Interview with designer Sasank Gopinathan (SG), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Dhyan Chaise Lounge Concept.

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Interview with Sasank Gopinathan at Saturday 9th of May 2020: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
SG : For most working people, the daily grind of work is a stressful hassle. Sometimes all you want at the end of the day is to relax in an environment where your worries and stress can temporarily vanish, and you feel free to contemplate. Most find solace in the elements of nature, like a garden or pond, where the greenery or the sound of water brings peace to the mind. This pursuit of peace was my inspiration to create this chaise lounge concept.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
SG : My main focus was to create a space for a person to relax after a tough day of work. In an urban setting, having a close contact with the elements of nature is not easy, so I wanted to bring the elements of nature to the user, so as for the user to feel more at peace surrounding himself/herself with the sound of running water or with greenery.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
SG : I intend to further develop the design in order to asses its feasibility in fabrication and manufacturing. I hope to then propose my design to manufacturers in order to look into its production. Another plan I have is to evolve this design to other variations, like a love seat, or a smaller version.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
SG : It took me a couple of weeks to work on the draft idea, and then about two months of development on the design.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
SG : I had initially done a rough sketch of a chaise lounge chair inspired by the form of a Shiva-linga. The design had space for a potted plant at the back, which made it appear as if the user was a Buddha sitting under the tree of enlightenment. After taking a few looks at the design, I felt that the concept was worth expanding upon, and hence I decided to further develop the chaise lounge.

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?
SG : The Dhyan is my design, so no company is currently producing it. However, I would definitely consider leasing the production rights to a manufacturing/fabrication company.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
SG : I was inspired by Jean Marie Massaud's chair "Terminal-1" for B&B Italia. Stumbling upon that chair while searching for inspiration helped me resolve the issues I had on how to design the base of the chaise lounge concept.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
SG : The target customer is a businessperson for his/her living room area or drawing room. I also see applications in airport lounges, and recreational/relaxation spaces in large corporate offices.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
SG : I think that the active integration of natural elements into the design rather than placing the chaise lounge next to natural elements makes this design distinctive among other similar concepts. Similar concepts have been used for public seating, but this design is meant for you and you alone.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
SG : The name Dhyan is a Sanskrit word for "Meditate" or "Meditation". I felt that the meaning of the name suited the mood and intent of my design to be a place for contemplation and peace.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
SG : I started with sketching on my sketchbook using a fine-nib copic multiliner. Afterwards I did a couple of pencil sketches before going into digital sketches, using my Wacom and SketchbookPro. I finally used Solidworks and Keyshot to do my 3D+renders, and used Photoshop to do post-processing of my renders.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
SG : I think the ability of the user to choose between 3 types of zen makes my design pretty unique. Sometimes the user would like the chair design without the greenery and water-pond features, and he/she could still utilize the storage compartments and the platform/shelf on the chaise.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
SG : The tablet and lamp are the two main accessory options for the Dhyan. The tablet has a USB charge port to charge your device, while the LED lamp has seamlessly integrated dimmer. The seat shell of the Dhyan contains an empty space to install a water pump which is used in the water-pond mode. The pump would stream the water out of the 3 holes located at the backrest, which become tiny waterfalls. The objective is to create that constant ripple on the water-pond, as well as create the sound of splashing water, which is therapeutic and relaxing.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
SG : Designing the base was the toughest challenge I had, as it had to look elegant and matching with the seat design. My initial base design was very bulky, and after several iterations and inspirations from other designs (like Terminal 1 by B&B Italia), I figured a way to create a base that could maintain its storage capabilities yet also have a sleek and slim appearance with gentle curves and thin legs at the corners.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
SG : As I was developing the initial concept of the Dhyan, I felt that it had a potential to win a design award. I then dedicated a whole month into refining the idea before deciding to submit my design as an entry.