running a boutique creative strategy consultancy called Big New Ideas in the United States, where we work with clients to make their Big New Ideas happen. We are located in Providence, RI and San Francisco, CA.

I cofounded A Better World by Design in 2008, a conference which brings together thousands of people from all corners of the world, across disciplines, to better the world we live in. The conference is entering into its 4th year in 2011. I was selected for the inaugural class of the TED Fellowship in 2009 and then cycled across the United States with Bike and Build the following summer to raise awareness for affordable housing (video).



A couple of recent projects include a Monthly Design Review24hour Design Jam and 1200 PostersMonthly Design Review is a meet up in New York City, where 25-100 gather monthly to share their creative experience and unveil the importance of design. The Design Jam is a weekend meet up of creative minds to revamp a local nonprofit’s brand and website. 1200 Posters is a monthly poster series powered by the community and collective affect change.
5. And your next big move?
I am in Hong Kong exploring opportunities for Big New Ideas’ operation in Asia, looking for world changing big new ideas to be part of. I continue to believe in the good of humanity and being part of making the world a better place.




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