Interview with designer James Lee (JL), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Paperclip Armrest Armrest For High-Density Seating.

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Interview with James Lee at Sunday 22nd of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
JL : In high density seating arrangements such as such as the theatre, train cabin or economy class cabin, there’s typically only enough space for a narrow armrest between seats, which can be rather frustrating for users. The main idea of the Paperclip Armrest is to add a second level to the armrest so that neighboring occupants can both the same armrest at the same time, eliminating the battle of the elbows.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
JL : The main focus in designing the Paperclip Armrest has been the efficient use of space. I wanted to create better living space for without sacrificing seat density, in other words, bringing comfort to consumers without affecting the economics of the business operators.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
JL : I hope to co-operate with manufacturers of cinema seating, public seating and aircraft seating to produce outstanding new products for customers.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
JL : It didn’t take long to design this concept after the inspiration came. But the Paperclip Armrest is not just one design- it is a family of designs with the same basic principle, and I’ve created a number of iterations of it since coming up with the concept.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
JL : The elbow room struggle in high density seating is a problem which has bothered me for long, and that’s why I’ve decided to pursuit this project when the inspiration came while sitting in a seminar.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
JL : I intend to sell or lease the production rights to manufacturers of seating products.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
JL : I’ve always been fascinated by spatial usage in high density seating, especially things related to aircraft interiors.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
JL : Target customers for the Paperclip Armrest include cinemas, theatres, operators of lecture halls and conference rooms, airlines, train operators, coach companies etc.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
JL : What made this design special is that there’s nothing similar in the market which solves the same problem, and in such a simple manner.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
JL : A paperclip is a very simple yet useful tool widely used in everyday life. Just like the humble paperclip, the Paperclip Armrest is an amazingly simple solution to a widespread problem faced in everyday life.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
JL : The most unique aspect of the Paperclip Armrest is its simplicity.