Interview with designer Thienna Ho (TH), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Xtreme Lip-Shaper® System Instant Natural Lip Enlargement Device.

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Interview with Thienna Ho at Monday 6th of January 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
TH : The main inspiration behind my design was to solve my aging lip problem. Shortly after I turned 35, my lips began to lose their youthful appearance. My lips lengthen, widen, and flatten. My upper lip looked too long and the arches that outlined my upper lip, my Cupid’s bow, sagged and so did the corners of my mouth! I was frustrated and unhappy. I tried lip injections twice and I hate them. I looked like I had stiff trout lips. I did consider lip surgery but I did not want the scar on my face. In desperation, I invented the Xtreme Lip-Shaper System to correct my aging lip problems.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
TH : The main focus of my design is to correct my own aging lips. I create an invention that create a pouty lip look not even surgeons can. To create this look, both the lips and the area above the lips must be enhanced at the same time. Current methods such as lip injections and lip surgery cannot delivery these results. If they could, you will look very unnatural. I finally was able to resolve my aging lip problems and to restore my lips to even better than what I was born with.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
TH : My future plan for this award winning design is to use this winning design as a stepping stone to help increase awareness of this new safe and affordable technology to people who need help with their lip issues.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
TH : It took me three years to bring my concept to life. I have tested on hundreds of people and they are all addicted to my invention. They claimed to not be able to live without it. I am thrilled and happy that I was able to make them happy.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
TH : No. My design was purely out of self-interest. There was no safe and effective solution on the market. Thus, I felt the need to invent a natural way to resolve my lip problems.

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?
TH : I had manufactured the product and launched the product on 12/15/2013. I am overwhelmed by the acceptance from the public with my new invention. I have to say I am so blessed. Thank you!

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
TH : I had an aging lip problem and I took it on my own to solve a problem. I designed out of desperation.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
TH : My invention was inspired by a 3,500 years old Chinese traditional cupping method- in other words- suction method. To reshape and contour the lips, I added an advanced lip-shaper technology inside the suction pump to produce the desire effects which I set out to do.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
TH : Females are my target market but 20% of the males are also interested in using this invention.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
TH : There are 2 lip plumper devices on the market now but they do not have the lip-shaper technology inside their suction pumps. Both devices cannot do what Xtreme Lip-Shaper System can.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
TH : Xtreme Lip-Shaper System is quite a name. It is very straight forward as it does what it said. And for CandyLipz... I love candy stores; they made me feel like a kid so when I worked on my lips, I thought my luscious lips looked like a juicy strawberry so I named my company CandyLipz. Someone got CandyLips so I had to take CandyLipz with a "Z". A "Z", after all, made CandyLipz real special and unique. I am really happy about this name.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
TH : I used standard tools to make my prototypes: Wilson's racquetballs, neck on supplement bottles, white plastic sheet, toothpicks, crazy glue, drill, scissor, clay, paper, pencil, color markers, ruler, jewelry cutting saw, filing and polishing tools.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
TH : My lip-shaper technology is the most unique aspect of my design. The benefits of this breakthrough invention are astounding! 1. It creates the appearance of breathtaking, single-lobed lower lip or a double-lobed lower lip just like Angelina Jolie. 2. It can enhance the upper or lower lip separately. 3. It works on the area above the upper lips to create the pouty lip appearance (To learn more about how why this technical breakthrough in design is crucial to develop the pouty lip appearance, please read over our blog article on Why Surgeons Cannot Correct The Aging of Lips at 4. The design is built to raise the arches of the Cupid’s bow, fills in grooves, and lip pits, lift the corners of the mouth, and block the development of duck lips. The features of this invention are also unique. 1. It is a hand-operated suction pump. 2. It is designed to be used hands-free so multi-tasking is a breeze

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
TH : I created my own working prototypes and tested over 100 people before I worked with 2 manufacturing engineers who helped me create my final prototypes for manufacturing purposes.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
TH : SolidWorks was used to create the final files for manufacturing. We used 3-D printing to test out various prototypes before we went into manufacturing.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
TH : There was no research done prior to creating this design.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
TH : I had many challenges. The lips are very tricky yet friendly. They yield to your design. If you like to shape them into a heart or a square, you could. If you want to give them lines or your logo imprinted on the lips you could if you give them the right suction. In this project, the upper lip is very hard to control as it enlarged much faster than the lower lip. The lips actually have 5 lobes: 3 lobes on the upper and 2 lobes on the lower lip. The center lobe of the upper lip tends to enlarge quicker than any other lobes on the lips. Thus, I had to reduce suction to this area by adding a back wall and reduce the amount of suction coming into upper chamber of the mouthpiece. To raise the arches of the upper lip, I had to add a gradual growing bulge on the roof of upper chamber. These structures are required to solve my lip problems. During the design process, manufacturing engineers said these features were impossible to produce. However, I did it and got what I wanted. Another problem which I had was strange lines on the lips. If you have mould-lines inside the mouthpiece, you are going to get lines on your lips after you had your lip enhancement session of 2 minutes. Thus, a design that looks so simple at first, had turned out to be the most complex in nature which I had solved. People who have seen the design said the design is so simple yet they do not understand the complexity of it. I think the simplest an object is, the harder it is to produce. Imagine you have to produce a flawless spherical perfect round glass ball. It looks simple but it is hard to get the perfect round shape and it is hard not to get flaw on it. People can see the imperfection right away. I think production was very complex for my invention as well. :)

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
TH : I love competition. Where there is one, I will enter. I like to challenge myself and compete among the world's best designers. Competition is the only way to know how good you are. What your ranking is in the world.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
TH : I learned that you need to stay on your ground regardless of what anyone said about how impossible it is to carry out your idea. Improving means testing and refining the idea and concept until you get it just perfect to where you want. I think that I improve my ideas by testing my concept through various prototypes until I was satisfied with my results.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TH : Thank you for providing an amazing opportunity for designers to share their works worldwide.