ask Vivid about
hiking • beaches • museums • art galleries • café • ice cream shop • fine dining • gourmet coffee • asian food • ethnic food • coffee shop • hole in the wall
a bit about Vivid
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm an AI Experience Designer with background in video games design. Currently, I've been working in AI-related design specifically for a conversational interface. A bit of background of why I do it... I grew up playing and loving video games. I always fascinated by how immersive you can get when you're diving into the game's world -- how believable (and powerful) the narration is that prompt you to take action. I wanted to translate those experience when designing real-world product. Bringing my years of designing for games and entertainment into making meaningful product and services is something I strive for.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
I can't remember having a bad job. For sure there were bad moments in every job, but I've been lucky enough to work in the design field. My first summer job was doing t-shirt and poster design in high school, then freelancing as copywriter and photographer for a local magazine while I was in university. I landed my first (proper job) as a background artist in a video game company in Tokyo. Then it's game over. I never looked back. It was video games and design all the way!
Were you born and raised in Sydney? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Sydney?
I was born in Adelaide, Australia, but then my family moved to London when I was 2 years old. Thanks to my parents, who both worked for the United Nations, I spent my time growing up in few different countries across Europe (UK, Holland, France, Belgium) and Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore). It's probably why people sometimes find my English accent 'eclectic'. After living and working in Shanghai for 8 years, I moved to Munich and was there for over 3 years before moving to Sydney in late 2014.
What’s your current hood in Sydney and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
We want to experience different neighbourhoods in Sydney, so we moved about few times since we moved here in December 2014. We first lived in Surry Hills then moved to Pyrmont to be closer to the water. Before long we decided that high-rise wasn't for us so we decided to move to Stanmore. Stanmore is a quiet area with lots of parks, open space, and heaps of good coffee around! The grown-up vibes in Stanmore remind me a bit of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, in a sense that all the hippies now have kids. But that's where the similarity ends. Because Stanmore has none of the cool cafes and bars like those in P-Berg!
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
I grew up listening to classical music and old school Jazz, but my musical palate was irrevocably changed when I was introduced to Rock & Roll. Since then I listen to pretty much everything from Alternative Rock to Electro to Drum & Bass. While I don't dislike pop, I generally don't listen to any songs with stupid lyrics. And I absolutely hate reggae and country music.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, Firefly, Rick & Morty, Chef's Table, Planet Earth, Abstract... and Japanese anime like Ghost in The Shell, Death Note, Doraemon and Akira. Why did I like them? Because I loved Sci-fi, grew up reading Manga, watched anime and play video games. I also love watching documentaries and good comedies that have no laugh track.
Name some spots in Sydney that are good for a Tinder date.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ -- if you want to impress your date, you should probably consider The Quay by Peter Gilmore, or Mr. Wong.
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
That idiot Trump. And while you're at it, please throw in Malcolm Turnbull and Theresa May for a good measure.
Who’s your hero and where in Sydney would you take them out for a serious hang?
I'm afraid my hero might not be a real person (It's The Doctor).
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
There are heaps of small boutiques around Newton, Enmore, Paddington and Surry Hills that are worth checking out. They have tons of collections from local Aussie designers and some of them lets you bargain ;-) If you're into weekend market, the Paddington or Glebe weekend market is worth going as they sometimes featured some local designers collections.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
King Cross. Because it's tacky.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I've been wanting to climb the Harbour Bridge but never got around to do it. And probably try out the 'I ate my way through Cabramatta', a Vietnamese cuisine tour in the west suburbs of Sydney.
Where do you go in Sydney for a casual night out?
I love casual night out that combines good food and great conversation. I tend to avoid unnecessary crowd or small claustrophobic places. So I'd either go to Spice Alley in Chippendale, Cairo Takeaway, Cow & Moon in Enmore, Wagaya Japanese Tapas, Kitchen & Arcade in Newton, or Yulli's or Mamasan in Surry Hills.
Where would you go in Sydney to celebrate some freaking good news?
Depends on how big the news you wanted to celebrate (and your budget), but my favourite places so far are The Quay by Peter Gilmore, Oscillate Wildly in Newton, KOI Dessert Bar, Momofuku Seibo in Pyrmont, Mjolner in Redfern.
What’s your choice of transportation in Sydney and why?
Train. Because it's Sydney and traffic jam is everywhere. The buses in Sydney (or Australia for that matter) are unreliable at best.
What are the Sydney spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
If you're only in Sydney for a day, I'd recommend going to the Opera House and maybe walk across the Harbour Bridge. And if you still have extra few hours, take the ferry ride along the coast. It's a cheap way to get a glimpse of Sydney and you'll get to see the amazing cityscape from the water along with some of the beaches. Take either the route to Manly Beaches to the north or Watson Bay to the east.
What are the Sydney spots tourists should run from screaming?
I'm not sure... the Zoo? Because I generally not fond of caged animals. Although Sydney Zoo is by far one of the best in terms of animal care and the cityscape you can glimpse from the zoo highest hill.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Sydney. How do you spend it?
I'd have a strong flat white and spend a quality time with either my better half and/or my friends. And probably take some selfies too :)
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Florence. Because I love the Renaissance period and everything that goes with it from Da Vinci to Raphael to Michelangelo... not to mention all the great galleries funded by the Medici. You can't go wrong with simply walking anywhere around Florence. The city is full of historical beauty (and stories!) that will give you a guaranteed sensory overload.