Q. Could you explain about you?
I am a fresh Industrial Design degree graduate from LASALLE College of the Arts. As a young and aspiring designer, I am very enthusiastic in exploring the wide-ranging functions of products in our everyday lives, as well as the socio-cultural significance embedded within them. I believe that a good product constitutes more than just perfecting the aesthetic design. A good product should also seek to meet the needs and gaps of society, and I believe that with my values, eagerness and 'wanting to learn' mindset, I would be able to achieve so.
Q. Congratulations to the Asia Design Prize 2018. I would like to introduce your work description.
Thank you! My concept, named ORDINARY, is a transtibial (below-knee) leg prosthesis designed for the everyday amputee. It is specifically designed to provide convenience in the alignment of the leg prosthesis, where amputees would be able to make minor adjustments should they face any discomfort while walking. Furthermore, amputees would be able to change their shoes freely with the convenience of realigning their leg prosthesis too. Unlike the conventional alignment method where traditional tools such as a screwdriver or a wrench is used, the concept of ORDINARY relies on a more convenient method in the realignment of the leg prosthesis, while not impeding on the user's walking gait.
Q. How did you get inspired in this award?
I have always had immense respect for amputees who continue to strive in their lives despite losing an integral component of their body. The pain experienced is beyond physical, as amputees struggle to reconcile with the massive disruptions in their everyday lives. Yet many of these brave individuals have taken the challenge to adopt a prosthetic limb to help them regain movement and re-negotiate their lives.
After doing research on the topic, I realised that many iterations in the market focus on the aesthetics of the leg prosthesis. It is no doubt an important asset in aiding an amputee's mental health, however, I was really inspired in creating a leg prosthesis that would aid an amputee with his/her everyday life. Losing a limb creates a lot of inconvenience in their ambulation and as such, I sought to utilize my expertise to bring convenience to these individuals' everyday lives.
Q. When you design with team or personally, what do you think are the most important elements and capabilities in design?
I believe that design has to be honest. Good designs are always honest because they are created with the users in mind, with the intention to benefit these individuals. Regardless of the scale of the project, a designer should be intrinsically motivated to create a product that could serve society. If every designer in the world creates products with good intentions, the world would certainly be a much better place. As a designer, we have to be empathetic to the things around us too. The ability to understand and attempt to 'walk around in another's shoe' would not only aid our design conceptions, but also the world we are living in. As the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong reminds us, advancement in technology is propelling at a rapid rate and is likely to cause disruptions in many industries. Design is no exception. However, disruptions do not necessary refer to only challenges. Technological advancements will also create manifold opportunities that I believe, with the right values and intention, will allow designers to create well-thought out designs for the future.
Q. What if you have memorable works besides your winning works?
Definitely! It may sound cheesy but I feel that all the works that I have done as a designer so far are equally memorable. I am not exactly sure which works are up to standard but I do know that even the 'worse' few ones are worth mentioning. Every single project that I had undertaken reflects my growth as an Industrial Designer. It is always interesting to know that each project we undertake as a designer leaves us with more than we think. We begin to understand more about social issues and how the design process would help us to create something which could possibly aid society, and I believe that these series of works shape an individual as a designer too.
Q. I am curious about the special design process of yourself.
As a fresh graduate, my design processes are mostly inspired by my education in schools and the experience gained from undertaking projects and internship experiences. As time passes, I begin to understand more about the fluidity of the design process and even though the education has inculcated me with certain design skills, I recognise that designing requires a lot of experience, knowledge and a keen eye too. I rely on a more technical approach in formulating my design pieces, so I tend to corroborate my projects with extensive amounts of research. I believe that it is important to have a strong research foundation for the project to be successful. Furthermore, the research phase is important as we might stumble upon new findings that could potentially lead to deeper insights.
Q. What if you have the most inspired design books or mentors?
It would definitely be a privilege if that happens. These inspiring factors are of importance as the mentors have more experience and knowledge than I possess. Furthermore, every individual has a unique set of experience which differentiates one from the other. Regardless of design books or mentors, each and every individual is a unique piece that would bring about valuable insights and allow one to have a better understanding of not just design, but the things around us too.
Q. What do you want to achieve one’s goal in your life as a designer?
As an Industrial Designer, my primary goal is to be able to 'tackle' any design brief that is given to me. Being enriched in terms of the design process, technical knowledge, creating the user experience and many more aspects of design are of significant importance as I believe that by trying new things and opening myself up to various types of projects, it would add to my repertoire of knowledge. Evidently, it would aid me when it comes to handling project briefs in the future. My other long term goal would be to design a product that could potentially benefit the lives of others, and have it marketed on a large scale for the community to experience its features.
ASIA DESIGN PRIZE
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