DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
TC&MM : I was partly inspired by the endless technology product varieties that seemed to encompass us now. I am drawn to some of their use of contrasting metallic elements, to bold visual results. The concept culminated from a daydreaming moment, where I thought a chopping board bound by a metal rim could look engaging and robust. Shouldn't have been a surprise given I work in a metal parts factory and I'm the home cook!
I wish I could tell you an epic story of how I got inspired by legendary art movements or design legends though I guess the idea just popped up through all the consumer products that touch us.
DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
TC&MM : We just wanted to make a board we would be proud to use that looks cool, bold and eyecatchingly different. I'm sure some people out there will agree and absolutely love it too.
DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
TC&MM : We are now at the ending stages of sourcing and starting to order large batches of parts. The hazuto board will be available on Amazon, eBay, HKTVmall, and many other outlets for purchase once we are ready.
DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
TC&MM : The main concept was an eureka moment during a daydreaming moment, so the form and look came instantly. The details (such as screw locations, materials, rim dimensions, grit finishing) took around 2 months to be finalised.
DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
TC&MM : Has it ever happened to you that sometimes an amazing product idea just pops into your mind, and you didn’t do anything about it and later on found out someone else “copied” your idea? With enough regrets already, we said to ourselves “what the hell, let’s do it”, therefore the birth of hazuto ltd. and hazuto chopping board.
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?
TC&MM : We are of course open to options at the moment, but we are also having plans to produce it going forwards.
DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
TC&MM : Looking back, it shouldn't have been a surprise given I work in a metal parts factory and I'm the home cook! So something for the kitchen sounds about right.
DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
TC&MM : One of my favourite designs of all time is the iPhone 4. You can immediately see the similarities!
DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
TC&MM : I think someone who uses the hazuto board very much is a metropolitan smaller household, people who share our enthusiasm for things well made and aesthetically desirable. There are so many alternatives for kitchen boards, from bamboo to compressed fibres to anti-bacterial plastics, someone who chooses the hazuto board almost uses it as a design fixture as well to be hung around. The lifestyle involving using serving boards could be a bit more affluent, involving cheese, salmons, fruits shared on a platter.
We also want this to be a perfect gift for those in charge of the home kitchen. With the accolades and the stunning packaging the Hazuto board will not be out of place being presented to friends and family!
DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
TC&MM : We looked at a ridiculous amount of kitchen boards. Many of them have handles screwed on, and even some of them have a corner handle, too. Lot of them were solely functional but didn't strike us as charming. The most similar one make an L-shaped metal handle that only covered the corner - it was the route taken by some makers that was easy to make. However, that left the rest of the board exposed and was no different from a single wood board nilly-willy. Some of the boards with a handle added on looked a bit adhoc, in our humble opinion.
Hazuto's one-piece metal rim set it apart because:
1) We really loved that industrial x rustic character about it.
2) A full rim protects the board from knocks and drops
3) With clever placement of the screws you can reinforce the wood board form to delay warping.
4) The handle would be tidily within the "confines" of the form, unlike most of the other kitchen boards out there with handles sticking out.
It's simply our take and our expression on a category overflowing with many other good ideas already.
DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
TC&MM : In truth Hazuto as a word has no meaning! We just wanted a name that would be catchy and novel. Easy to pronounce, easy to find online, too.
DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
TC&MM : A lot of photoshop, illustrator and freecad. We worked with another modeller to set up the STEP files.
DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
TC&MM : Without a doubt the corner nook acting as a handle.
DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
TC&MM : Yes, we used a freelancer modeller from Bosnia to do much of the STEP work. In our journey we also worked with 2 local wood workshops in refining the prototypes. A local lasering company helped with some of the wood etching. We had 3 Chinese suppliers making rim prototypes for us. We also met with others but the opportunity to collaborate didn't happen.
DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
TC&MM : Hazuto board is a very simple product relatively speaking. But 3D modelling is helpful to mock up the aesthetics of the design, and to give consistent production instructions to different vendors.
DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
TC&MM : Our research informed us the size of the board, so that it caters for a metropolitan home that is not that generous in kitchen space, but large enough for most needs including serving and chopping. Of course the wood type in terms of hardness, durability, and suitability is chosen too.
DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
TC&MM : We found it was not easy to match the rim to touch all the sides of the wood boards! Especially when you have different suppliers making metal rim and woods. Secondly, the inevitable welding spot that forms the rim took a lot of labour to polish and erase.
DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
TC&MM : We decided to only submit to the most well-known and rigorous awards - for us winning would be a validation and marketing tool to progress. Only the best awards will fulfill those requirements. As we are a small team, cost is also a consideration.
DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
TC&MM : I was grateful for all the additional tips on product photography and presentation guidelines given by the A' award. In the process I also spent a lot of time combing design award winners - this further informed my copywriting.
DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TC&MM : Come catch us at email@example.com! We'd love to chat and meet new people.