Viewing Category ~ product design

Today allow me to share with you an inspiring individual I came across recently, meet Duncan Shotton. I first came across Duncan’s work via my friend and fellow Art Director Paul Parolin, who sent me this super cool kick-starter for something called “Rainbow pencils”. I did some digging up and found out the cool guy behind the project. I just had to have a few words with him.

I: Let’s start by giving a brief introduction about yourself and background.

D: OK, well, my name’s Duncan, I was born in London but grew up in the west of England in a little town near Bath. I graduated from Brunel University (west London) in Industrial Design and Technology in 2008. After that I worked for a design consultancy for four years, whilst developing my own design projects as ‘homework’ in the evenings. Then only last year I moved to Tokyo to set up my own design studio.

I’m allergic to cat’s, prefer the adverts to the programmes on TV, and my favourite food is probably yorkshire puddings.

I: Great, from the UK to Japan, that’s quite the transition! What would you say were the motives behind moving to Tokyo? and how easy was the transition itself?

D: Mainly, a beautiful girl, but I’d always been fond of Tokyo.
It’s a modern city. Whilst everything’s the same, everything’s different. That’s what makes it surprising, inspiring, and sometimes a little tricky.

I: Ahhh, women, the things they do to us men :) Now that you’ve been in Tokyo for a while, how have you found the language barrier? What would you say is one of the main differences between living in Japan and the UK?

D: I get by, but it’s difficult to express my personality because my Japanese is still pretty basic. The thick, humid heat of the Japanese summer is unlike any I’ve experienced in Europe.

I: So, what is your earliest “Creative related memory/activity” that you can recall?

D:  Maybe in a school play. I must have been about 15. I played a character whose costume included a top hat, which I snuck a white rabbit teddy bear inside of on the night of the performance. In the middle of my part, I paused, took my hat off, chucked the rabbit into the audience, saying something like “I should stop wearing magicians’ hats”, then carried on with the set script.

I: Hahahhaha, spoken like a true artist. And what would be your most recent creative foray?

D:  I did my first pop-up shop this year, it was in a tree. Recently, I’ve been designing and making a new one, which is even more ridiculous, but yet to launch.
My latest live project is Rainbow Pencils, recycled paper pencils that make rainbows when you sharpen them (currently funding on Kickstarter.)

I: Yes, a friend of mine actually sent me a link to your kickstarter, which is how I came across you. You’ve spoken a lot about that on the kickstarter website, I enjoyed reading it and think it’s a tremendously inspiring project. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time, physically & career wise?

D:  Cool, thanks to your friend for sharing and to you for reading, I’m glad you like it! I’ll be in either Tokyo or the UK. I hope my brand, range of projects and products will have grown, but not so much that they lose their ‘specialness’. Someone once commented on my work “It’s nice to just do a few things, really well”, and that made me really happy.

I:  And finally, Inspiration, who? what? where?

D: In 2007, when .mp3 players became the norm, the tape cassette became a nostalgic item, because everyone was sad to say goodbye. It was at that time I came up with Tape Dispenser (a sticky tape dispenser in the shape of a tape cassette). Similarly in 2011, everyone was talking about cloud computing, which is perhaps what made me think of Cloud Keyholder (a wall mounted cloud that uses magnets to hold your keys underneath to represent rain). I think icons and topics ‘of the moment’ inspire me and help make my products easily understandable by others.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

Kaboomi Studio
Design Boom
That Should be mine!

Monday, Mohamed, More (Inspiration!), three words that start with the letters M and O. Bare with me here and meet Associate Creative Director / Product Designer my good friend Mohamed Fouad. I met “Fo2sh” -as he’s commonly known amongst friends- back in 1999 at the FineArts College in Zamalek, Cairo, and he’s always struck me as an original creative person. Born in 1981, Mohamed studied Architecture and worked for about a year and a half as an Architect, then decided to change careers because he couldn’t adapt to the prevalent style of architecture found in Egypt. He is a big fan and believer in the Bauhaus school of art and design. Currently he is an Associate Creative Director at Leoburnett Cairo.

That is one side of his life, on the other side recently he started product/interior design label Stuffed Pigeon as a way to do something that he loves. The name came out of the famous Egyptian meal “stuffed pigeon”. The philosophy of the Stuffedpigeon is derived from adapting ideas and elements commonly found in Egyptian culture, being a proud Egyptian, embracing hand made artisanship, and always maintaining the highest standards. Not only is it a product design house offering simple, functional, creative and unique handcrafted products from furniture to home accessories, to toys and bikes, it also adopts an open and interactive workshop setting based on the product development process using the fewest possible resources and materials to achieve functional creativity. It strikes a delicate balance between minimalist simplicity and indulgence providing enriching experiences without pretension.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

M: A multiple electricity cable. I did the first prototype 5 years ago, I prefer to show the final product and talk about it when it is final.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

M: Club owner!

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M:  Everything I see around me. I believe that Egypt is very inspiring in everything because we still use the old stuff that we have next to the other new technological products. Also, the normal basic products are a 100% man made craft, functionality is the main concept not a shape or a color. When i travel I try as much as i can to get inspired by other countries art and behavior. I also got inspired by my father in terms of crafting techniques as I used to watch him fixing and try to fix everything around.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

M: LAMP-02

This product is one of my many other products using the same technique, it is made out of PVC pumping pipes – a very interesting material to work with- not to mention very inspiring, because it is easy to work with it and flexible.

The inspiration behind this product came after I found extra PVC pipes left after finishing the studio, first I didn’t know what type of the product I’ll work on, then I bought PVC connections and understood how it works together, after which I created lots of shapes like table frames, hangers some bathroom accessories, finally  I started to sketch this lamp and work on three different prototypes in terms of shape and measurements till it ended up with this design.

It is spray painted in a fine matte finish, available in a variety of colours, and overall gives a nice diffused light as the output is from 20 to 40 walts.

I name the products as it they are commonly described, I only add numbers to differentiate them from each other.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

not Cot
It’s all mental masturbation
Design is kinky

It’s Thursday, time -Pun quite intended- to check out what object we have in store for us. This weeks’ significant “thing” is courtesy of my good friend and graphic designer supreme Lee H Wilson.

“Here’s an object for you. I spent 3 months in Thailand, and the only souvenir I wanted to buy was a watch with Thai numerals on it. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find a watch without roman numerals… it actually took me the entire time I was there, going in and out of little shops, without any luck. On the last night in Bangkok, I went to the night bazar at Sanamulang, across from Thammasart University. After looking around for an hour without any luck, I was digging around in a junk box, and pulled this out. It had no strap, just the watch face. I guarded my excitement, bargained a good price 250THB, around $8USD, and walked away really happy!”

I’ve been wanting to start another weekly series on my blog for quite a while. Now, I’ve finally gotten around to it! Every Thursday morning, I’ll be posting a new series called “objects” in which I ask certain people about a significant object in their life and tell us the story behind it. This week, the first person to do the obsession sessions interview, is also the first person to share his “object”. Today, Designer extra-ordinaire, Jonathan Mutch shares his BeoMaster 1600.

J: The BeoMaster 1600 is an Amplifier/Tuner from Bang & Olufsen. I love the interface on this stereo so much. When I got it a lot of the controls didn’t work, so I broke it open and cleaned and repaired some of the parts. You can obviously tell that the use of a glass and stainless steel now is found in so many apple products, but when this came out it must have looked so futuristic.

This week I’m going to share with everyone one of the most inspirational product designers that I came stumbled upon on the web Anton Repponen. I first came across one of his designs on the image bookmarking site, ffffound. The OZO watch as he calls it, struck me with it’s sheer simplicity and ingenuity. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. The conceptual watch design was the tip of the iceberg though. As i visited his website, I discovered a myriad of unique projects, all which are very inspirational. So I was quite happy when Anton took some time to tackle the obsession sessions questions.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

A: I started to draw when I was a little kid, but believe it or not one of the really first  creative actives I started with was sewing. I grew up in a family of fashion designers, and my house was always full of rolls of fabric, patterns, buttons, threads, sewing machines and overlocks. I knew how to put together a simple leather pirate vest when I was 10 using all the proper tools :) I did tons of clothes that looked funky using all the things I could find around.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

A: I think I would become an architect. After graduating school I went to university on a faculty of architecture. It’s an extremely challenging and hard job, but at the same time the results can be really rewarding. I inherited a lot from architecture that I use in my design thinking. The way things should be structured and make perfect sense.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

A: At my everyday job as a Creative Director at interactive agency Fi, I have to say the main inspiration would be “stress”. In a good way. When deadlines are tight, and you have to deliver, your brain goes into a “power mode” and tries to find shortcuts and solutions in order to make it on time. Lots of interesting solutions came out of this in my opinion, something I would not have think of. It’s like that “legend” when an old person lifted a car because a cat or a baby, don’t remember exactly, ended up under it. It’s like your body have those powers reserved and releases when necessary.

When it comes to my personal projects, I don’t think there’s any design source here. Most of the ideas came into my head while I was walking back home from work, using certain every-day objects, such as watch, bags, shoes etc. Just looking at things.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

A: I have sort of obsession with watches. That’s why you can find lots of them on my personal portfolio. OZO Watch was the first ones I designed. It’s is a concept for the wristwatch with a very minimal and simple design. Two dials, one with hours at the top and the other with minutes at the bottom, rotate to present the time inside the classic icon of hourglass in the middle. The main idea was to present time right in the middle of the watch in a new way. OZO Watch recieved a “Best of the Best” at Red Dot award in 2010.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

A: I love ffffound, you can also see great images I bookmarked here My ffffound page.

Also, one of my new addictions is I love traveling and photography, and the concept of this site is just amazing.

My friends feed on LiveJournal, yes that service is still alive :) It’s quite big among Russian audience and it’s very interesting for me to stay up to date with certain topics as well as keep in touch with friends. My Live Journal

I like design updates on FastCoDesign

The rest of the updates I get from RSS feeds to random blogs I subscribed to and Twitter, Flipboard app too.

Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
I'm a Creative,
currently based in Toronto.

Welcome to my blog.

Art Direction / Alignment / Colours
Cooking / Design / Folding
Illustration / Paper / Printing
Ping Pong / Type / Walking

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