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“Something can be beautiful, but if it doesn’t function correctly, to me it’s a failure. I don’t think anybody anticipated that the show would take off the way that it did. It also coincided with this movement away from having your home look like everyone else’s in your neighborhood, having to live up to somebody else’s standard, having to buy things in sets — the dining room set with the matching chairs and the matching china cabinet, or the living room set.
Similarly, if something just functions and it’s not aesthetically pleasing, it’s also a failure.” A native of Mc Lean, Va., Yip recently took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his life and career, and why he considers himself “the world’s luckiest guy” — a realization that hit after he turned 50 earlier this year. It coincided with this time in history of embracing individuality, and the idea that having your own style is okay — not only okay, but preferable. They responded to the popularity of , we didn’t have access to online shopping.
Before medical school was about to start, I finally had the nerve to talk to my mom and say to her, “I can’t do this. You should have said something.” So I entered graduate architecture school at Georgia Tech. I felt like I needed that MBA to give my mom the security that I was going to be okay. It’s not that she didn’t want me to pursue something that had more of a creative bent, she was always fearful that I wouldn’t be able to support myself and support a family.
I’ve known I’m supposed to design in one way or another my entire life.” And of course she knew that, too. And I understand that, now that I have kids myself.
But on the other hand, I think people sometimes get paralyzed by all the different options.
Another thing that makes it different is that people have a completely different point of view on design.
You want to leave this earth knowing that you’ve set your kid up to be okay, that they’re going to be fine.
“[Coming out] was similar to working up the nerve to say, ‘Hey I don’t want to be a doctor, I want to be an architect instead.’ I was more fearful of disappointing her that she wasn’t going to have a doctor son, than she wasn’t going to have a straight son.” YIP: Well, I think it’s daunting for everybody, no matter how completely open and accepting you think your family might be, because we still live in a world where being part of the LGBTQ community isn’t entirely accepted by everybody.
“The candles, they all have lids on them, so that you don’t have to look at a burnt wick,” Yip says.
When it comes to the humble candle, Vern Yip has a rather curious problem: “I don’t like to look at a burnt wick.” Far from eccentricity, taking issue with a candle’s burned wick speaks to the way the 50-year-old architect and designer approaches all aspects of his work.
“I make my way through the world by seeing things and thinking to myself, ‘That could be better.
YIP: I think it’s made it more interesting and certainly more valuable.
I always say the best design comes out of compromise.