Interview with designer Tong Jin (TJ) Kim (TK), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Digilock Smart Bike Lock.

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Interview with Tong Jin (TJ) Kim at Wednesday 20th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
TK : There are many great innovative technologies being introduced every year. We can add more value to them if we can help find better applications, making them more meaningful.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
TK : I want to see innovative technology to be more acceptable, adaptable, and approachable for everyday use by integrating it to something that we need in everyday life style.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
TK : It's in a development stage, need to make a lot more changes through evaluation and iterations to make improvements. I would like to build a business model around this product solution.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
TK : I started working on this since 2013 and still going through many iterations to improve the concept.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
TK : I used live in Chicago, I saw growing numbers of bike riders in the city. They were always facing the same issue, securing the bike in the city environment.

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?
TK : It is in the development stage, I would like to launch this in the market soon. It would be nice to find a partner to accelerate the process.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
TK : I am always looking for simple innovative solutions to improve our lifestyle.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
TK : There are many great bike lock solutions in the market. I learned a lot by studying them and the designer's intent behind them.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
TK : College students and young professionals leaving in the urban lifestyle, commuting to school and work.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
TK : Technology integration in right applications.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
TK : Simply means a smart bike lock.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
TK : I used many digital design tools and technology based tools to communicate and demonstrate the idea to others. I think sketching is the most effective design skill set that helped to accelerate the process.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
TK : Better application of the innovative technology that focusing on improving the core user need.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
TK : A lot of my friends are bike riders and commuters to work. Their inputs were most valuable guide to my design direction.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
TK : The technology enables us to improve the experience, making the experience to be more simple, making the process to be automated.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
TK : I looked at where and what applications that the technology is used and learn about pros and cons using it for the applications.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
TK : Lack of my knowledge in the technology, but also don't limiting my creativity by learning more about them.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
TK : I am always looking for an opportunity to connect with others and I think winning a award from an international design competition is one of the best way to do so.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
TK : I evaluating the concept with people's inputs make a big difference to the concept outcomes. Design is not about individual designer's desire, it is about understanding people's desire and expectations.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TK : I believe in innovation process by connecting with others, learning what they know and collaborating with them.