Q. Could you explain about you and your design company?
I’m Mingzhe. I’m the industrial designer of Airblock. Our company, Makeblock Co., Ltd is a robotics start-up from Shenzhen established in 2013. Its main brand Makeblock, founded in 2011, is a leading DIY robotics construction and STEM education platform for makers, hobbyists, STEM learners, and educators. Makeblock empowers people to turn ideas into reality by providing STEM Kits, Tech Kits, DIY Kits, a building block platform of over 500 mechanical parts and easy-to-use electronic modules, graphical programming software, and online and offline courses.
Q. Congratulations to the K-Design Award 2017. I would like to present your testimonials and your work description.
Airblock is an easy-to-use modular and programmable aircraft able to transform into drone, hovercraft, and more. Its graphical programming interface makes it a fun and intuitive aerial platform, while custom-engineered magnetic connectors makes assembly quick and easy. Airblock is simply the most enjoyable aerial platform for imagination. We would like to make an aircraft that can freely fly in the air and run on the ground or water. The aircraft is designed into six bricks. Each brick connects to each other through magnet, which allows users to create various forms at will. It is just a piece of cake for users to program their own aerial stunts with our graphical programming App! Our work can help people to learn the principle of aircraft. Users can create their own aerodynamic work through free combination of the bricks.
Q. How did you get inspired in this award?
It’s a great honor to me and our team to get the K-design Grand Prize and Team of the Year. The awards will encourage us to focus on research and development as well as design, and bring more great product to the global market to help people turn their ideas into reality. Most drones available in the market are camera drones or pure toys. However, we want to make a drone that is not only fun to play, but also have education attributes. That’s why we make Airblock an education experience carrier. The modular design allows Airblock to have different forms, and users can DIY with their imagination. The magnetic connector and intuitive graphical programming app make it easy to handle, even by beginners.
Q. When you design with team or personally, what do you think are the most important elements and capabilities in design?
I believe the most significant thing is to think from the users’ perspective, and understand users’ real needs. Product design should be human oriented, which is the only way to bring a convenient and comfortable user experience.
Q. I am curious about the special design process of yourself.
Before I start a project, I would spend a lot of time on analyzing users’ demand. I believe users’ demand is the reason for a product to be existed. It is essential to identify users’ needs before designing a good product.
Q. What if you have the most inspired design books or mentors?
My favorite book is The Design Of Everyday Things. The book uses a lot of cases from varies angles to remind designers of paying attention to users emotional demands and find the their true needs. It believes good design is not only about the appearance but the unification of aesthetics and practicability. It emphasizes the human oriented design philosophy, and integrated cognitive psychology and ethology into design. It helps designers bring emotional design into product.
Q. What do you want to achieve one’s goal in your life as a designer?
In the next few years, I’ll continue dedicating myself to design. I’ll improve not only my personal professional abilities, but also comprehensive abilities related to design and to achieve the true value of industrial design.
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