Interview with designer Brendan Wong (BW), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Isobel by Brendan Dressing Table.

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Interview with Brendan Wong at Tuesday 12th of March 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
BW : Simple in form without sacrificing functions.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
BW : Keeping the design plain and simple, but added a touch of elegance. However, lots of storage was crucial, so I used 6mm clear acrylic to fabricate all the drawer units with multiple layers and partitions.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
BW : Tweak the design slightly to get a few variations. Introduce new color schemes - for example, red and white might appeal to some ladies, whilst totally white might give a more subdue yet highly sleek look. Initially it will be available made to order.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
BW : The concept didn't take long to materialize. It then took a few weeks to transform the idea from pencil drawings to computer 3D models and 2D CAD drawings for all the separate parts. But the process of actually building it took a bit longer than anticipated. There were a few hurdles to pass, including the search for off-the-shelf hinges to support the heavy lid - After several trial and error, I found a suitable one which still needed modification to allow the lid to open at the correct angle and sustain the weight to retain the soft closing action.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
BW : It was for my wife. We initially tried to buy one, but couldn't find anything suitable, so I decided to design and build one for her. In fact, the name of the design 'isobel by Brendan' was sort of named after her. I spelled it slightly different though, and have it all in lower case to suggest that it's an object.

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?
BW : No, it is not being produced or used by anyone. This is the first prototype. I designed the whole thing so that it can be reproduced very easily. Initially, if there is any demand for it, I would have it made to order.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
BW : I design and fabricate signs, from something very small to massive structural ones, most of them illuminated. I also design and build products and gadgets. I've just designed a DSLR camera stabilizer, something similar to the Merlin Steadicam, but I think it's much better (no disrespect - The Merlin system is very good, but it's very complicate to set up). I came up with a base design (with the Merlin, it is called the Stage) which allows the position of the camera to be easily repositioned to achieve the center of gravity. The Merlin goes through extensive setups and then the position of gymbal is also needed to be adjusted to get the centre of gravity, whilst my system repositions the camera itself very easily after attaching to the base to achieve the centre of gravity . Jarret Brown, the inventor of the Merlin Steadicam, is a great inspiration... I would love to have him look at my design one day.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
BW : No. I don't recall anything as such. But one thing I learned from signage design is 'simplicity' is the key ingredient.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
BW : Most women i guess.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
BW : Unique, simple, with lots of storage and functions.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
BW : As I've mentioned above, it's kind of named after my wife, Isabelle.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
BW : CNC machine, woodworking tools and machinery, acrylic and metal fabrication tools

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
BW : Probably the opal acrylic square ring light around the mirror which is embedded with LEDs.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
BW : I came up with that myself. However, the traditional Hollywood dressing tables used by actors with all the globes around the mirror was an inspiration. I just modernized the idea.