Interview with designer Christopher Han (CH), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Balance Wooden Spoon.

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Interview with Christopher Han at Monday 15th of April 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CH : The idea was to create an ideal shape for a cooking utensils. The shape that could feel like an extension of your body when you hold it in your hand.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CH : My main focus was to maximize the functionality of the object. I want it to be the tool of choice when it comes to performing a cooking task. The ergonomics was also one of my main concern. Length, curve, tilt, weight, balance and thickness of the handle were accounted.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CH : I want many people to benefit from using this design. If I get a chance, I would like to work with a manufacturer who can produce my design without distorting my original intention. If I can’t find a manufacturer, I’ll come up with a different solution where I can mass produce myself.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CH : It took me an year to get to this stage. My first design was completely different, but it evolved to this shape overtime.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
CH : I just thought the design of wooden spoon can be improved after visiting the kitchen supply store. And I've been carving spoon ever since.

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?
CH : Currently, I make and sell my own design. I’m interested in working with manufacturer who wants to produce my design but I won’t sell my rights.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
CH : I’ve created this particular design for my friend as a gift. I just wanted to create something useful for my friend.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
CH : It’s my original design.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
CH : I wanted to target chefs and housewives when I first came up with this concept. But my ideal customer will be the people who enjoys cooking.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CH : This spoon does not rely on one design feature. The beauty of this spoon comes from combining multiple design features into one simple form.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CH : The original name of the spoon is ‘Isaac’, named after the owner of very first prototype. For this competition, I’ve switched the name to ‘balance’ to communicate better with the audience.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
CH : I’ve used trial and error process to develop this design. It’s slow process but I find it most effective.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
CH : The most unique aspect of the spoon is that it may looks like a simple object but it consists many design features.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
CH : Since this project was small scale, I’ve worked alone on this project.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
CH : The technology will play it’s role on mass production phase.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
CH : The design was influenced by observing other people's cooking habit and reflecting on my own experience.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CH : The challenge was to combine all the design elements with right proportion and flow. I wanted to blend all the features into one piece. Every angle, curvature and thickness needed to be balanced with each other, because I think beauty lies in the balance and proportion.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
CH : I wanted share my design with the other designers, so I can hear their responses and further develop my concepts.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
CH : The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that ‘your best work come out when you are working with the good intention’. Because I’ve developed this design from one of the spoon I’ve made for my friend as a gift. Sometime the pure intention of expressing the gratitude through an artwork can bring out the best result.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
CH : Design is care!