Pinky Lai, the man who proved Hong Kong has great design talent, has been feted at the University of Science and Technology. He was one of a series of speakers lined up for the 25th anniversary celebrations. Pinky is the Hong Kong lad who went off to Italy and the UK in 1972 soon to shoot into prominence as the first successful Chinese car designer. He was chief creator of the exterior finishes of the Porsche Cayman, Boxter and 911 Carrera.
At the lectern, Pinky told a hall full of UST students: “Dreams can never be big enough. Fear not what lies ahead, for nothing is scarier than standing still. No sets of rules will stay unchallenged forever. You should always ask questions — why not?”
Asked by a BUZZ reporter what connections he has to Sai Kung, Pinky said, “Just hiking in the hills 50 years ago when I was an Eagle Scout”.
Partially retired, Pinky remains under contract to Porsche AG. After studying industrial design in Europe in the seventies, he went to work for Ford In Germany, then Ghia In Italy and Mazda in Spain. In 1984 he joined BMW working on their BMW3 series.
Five years later Porsche Styling asked him to be design chief. He created the bodywork for Boxter, Cayman and the 911 Carerra, also known as the 996 series. In 2004 Pinky was named chief designer at Style Porsche, working on advanced motorbikes and facelifts for cruise liners. Three years ago Pinky founded Brainchild Design Group in Germany and Hong Kong.