DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
JJ : The project is a breakup kit conveying the idea that well-intentioned actions can cause harm, and harsh actions can be served up as sweet as honey. Hidden deep within the lavish luxury of a silk scarf and gold jewelry lies dark sentiments signaling the end of a love affair.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
JJ : Inspired by concrete poetry, my interest in typography, painting, and textiles lead me to create a story of an alter ego who is giving a breakup kit to a woman he once loved. My goal was to push the boundaries of typography as well as to create a contrast between luxury and pain for viewers to discover. I hid harsh breakup languages within the scarf and transformed "bye," "done" and "over" into brooches and earrings. I believe typography has the power of enhancing the delivery of messages.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
JJ : I would love the opportunity to share the project with a larger group of audience and the design community, learn from the feedback and suggestions people give.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
JJ : The project was started in September 2017 and finished in November 2017.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
JJ : The project was based on a prompt that was given during the main studio class I had at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The A.K.A project was to create an alter ego, a persona or a second self that acts as opposites or exaggerations of our inherent traits. The project asked us to consider carefully how our subject/context/media choices serve to grow us as a designer conceptually, formally, and technologically, and propel us on a positive path forward. The goal of the project was to challenge ourselves to try something new, to take bold risks, and to improve as a designer.
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?
JJ : The design is not being produced or used by another company, but I am open for producing the work.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
JJ : My mentors Jennifer Cole Phillips and Jason Gottlieb helped me during the process.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
JJ : The name "The Last Gift" is intuitively telling what the project is about.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
JJ : All the work was started from pencil sketch to digital file. The silk scarf was designed in Adobe Illustrator and printed by an online manufacturer, I then hand sewed the edges. The brooches and earrings were designed in Adobe Illustrator and laser cut by machine. I experimented with different materials to figure out the best option for the product. Finally, the packaging was handmade by me by using cardboard and paper.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
JJ : My approach to the pieces is creating designs that are sophisticated yet clean, I hope there is an opportunity for my audience to discover the hidden message.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
JJ : Collaboration was not involved in this project.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
JJ : I experimented with laser cutting when designing the jewelry pieces.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
JJ : Data and analytical research is not involved in the design. Through my process of research and experimentation, I studied the background of concrete poetry and explored ways of observing letterforms abstractly.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
JJ : The challenge in creating the design is finding a perfect place where the pattern on the scarf and form for the jewelry pieces look natural and elegant at first glance but still being legible as audience read into the pieces. The production challenges include finding the suitable material and laser cutting machine for the jewelry pieces and constructing the pieces by hand.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
JJ : I think it is a good opportunity to share the design with the community and learn from feedbacks that other professionals give.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
JJ : The biggest learning outcome I have during the designing of this work is that sometimes we need to keep trying and think boldly in order to receive unexpected results.