Interview with designer YU HIRAOKA (YH), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Phantom Ii Magical Coat Rack.

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Interview with YU HIRAOKA at Thursday 5th of May 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
YH : Phantom II is a humorous coat rack which does a little 'trick' to customers. I mean it makes you see a phantom in your house!

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
YH : I'm planning to showcase the prototype at a few important exhibitions. One will be the Milan Design Week next year.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
YH : I came up with the basic concept roughly two years ago. And I have developed the idea and form.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
YH : Anyone who appreciates good minimal furniture, and someone who like a little humor in the house.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
YH : I think I have seen designs with same humorous concepts in table designs and stool designs, but I haven't seen one in coat rack design.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
YH : Because of its clear stick, it can create an illusion that your coats on hooks look like they are in the air in a dark room as though you see a phantom there.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
YH : A couple of different 3D software.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
YH : Aesthetic combination of wood and plexiglass.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
YH : I asked advice about production techniques from a big workshop. I had useful advice from them.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
YH : The CNC has a very big role to produce this furniture. I think that using CNC is still not a conventional thing to produce furniture in general.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
YH : I didn't do any proper research, but I did feel that composing furniture without screws or glues have gotten trendy.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
YH : In my first design of this coat rack, the structure was fragile to function as a coat rack and after I came over it, the next problem was high production cost. I came over that, too. But I would face more challenges as I keep going further with this project. It's just a normal thing.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
YH : When I did the first rendering of this project, I instantly felt that it can win. Well, that's how I decided!