Part III

Research III

All things pre-production: informative and inspirational in every way possible.

"Sedeo" by Fundament Design (2016)

Details

"sedeō" by Fundament Design (2016)

sedeō is, in essence, a transportable stool that kind of forces one's body to comply with it designed by Fundament Studio. According to the official website www.sedeostool.com, sedeō is "a stool for meditation and low seating. Handmade in Denmark." Physically, the stool is a lot shorter and the area of sitting itself has been angled at 15º which can help release tension in one's lower back and allow for your spine to follow its natural curve. This (in some ways) indirectly improves the circulation of your blood as well because you are sitting in the best possible way; you will be sitting "properly". This thus causes you to also semi-kneel onto the ground which elevates you entire being, clarifying your mind and bringing your body back into its most natural state. Made out of FSC certified oak from Frankfurt and handcrafted by furniture makers in Copenhagen, the sedeō is sustainable not only in it's sourcing of materials and manufacturing, but in it's long life span as well. The convenience of travelling with sedeō has been made simple as well - all you need to do is slot the legs into the base via an innovative joint system which ultimately flattens/collapses the entire build of the product, so no one is restricted to using this chair at home or at one place only.

Julia Jessen

Details

Julia Jessen

Julia Jessen is a designer who has always been fond of the art and design industry and often incorporates aspects of sustainability and mindfulness in her works as she believe that those two components come hand in hand. Initially a literature and linguistic student from Berlin, she's also lived in Paris and Toulouse and often volunteered in social projects such as teaching at a school in the socially deprived Berlin district of Neukölln and received her Master of Education. However, during her studies, her creative passion and artistic works were gradually beginning to resurface once again and using her knowledge on film and photography, painting and graphics (she's a real all rounder!), she eventually ended up as a product designer and consequently started the company Schneid in 2012 with her husband after receiving her Masters. "Her interdisciplinary approach balancing at the point of tension between art and design has brought successful designs forth" where she works with a multitude of materials including ceramics.

"Grasshopper" by Greta Grossman (1947)

Details

"Grasshopper" by Greta Grossman (1947)

The Grasshopper's most iconic feature includes three things: the oval shade, the 90º angle at which the main support is bent causing it to slant, and its two supportive hind legs. In addition, the blatantly placed wire says to me that she believes less is more and by not going out of her way to think of a way to hide/decorate it, she's sticking true to her Scandinavian design roots of simplicity. The oval lamp shaped's most special function is that it thus allows it to act as a spot light as all the light are concentrated within the small circumference of the oval. In addition, the slant of the main support with two hing legs attached to it almost gives off a sense of unbalanced equilibrium and hence, cannot stand should one leg be missing at all. Just the simplicity and small edge of slant-ness gives the overall product a real sense of delicacy and smoothness. It has the bare essentials with a small twist. Even the coating (powder) of the product is simple, just one classy colour - whole product from head to toe - done. The very nakedness of the product with just a a straight backbone and a few bends here and there, followed by how it's been accent by something so circular almost makes it seem like it has reached its most natural state being in that shape, form and size.

"Glo" by Anderssen T., Voll E. (2016)

Details

"Glo" by Anderssen T., Voll E. (2016)

The candle holder "Glo" designed by Anderssen and Voll for Nedre Foss was featured in the 13th 100% Norway Exhibition. Designed with the Scandinavians' intimate relationship with candles in mind, Glo is made out of cast-iron - a material popular for cooking due to its versatility and convenience. As cast-iron is extremely resistant to heat, it also helps to contain the fire within the small area of circumference available. The additional handle provides users with extra safety measures and easy transportation of candles, and also adds on some height and length in terms of aesthetic properties which almost seems to elevate the typical candle holder product. And yet its simplify still shines through with the circular aspect of the holder itself, almost as if to hug the candle and prevent its flame from dying out. 

Plants at Urban Decay

Details

Cacti/Table Top Plants/Plants

In May 2017, The Guardian did an interview with Gynelle Leon (31) who opened UK's first cacti boutique on how the cactus became the world’s most-wanted plant. Her store is called Prick. Apparently cacti proliferated at the Coachella festival in 2016. There are cacti for all pockets. You can buy fake ones from designer Abigail Ahern or real ones from Aldi. You can buy £30,000 cactus bracelets from Cartier, cactus socks for £3.50 from Topshop or alabaster cactus sculptures by Ben Russell at the Hignell gallery. 

It would seem that lots of homeowners now in their late 30s or 40s had a cactus – that classic beginners’ plant of the 70s – as a child and Leon is able to sell at least one of four gigantic in-demand cacti priced at around £350 each. 

So why?

“They suit people of our generation,” Leon says. “They want to do less and get more. I could put in minimal effort and a plant will thrive.” She had a fear of death as a child, but cacti never die. Added to which, they photograph well. “We’re in the whole Pinterest era. You have to have nice plants as well as nice art.” (On Pinterest, the Plants On Pink board has 1.08 million followers.)

“There’s definitely a cactus revival,” says Carlos Morera (32 and as with Leon, regards himself as belonging to the next generation of cactus aficionados) on the phone from California. “But I can’t say how superficial it is. I can’t tell whether people are into the iconography of it and maybe just having these plants as a cool sculpture… [or] into all the background information about the plants.” Morera would like the latter to be true. He says that with cacti, “what you’re looking at in front of you is not just what you’re looking at. Yes, these plants are cool, but all this other information really makes them.” That’s how it was in the cactus’s 1970s heyday, he says, when people didn’t just keep plants, they knew them.

Morera is skilled at unearthing spectacular finds – and he needs to be, because growers cannot easily perpetuate a cactus trend. Fashion is all about speed. A cactus cannot be rushed. Those cute plants in 5.5cm pots that you see in garden centres and florists are already three years old. By their nature, cacti are anti-fashion. This conundrum has not escaped the notice of the people who grow cacti. You can’t grow a cactus to order, and cacti growers cannot keep up with demand. 

But in the rush to meet demand, is something being lost? Maybe it is the slowness of cacti that makes them appeal. Of course, cacti are easycare, striking to look at, and “green” because they require little water: sustainable interior decoration in a pot. They are night-workers, producing oxygen while we sleep (nice for a bedroom).

There is something appealingly human-like about them. They reproduce in generations. The tall, single spur plants throw long shadows like bystanders, one-armed saguaros like a person waving. Some, says Elisa Biondi, supervisor of the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew, are like “a fat man”, others “have got crazy spines or white hair”. There is pretty much a cactus for every taste.

They are all individual in their own right. And individuality means being able to cater to different preferences.

“I think they are a reaction to how fast everything moves,” Morera says. “You have this plant — like a copiapoa – that will not change from the moment you get it till the moment you die… They are a rebellion against modern times, efficiency, production, results. They act as testaments to the opposite.”

Later in Nov 2017, The Telegraph did an article on how "Cacti are making a comeback - and they're not just for hipsters". Once upon a time, the cactus was a novelty item passed around at Christmas. “Oh look, it has a little Santa’s hat on,” you would groan. It had fallen hard from its 1970s hey-day and was consigned to the bargain bin by the trendsetters along with vinyl, MINI cars, and the bushy beard. But guess who’s having the last laugh – cacti are not just back, they’re having a bit of a moment, to boot.

Prada has taken the cactus and made it their unofficial logo, plastering it on purses, men’s suit shirts, and sashaying catwalk dresses. Associations with the painfully hip US festivals Coachella and Burning Man mean millennials see it as symbolic of endless summers and good times. The four-story Topshop store in Oxford Street has its own cactus shop. Urban Outfitters sell their own ‘grow your own’ cactus mix. The ‘shelfie’ craze on Instagram is dominated by people taking photos of cacti studding their shelves. 

“We have a lot of people come in and tell us they used to collect cacti when they were younger,” reveals Gynelle Leon (again), “and a lot of older men especially are coming in and restarting their collection purely because there is now a means to get them. I guess people gave up their collections because they thought it was a bit out-dated. So it’s nostalgic for a lot of people. They remind them of their parents who used to collect them.”

Some rookie mistakes to avoid are not giving them enough sunlight. Ideally, place them on a windowsill. They may look oh-so-cute on the mantelpiece but a dead cactus is neither use nor ornament.

(Note to self: Is it just me? Or do all the cacti come in ceramic pots...)

Hygge Feels

Details

Hygge

Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

Hygge (or to be “hyggeligt”) doesn’t require learning “how to”, adopting it as a lifestyle or buying anything. It’s not a thing and anyone telling you different either doesn’t understand it or is literally trying to sell you something that has nothing to do with the concept. You can’t buy a ‘hygge living room’ and there’s no ‘hygge foods’ to eat. 

Hygge literally only requires a conscious appreciation, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognise and enjoy the present. That’s why so many people distill ‘hygge’ down to being a ‘feeling’ – because if you don’t feel hygge, you probably aren’t using the word right.

Danes created hygge because they were trying to survive boredom, cold, dark and sameness and the undefinable feeling of Hygge was a way for them to find moments to celebrate or acknowledge and to break up the day, months or years. With so many cold, dark, days, the simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee in the morning or a home cooked evening meal with friends can make a huge difference to one’s spirit.

By creating simple rituals without effort {such as brewing real tea with a little china cup every evening to stopping at the flower shop every week} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not every drudgery to get away from. They incorporate hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event.

Lagom Feels

Details

Lagom

In 2016, the world became obsessed with the Scandinavian word – pronounced 'hue-ugh' which translates to 'cosiness' in English – inspiring Instagram-loving consumers to buy into a lifestyle of scented candles, hot chocolates on a Saturday night and layers upon layers of throws and knitwear.

However, it has been well replaced by a younger, cooler Scandinavian relative: Lagom.

Not only is it far easier to pronounce ('la' like 'bar', 'gom' like 'prom'), but 'lagom' is much more easier to understand than the indescribable feeling of 'cosiness'. Translated as 'just the right amount', 'lagom' is thought to relate to being frugal, fair and creating balance. Not too much, not too little, just right.

Elliot Stocks, the co-editor and creative director of Bristol-based magazine Lagom, told the publication that 'hygge' is a momentary state of bliss while 'lagom' is a way of living. 

'I think hygge captures a moment in time, whether that be a short break in the day or something you try and work into your life every day.

'Lagom is an overarching concept behind your life in general. Rather than fitting a bit of lagom into your day, it's more about your approach to your life as a whole,' Stocks added. 

“Lagom is very important to the Scandi psyche,” insists Bronte Aurell. “There is balance and moderation in everything we do in Scandinavia – from our working hours to how many slices of cake we eat in one sitting. How much milk we take in our coffee, to the portion sizes of our dinner.”

“Look at our fashion – it isn’t overstated or crazy,” says Aurell. “From Filippa K to Acne,  it’s quite lagom. Our food is based on simple ingredients prepared beautifully. It’s the same with Scandi design: functional, stylish, simple and sustainable. When you spend £300 on a Danish design chair you expect it to last at least 25 years.”

Several aspects of Lagom to consider:

  • “In a world where we now have access to anything any time, lagom represents a welcome antidote,” says Dr Jessamy Hibberd.
  • For Swedes, lagom is a lifestyle, a habit of mind. “The best way to form new habits is to practise every day, at the same time, in the same way,” says Dr Hibberd.
  • Another key tenet of lagom is sustainability, and respect for resources. 

The archetypical Swedish proverb, “Lagom är bäst”, literally means, “The right amount is best” but is also translated as “Enough is as good as a feast” and “There is virtue in moderation”.

Lagom is essentially something like permanent work/life balance, happiness and frugality, I guess? And is that not what everyone seeks in their daily lives now? 

The Making of the new Noma, Copenhagen's No.1 Restaurant

Details

The Making of the new Noma, Copenhagen's No.1 Restaurant

Noma is known as bring one of the best - if not the best - restaurant in all of Copenhagen; four-time winner of the title of World's Best Restaurant, two Michelin starts and a destination for diners from around the world. All was well but to chef Rene Redzepi (consider him Gordon Ramsay's Scandinavian counterpart of sorts), it wasn't enough. So he decided to close down shop and move a stone's throw down the road in Copenhagen to open a whole new revolutionary culinary experience: Noma 2.0.

For this project, I will only be focusing on the interior of the new 40-cover main dining room and how ceramics helped to lift the atmosphere and contribute to the Scandinavian space.

The 40-cover main dining room is the largest new building within the village, and architecturally the most complex. The barn-like structure is made entirely of wood, with a unique wall concept inspired by a spot at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts that had cubes of end-grain flooring.

Naturally, the wooden space is populated with wooden furnishings. Redzepi wanted a dining chair with a neutral design but plenty of personality – and armrests. It was agreed a new chair would be created by Thulstrup and Brdr Krüger, a local joinery workshop that had already created custom chairs for another New Nordic cuisine pioneer, Kadeau.

The resulting design’s seating angle gives it a slight formality, which is offset by the subtly organic forms of the armrests, back legs, and swooping backrest; each component is seamlessly joined without a single nail. The majority of the chairs have been smoked and oiled to achieve a dark, luscious tone, while others have been coated in a mix of natural plant oils and waxes to retain a lighter hue. To provide a dash of warmth to the design, all backrests were then wrapped – and the seats woven – in paper cord by a local weaver who had trained under Hans J Wegner.

Jonas Krüger of Brdr Krüger describes the chair as among the most challenging pieces of furniture his workshop has produced: ‘The precision detailing is done most effectively on CNC machine,’ he explains, ‘but it takes craftsmanship and an eye for detail to keep each line seamless.’ True to Noma’s ethos, the chair has an unostentatious complexity. ‘We built on Danish tradition and added something new and light,’ says Krüger. ‘We’re calling it “Arv”, or “heritage”, to capture that feeling of standing on the shoulders of giants. Before Noma, Danish cuisine was meatballs and potatoes. Like the design greats, Noma has become an integral part of our heritage.’

Within the main dining room, ‘Arv’ chairs encircle oak tables also by Thulstrup and Brdr Krüger. These sit underneath designer Jonas Edvard’s pendant lamps, crafted from limestone from the Fakse region of Denmark. Scattered among tables are logs of salvaged pine – darkened by centuries spent submerged in Copenhagen’s harbour – some freestanding and others stacked into a waiter’s station by cabinetmakers Malte Gormsen. Natural light floods in through skylights, as well as large sliding windows that look out to Christiania across the water.

The ceramics were an even greater undertaking, for the new Noma divides its year into three seasons. The winter months are dedicated to Scandinavian seafood, early summer to early autumn sees a plant-based menu, while early autumn to January focuses on the flora and fauna of the forest. Each season calls for its own style of presentation – blues for the seafood season, pinks and greens for the vegetable season, and earthier tones for the game and forest season. So effectively, Noma would require three times as many ceramic pieces as before. This ambitious project was entrusted to stylist Christine Rudolph, an old friend of Redzepi who had styled both of his books.

Rudolph and Redzepi quickly agreed that the resulting selection should have a wide range of textures and shapes, rather like the ceramics most people have at home, and Rudolph found five different artists to work on the project: the youngest, Oslo-based Anette Krogstad, produces painterly pieces, while the eldest, Astrid Smith, is a retired art teacher in Funen who makes richly textured creations. They are joined by Janaki Larsen, who mainly works in monochrome but was persuaded to create a range of pale blue pieces; Karina Skibby, director of historic workshop Hjorths, who works with local clay in Bornholm; and Finn Dam Rasmussen, who specialises in salt-glaze pottery. Rudolph helped them refine their designs, and organise larger-scale production at another facility in Bornholm, called Den Danske Keramikfabrik. ‘This wasn’t a full-time project, but it felt like one,’ she exclaims. But the people made it worth her while: ‘René has an amazing vision, and it’s been so much fun.’ 

Ikigai

Details

Ikigai

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life Might Just Help You Live a More Fulfilling Life

In Japan, millions of people have ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy)— a reason to jump out of bed each morning. It is a concept that pulls together all that is needed to reach a sense of fulfilment or purpose.

What’s your reason for getting up in the morning?

The Japanese island of Okinawa, where ikigai has its origins, is said to be home to the largest population of centenarians in the world.

“Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing,” says Hector Garcia, the co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. He writes,“Just as humans have lusted after objects and money since the dawn of time, other humans have felt dissatisfaction at the relentless pursuit of money and fame and have instead focused on something bigger than their own material wealth. This has over the years been described using many different words and practices, but always hearkening back to the central core of meaningfulness in life.”

ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements:

  • What you love (your passion)
  • What the world needs (your mission)
  • What you are good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get paid for (your profession)

Discovering your own ikigai is said to bring fulfilment, happiness and make you live longer.

In their book Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy LifeHector Garcia and Francesc Miralles break down the ten rules that can help anyone find their own ikigai.

1. Stay active and don’t retire

2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life

3. Only eat until you are 80 per cent full

4. Surround yourself with good friends

5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise

6. Smile and acknowledge people around you

7. Reconnect with nature

8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive.

9. Live in the moment

10. Follow your ikigai

What you deeply care about can unlock your ikigai

Philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman once said, “Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.” … “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The problem for millions of people is that they stop being curious about new experiences as they assume responsiblities and build routines.

Their sense of wonder starts to escape them.

But you can change that, especially if you are still looking for meaning and fulfilment in what you do daily.

Albert Einstein encourages us to pursue our curiosities. He once said: 

“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.”

We are born curious. Our insatiable drive to learn, invent, explore, and study deserves to have the same status as every other drive in our lives.

Fulfilment is fast becoming the main priority for most of us. Millions of people still struggle to find what they are meant to do. What excites them. What makes them lose the sense of time. What brings out the best in them.

“Our intuition and curiosity are very powerful internal compasses to help us connect with our ikigai,” Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles write.

What is the one simple thing you could do or be today that would be an expression of your ikigai?

Find it and pursue it with all you have, anything less is not worth your limited time on planet earth.

Ryoan-ji in Kyoto

Details

Japanese Zen Gardens

Japanese Zen Gardens have long been an integral part of Japanese culture and history. You can find one in almost every shrine/temple, at universities and even in people's home. As places of quiet contemplation and reflection, these gardens are the perfect counterbalance to the stresses of an always-on, hyper-connected existence.

Japanese rock gardens were first developed during the 8th century and often mimicked the gardens of China’s Song Dynasty. Tiny lakes and islands covered with moss and precisely manicured grasses and shrubs combined with larger rocks and gravel beds intended to represent nature’s spirit on a more intimate scale.

During the 14th century, Classical Zen gardens that were created in Rinzai Zen Buddhist temples began to showcase a simpler style incorporating large boulders and painstakingly groomed gravel. These rock gardens, also known as dry landscape gardens or karesansui contain elements that are intended to represent larger landscapes and inspire meditation and contemplation. Large stones often represent mountains or mountain formations or waterfalls, and the raked pebbles evoke watery waves.

These gardens are meant to be experienced from a single point outside the garden walls, and are often thought of as still, petrified landscapes. These Zen gardens were chosen for their historic significance as well as their simplistic beauty.

Japanese Zen Gardens can take on many designs, and it may not necessarily be a rock or sand garden which most people are familiar with. There are also moss gardens (like Saiho-ji in Kyoto) and gardens that feature bodies of water as their centre piece (like Kencho-ji in Kamakura). 

Some of the most eye catching and famous Japanese Zen Gardens would include Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, Tofuku-ji in Kyoto, Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto and Saiho-ji also in Kyoto. They are defined by various characteristics such as its centrepiece, use of certain elements (such as boulders, water, moss, bridges and even carps), where the zen garden is located etc. This creates a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arrangements that we know as Zen Gardens.

Robin Lane Fox wrote an article on the Financial Times on "Meaning behind the mystery of Japanese Zen gardens" featuring a book called Japanese Zen Gardens by Yoko Kawaguchi that helps outsiders to understand what may be going on and she is admirably clear about the many subsequent alterations in gardens which the crowds go off to see through her illustrations. The meaning of the garden is said to be connected with Zen philosophy. 

Kyoto is not the one place in the world where 16th-century gardens have somehow survived in pristine condition. Much of what we see has been “restored” in the past 100 years. Transience is an essential aspect of gardens, as it is an important factor in Japanese culture that's always transforming.

There is not a “Zen style”. Zen gardens can be very different from one another. Zen comes in at the level of the viewer. We must look on in a Zen state of mind and then we are engaged with “Zen gardening”. This point changes the entire subject.

Kawaguchi writes poetically about the effect of a visit to Ryoan-ji’s dry landscape. She introduces dragonflies and the shadow of a bird, encouraging the visitor “to lay aside value judgments” and to realise “there is neither good nor bad”. I remember it rather differently... 

I now realise the fascinating uncertainty of the garden’s history and “original” design. Why were there only nine stones, not 15, in the first surviving reference to a dry landscape on the site in 1681? By then it was almost 200 years old. There was a cherry tree there by 1588, but it did not overhang the wall. There was a huge fire in 1797 which burnt down the original abbot’s hall, what I have learned to call the “hojo”. Like many icons, it has had facelifts, though the bone structure remains intact.

Kamla Villaneuva wrote an article on Homify on "10 reasons why you need a Zen garden" and a segment that caught my eye was:

A genuine zen garden is completely devoid of plants—except for moss and water. Because the gravel or sand surfaces in the dry garden stand for streams, rivers or the sea. In order to work out this symbolism, the stone surfaces are provided with wavy lines. This is done with a special wooden rake. Drawing these lines into the sand provides a meditative effect and ensures serenity and relaxation. It is important that you do not recognize the beginning and the end of the lines as much as possible, they should pass gently into one another. The boulders represent the hills and mountains, which are emphasized by the line patterns. In general, having too much geometric shapes are discouraged, the effect should be natural, smooth and flowing. Odd numbers are also preferred, such as the quantity of rock boulders.

Mindnosis

Details

Mindnosis

The Mindnosis (combining the words Mind and Diagnosis) kit is designed to help people overcome their mental health issues. Designed by graduate student Sara Lopez who suffered from negative experiences with mental health services, the self-assessment kit lets users figure out the kind of help they need, and where they can get it from.

"When I was 17 I became unwell for a year," Ibanez told Dezeen. "Accessing and using mental health services was a very traumatic experience which I buried and felt ashamed of for a long time."

"Years after I discovered many people had had similar experiences and we all shared the same thoughts. That is why I decided to use design to redefine what an empathetic mental health assessment can look like, as done by people who had gone through it."

She first read up on the UK's approach to mental health services and the different types of therapy can offer, and regularly attended mental health related events where she would speak to doctors and patients to better understand the subject at hand. With the information gathered, 

she realised it was the initial communication between patients and their GPs that was a particularly difficult point.

"The tools are a set of exercises to help understand emotional distress and how to feel better about it," she said. "They were designed with people who have had experiences of mental health, in order to help others navigate their problems and reach out for help."

The product consists of six different tools/elements:

  1. Discover: It's made of six colourful triangles that each represent a different area that may be affecting the user's wellbeing.

  2. Record: The user chooses the triangles they feel most apply to their situation, and these can be pasted into the Record journal along with daily thoughts and reflections.

  3. Try Out: It's a set of eight activity cards that combine mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy techniques (CBT) and tips from peers to help users when they feel unwell.

  4. Learn: It has six small coloured cards that correspond with the Discover triangles and feature brief explanations of the different issues, while a Crisis Help sheet has information regarding access to services and helplines.

  5. Action Plan: It promotes social support and invites the user to meet a peer to talk through what you've learned and create an action plan which involves anything that will best suit you - it could be therapy, medication, or home remedies.

  6. Help: The last section provides you with access to helplines and professional services. 

Ibanez created this genius tool kit because she was tired of having to sort through the inability to express her true feelings with medical doctors, and the questionnaires that they provided just wasn't enough to cut it.

What makes Mindnosis so special is that it helps you to piece through complicated feelings and symptoms, without being laden with unnecessary medical jargon.

It's to accurately and thoroughly piece through feelings in a way that is more individualistic, less intimidating, and more comforting than the medical system can provide.

"Rolla" by Ann Kristin Einarsen (2016)

Details

"Rolla" by Ann Kristin Einarsen (2016)

Rolla is a collection of two-toned ceramic planters in unglazed low fired earthenware and glazed porcelain. Rotund and stocky in shape, Rolla was inspired by the iconic Muuto Plus salt and pepper grinder designed by Norway Says. It consists of a top and bottom unit where the top has a little cave carved into it while the bottom has a little well jutting out of it. When put together, it looks like a self-watering pot but in this case, can probably store something useful like a small spritz bottle.

"Mr and Mrs Mug and Teaspoon" by Sue Pryke

Details

"Still Life Brunch" by Jessica Thorn

Details

"Pinocchietto Candle Holder" by Jamie Hayón

Details

"Pinocchietto Candle Holder" by Jamie Hayón

Spanish designer Jaime Hayón's Pinocchietto candle holder is designed to look like a puppet, and is painted black and white with 24 karat gold details. It was designed for one of Bosa's collection titled Non Ti Scordar Di Me – or Forget Me Not – that features a dozen small items, which Bosa describes as "magical, poetic and allusive objects that touch the imagination to let you relive past moments, lucky charms and symbols of special occasions".

 

Primary Research: Pre-Interview Form

Primary Research: Google Form Responses

Primary Research: Google Form Responses Excel

Primary Research: Interview Pavi

Primary Research: Interview Zoe

Primary Research: Interview Vivian

Primary Research: Interview Regine

Fundament Studio

Details

Fundament Studio

Fundament Studio is, according to their official website, "a platform for the mixing of disciplines necessary for high quality design" that often work with the context of people (through research, workshops and dialogue, their approach is user-driven and usually starts with a study of how people interact with a certain space). After which, they experiment with materials, shapes and forms by using prototypes and models to optimise their products. And then we have engagement where they invite the target audiences into studios, keep in touch with them about designs etc. I plan to use their system of context, experimentation and engagement as the main framework of my project, mindfulness. 

"Unison Ceramic" by Julia Jessen

Details

"Unison Ceramic" by Julia Jessen

Consisting of seven different pieces, the Unison Ceramic set includes a "carafe, big and small plate, soup bowl, sugar bowl, cup and a universal fitting lid". Dyed with pigments, the ceramics come in five available colours that are all hand mixed in a local workshop as Jessen believes that mindfulness in products should always include sustainability for a real peace of mind. As such, she saves resources by glazing only the inner surface of the ceramics, leaving the outside raw and untreated. In addition, all objects in the set are stackable and can be places either together, on top of each other, or further apart from each other, depending on the person's preference which allows for flexibility.

Greta Grossman

Details

Greta Grossman

Greta Grossman was, like many artists/designers in the world, noticed for her sleek and modern designs only after her departure. One could say that she was one of the pioneers who jet-set the American Design-esque we know today. Her timeless designs were first discovered by renowned gallerist Evan Synderman at the end of the 1990s and were later on reproduced by Gubi - a group famous for rediscovering lost art/designs over the years - and it took the market by the storm and now have prices as high as £713 for the Grasshopper lamp (and up to €10,000 for originals). She opened her own studio after graduating from the world renowned Stockholm arts institution in Konstfack which served as a combined store and workshop. Despite being almost forgotten by the world, she had once displayed works in museums all around the world including the MoMA in New York and The National Museum in Stockholm back in the 1940s and 50s. "Grossman was highly influenced by European Modernism, which had been imported to the US by influencial architects, such as Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Grossman, in turn, played a significant role in defining the aesthetic of mid-century Californian Modernism." Her most iconic products are, without doubt, that of her Grasshopper floor lamp, as well as the Cobra floor lamp which even won the Good Design Award and was subsequently exhibited at the Good Design Show at the Museum of Modern Art. Her works can be characterised as sleek, modern, classy and most importantly, timeless, proven by the very fact that 60, 70 years down the road, her designs are still highly sought after (which explains the price) in today's modern society. In addition, she never seemed to have any fancy names for any of her products which are more often than not named in numbers (e.g. 62 series and G10), simple words (e.g. modern line) or animals (e.g. Grasshopper and Cobra). Perhaps it was a nod to her simple, minimalistic Scandinavian culture of art and design. 

2S Candle

Details

Candles

Candles have been used for light and to illuminate man’s celebrations for more than 5,000 years, yet little is known about their origin.

Candles have come a long way since their initial use. Although no longer man’s major source of light, they continue to grow in popularity and use. Today, candles symbolise celebration, mark romance, soothe the senses, define ceremony, and accent home decors — casting a warm and lovely glow for all to enjoy.

Looking at candles in today's pop culture, a main source of rise in popularity of candles is that of Korean Dramas (KDrama) that have garnered more and more international attention over the years. In 2016, Descendants of the Sun was the most viewed KDrama of all times and 2S Candles made a minor appearance then. After which, Goblin came about in 2017 where candles were basically a main prop in the drama and ever since, Asia has dominated majority of the candle market. Even in western culture, popular shops like Rituals, Neom and Yankee Candle to name a few continue to attract teenagers and young adults. 

We are thus now in the era of scented candles that have something called notes. The more expensive candles (such as 2S Candles and Skandinavisk) can contain up to 3 notes: top note, middle note and base note. For example, 2S Glow By White's distinct notes consist of the following:

Skandinavisk, on the other hand, does not state explicably that they have divided notes but often describes it as "The HAV Scent is infused with notes of water flora, driftwood, sea froth and fresh air."

Alpha Aromatics looks at fragrances and the three notes in candles in this blog post titled "Understanding The Top Notes, Heart Notes & Base Notes of Fragrance". It says that "the basic elements of every fragrance should be thought of as musical notes that together comprise a symphony, not of instruments but of exquisite scents that blend and linger in the air. As in the notes of a song, these aromatic notes are vital to the composition of the fragrance and each has its own purpose in regard to the totality of the scent experience. Their delicate balance harmonises the entire fragrance." They also included a list of scents that are suitable for each note.

For top notes, they recommend using:

  • sage

  • lavender

  • light fruits

  • ginger

  • citrus such as lemon

  • sage

  • orange zest

  • bergamot

  • anise

  • grapefruit

  • chamomile

  • rose

 For middle notes:

  • lemongrass

  • ylang ylang

  • neroli

  • jasmine

  • lavender

  • coriander

  • nutmeg

  • rose

  • black pepper

  • pine

  • geranium

  • rosemary

  • juniper

  • cinnamon

  • cardamon

For base notes:

  • cedarwood

  • sandalwood

  • vanilla

  • amber

  • patchouli

  • oak moss

  • musk

The top notes of all fragrances are responsible for its very first impression. They are fresh and light and represent the story of the fragrance. They set the stage, so to speak and are meant to entice and intrigue. Their function is to attract, but also to smoothly transition into the middle notes to come. They are generally the lightest and most volatile of all notes as they evaporate between five and thirty minutes of application. Top notes might last a couple of hours, but they are meant to evaporate. For this reason, they are usually comprised of lighter oils.

The foundation of any fragrance lies in its middle notes which make up anywhere from 40 to 80% of the total scent. They sneak in once the initial rush of the top notes make their exit. Due to the fact that they are crafted to last longer (two to four hours), heart notes are generally made from more potent floral and spicy oils. Generally pleasant, mellow and balancing, middle note compounds are much more complex than the top notes. They only become noticeable after the top notes are gone and they take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to unfold on the skin.

Both the heart and the base notes work together to deepen the scent introduced in the top note about 30 minutes after application. They mingle their molecules together to create the full body of the fragrance, comprising in the end about 10-25% of the total aroma. The base notes are usually associated with the dry-down period and their ultimate function is to provide to the user a lasting impression of the fragrance. They are the final notes and only appear after the others have completely evaporated. They are often very rich and smooth and are the longest lasting of the three classes of notes.

Lykke Feels

Details

Lykke

Lykke - after Hygge and before Lagom - is basically just a Scandinavian word for happiness according to Happy Meik (Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute with a total of only one employee) who wrote The Little Book of Hygge and now has The Little Book of Lykke. He says his research has shown that people feel much happier if they call happiness Lykke rather than Happiness (self-note: is it just a placebo thing?).

People often ask me when I was at my most Lykke. That is a difficult question as I tend to be Lykke all the time. Especially now that I am beginning to make a lot of money out of being Lykke. But I really think I could have been most Lykke when I found a stale bit of pizza in the fridge after a day out skiing with friends. When I found the pizza I said to everyone, “I really think I’ve found the meaning of happiness. This is so Hygge it is Lykke.” And they replied, “Oh do shut the fuck up Meik.” So sweet.

Meik sayd that Copenhagen is probably the most Lykke place in the world. At five o’clock in the afternoon everyone leaves work, rides home on their bicycles, does two hours of creative play with their children, goes out to do a random act of kindness to a stranger who wants to be left in peace, lights five candles and then settles down to watch several episodes of a Scandi-noir TV thriller about some psychopathic paedophile on the loose. Basically a dream life where we attain some sort of work-life balance which seems to be missing in many first world countries where people continue to work at home because of emails etc. 

He says: "I am not always Happy Meik. Sometimes I am Not-So-Happy Meik. I wasn’t very Lykke when I left my iPad on the aeroplane, but by realising it was OK not to be happy, I somehow made myself happy again. Here’s a picture of a sunset in Paris. That should help you feel Lykke."

In other words, to accept happiness with unhappiness hand in hand. Kind of. 

He group together six sort of "factors" that make up Lykke:

  1. Togetherness

    People who do things together are generally happier than people who do things on their own.I once spent five days observing how often people smiled outside a McDonald’s in Stuttgart and I conclusively proved that those who were on their own only smiled once every 36 minutes while those who were with friends smiled every 14 minutes. So if you want to be more Lykke, get out and do something with other people. And if you don’t know anyone, try climbing over a fence and sitting in someone else’s garden and wait for them to come home.

  2. Money

    Most of us would rather have money than not have money.

    But my extensive research in my capacity as the chief executive of the International Happiness Research Centre in Copenhagen (total number of employees: one) has shown that money on its own doesn’t make you happy. In Denmark, we don’t have as much money as people in Seoul but the South Koreans are a miserable bunch. That’s because the Koreans have high expectations. They expect to have a new car every year and get depressed if they don’t. In Copenhagen we generally expect the worst to happen and if it doesn’t then we’re really Lykke. And we don’t buy new cars because there’s a 150% tax on them.

  3. Health

    The Japanese have the longest life expectancy but it doesn’t make them happy as they are so worried about dying young. The average Danish person will die younger even than an overweight Brit because we are so busy stuffing our faces with cakes to make ourselves Hygge with one hand and riding a bike with the other. Better to be dead and Lykke than old and UnLykke.

  4. Freedom

    Feeling as though you have choices and control over your life makes you feel Lykke. 

    Who would have guessed? In many countries, parents feel trapped when they have young children but in Portugal they have a very different experience. That’s because Portuguese parents hand over their kids to the grandparents every night and go out and party. This makes them very Lykke. Even if it pisses off the grandparents no end.

  5. Co-operation

    Being nice to people is Lykke. In Denmark we have a “Be Nice to Someone Hour” at 9.45 every morning that people have to enjoy or they are sent to prison. We also play games that try to make children feel included. In Britain, children play musical chairs where one chair is removed every time the music stops. This can make those children who lose feel bad. Far better to play the game by adding a chair every time the music stops. That way children become less and less stressed.

  6. Stating the Obvious

    It may seem obvious to say this but stating the obvious for the best part of 300 pages can make you feel Lykke. Especially if someone is daft enough to pay to read it.

 

And that's Lykke.

 

"aiaya" Clothing Brand

Details

"aiaya" Clothing Brand

"aiayu" is a mindful clothing brand from Denmark that is, according to Lissome.com, local, ethical, artisanal, organic and makes use of Eco-friendly production methods. Their philosophy is "Made with Love - Meant to be Loved". Denmark "is where they grew up with a love of nature and a profound appreciation of honesty and simplicity as the true essence of beauty". Their goal is to bring ancient skills and merge it with the simple, Scandinavian style to create alluring and uncomplicated designs. "We believe that a product’s origins, sustainable production and environmental impact are of equal importance as its aesthetic. It’s the combination of these elements, together with an enduring design, that makes a product truly luxurious." By doing so, they are able to keep their ancient traditions alive in a modern context.

Mindfulness in Japan

Details

Mindfulness in Japan

Mindfulness in recent years has become synonymous with what the Japanese call zazen – meditating cross-legged on a cushion. But according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979, mindfulness is “not really about sitting in the full lotus… pretending you’re a statue in the British Museum. Simply put, mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness.”

And this present-moment awareness has been deeply ingrained into the Japanese psyche for centuries. You don’t hear people talk about it, but it manifests itself in myriad ways.

Tea ceremony, haiku and cherry-blossom viewing, for instance, all share a heightened appreciation of the moment. In tea ceremony, participants take time to notice the design of the cup before drinking and appreciate the decoration of the tea room, which reflects the foliage and blooms of the month. But beyond that, the ceremony celebrates the fact that this moment with this person in this place will never happen again - the appreciation for transience. “Transience forms the Japanese sense of beauty,” said Zen priest and garden designer Shunmyo Masuno.

Haiku poetry, a Japanese literary tradition dating back to the 17th Century, elevated this celebration of the present moment to a world-renowned art form. Haiku poets attempt to capture the moment’s essence in just 17 syllables, using evocative images from nature to convey a Zen-like sense of sudden enlightenment. The most famous one is Matsuo Basho’s frog haiku, which translated from Japanese reads:

An old pond
a frog jumps
the sound of water

 

 

And there are the growing ranks of Moss Girls. Inspired in part by Hisako Fujii’s best-selling book, Mosses, My Dear Friends, moss-viewing has become increasingly trendy, especially with young women, who go on guided tours to Japan’s lush moss-carpeted forests. This goes way beyond just stopping to smell the roses: Moss Girls get down on hands and knees with a loupe to contemplate the lovely growths.

And while to the less mindful among us moss may seem insignificantly small, no Zen garden is complete without its moss-covered rock or stone lanterns. It’s the living embodiment of wabi-sabi – the spirit of humble, rustic impermanence that defines Japanese aesthetics.

But there’s more to Japanese mindfulness than gazing at bugs and blooms. Countless practical applications govern virtually every aspect of daily life, all designed to help you ‘be in the now’. At school, days begin and end with a short ceremony, where greetings are exchanged and the day’s events are announced. Before and after each class, students and teacher stand, bow and thank each other. And before starting the lesson, students are asked to close their eyes to focus their concentration.

For its practitioners, Zen is an attitude that permeates every action: bathing, cooking, cleaning, working. “Every activity and behaviour in daily life is a practice [of Zen],” said Eriko Kuwagaki of Shinshoji Temple in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture.

A delightful old Zen story, collected in Paul Reps’ 1957 anthology of Zen texts, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, illustrates this point. After studying to be a Zen teacher for many years, Teno went to visit Nan-in, an old Zen master. It was raining heavily and, as is customary, Teno left his clogs and umbrella in the entrance before entering Nan-in’s house.

Every activity and behaviour in daily life is a practice [of Zen].

After greeting each other, Nan-in asked Teno: “Did you leave your umbrella to the left or right of your clogs?” Unable to answer, Teno realised he was still a long way from attaining Zen, and went away to study for six more years.

Most of us might not want to take things quite so far. Nevertheless, Nan-in’s question remains relevant, as more and more researchers are discovering that present-moment awareness not only boosts stress resilience and well-being, but also lowers levels of anxiety and depression.

Mindful Origami

Details

Mindful Origami

The Book of Mindful Origami is a book written by Samuel Tsang teaching readers how to fold papers into something beautiful. He focuses mainly on pieces that help you relax as you start folding away, and explains in explicit detail the meaning behind each and every item you just folded. His catchphrase "Fold Paper, Unfold Your Mind" is undoubtedly screaming at audiences that are stressed that this is the book you need. Just get some paper, follow the instructions and voila! You've made a beautiful _______ and eased your mind along with it. In his foreword, he writes:

"Origami is simply the act of folding paper, but it is the intent and thought behind this action that determines whether it is positive or negative and therefore whether it is mindful or not. Any activity can be done mindfully and this is the ultimate goal - to be mindful at all times; to be aware and enjoy your life. 

Mindful origami uses the creative process of folding a model as a meditative aid and the models you make are a physical manifestation of your desire to be more mindful and hopefully happier.

In practising mindful origami it is important to remember that the meditation and the learning process are more important than completing the origami model. Your intent should be to mediate on a theme and to learn the process of origami. Completion of a model is just an aid in the process. It is a piece of folded paper, there are no consequences if you do not complete the model."

Origami is originally a form of children's activity, handed down from their parents for generations. At one point in time, origami was taught in schools in Japan but children are generally taught at home now. The most well-known and popular origami is most likely a crane. In Japan, origami cranes hold a very significant meaning. Ever heard of the phrase "if you make 1,000 cranes you'll get better"? That's because cranes symbolise health and peace in Japan and the phrase came from a book called "Sadako and 1,000 Paper Cranes" written by Eleanor Coerr and it is a very, very, very sad story where Sadako, a young girl, was exposed to radiation as a result of war. She had folded a few hundred and eventually got well enough to go home but lapses into a coma and died with less than 700 cranes completed. When her friends heard she wasn't able to complete her dream they all decide to learn how to fold the crane and the 1,000 cranes are complete. 

The children decide to write to other children all over Japan to tell them of the story of Sadako and ask them to contribute money for a monument in her name to spread her message of peace. When the Japanese government learns of this plan they decide to rename a park in Hiroshima "Peace Park." There they erect a huge statue with a replica of Sakako holding up a giant crane. Her classmates were given the honor of deciding what to write on the base of the statue. This is what they chose:

This is our cry
This is our prayer
Peace in the world

Nowadays, however, the phrase often used is "if you can make 1,000 cranes your wish will come true".

As such, we are able to see how big an impact origami has in not only one child's life but to her friends, the people in Japan and all over. Now, even non-Japanese people are aware of the very same phrase.

Apple Store and St Chapelle

Details

Architecture of Mindfulness: Paulina Shahery at TEDxTrousdale

Paulina Shahery started gaining interest in the aforementioned subject one day when she was in her yoga studio thinking, "How is it that this place makes me feel so peaceful. It can't just be the bamboo on the wall and the [something] fountain in the corner. And when did this idea of peacefulness begin. Was it when I collapsed on my mat after a hectic day? Or when I step barefoot into the studio? Or when I got into my car and started driving to class? I thought it probably starts even earlier than that. Perhaps when we set out intention and we decide: I'm going to make this happen... I'm not standing here today to explain how to be more mindful because we all innately know how. I'm not even here to talk about architecture. My intention today is to increase our intention. To notice our surroundings and appreciate them more often during the day. We don't even need to go far. The most pleasant sight might just be out your window. Some questions I ask myself were:

  1. Why do some calming places feel so natural and others so manufactured?
  2. Why am I drawn to certain places? How do they focus my attention?
  3. How is a local church or temple similar to an Apple Store"

Paulina moves on to talk about the overuse of technology in today's culture which multiplies the number of things we think about in our mind. This prompted her to do a little individual experiment where she would not use her phone while walking from place to place which led to an idea of stillness that freaked her out. She now does what she calls "the mindful walk" where she would be more aware of her surroundings as she walked down the street and reflect on where she was, who she was. This happened while she walked from Point A to Point B, which thus led to the idea of "being in our spaces" - personal time. To her, mindfulness is about increasing our awareness, of our thoughts, of our bodies, of our sensations, of our surroundings. One goal of architecture is to guide our awareness through the built environment. For example, the paths of the Japanese tea garden have regular irregularities - each rock is tilted so we deliberately place our heels and then our toes on the rock step by step. These are a few instances/ways architects can use to slow us down (especially in our fast paced society), emphasise our journey from one place to the other. Other examples include the Gothic Cathedral St. Chapelle in Paris. Upon entering it, many of our senses are stimulated. First, we have a one-point perspective tunnel vision towards the all-knowing - the altar - because the cathedral is a place we come to with questions and seek resolution. Second, the stained glass facade filters light into the space; we can almost feel the ambience created. And third, there are icons that we can recognise. And... Not surprisingly, we can associate the design with that of our everyday Apple store where the view is directed towards the all-knowing - the genius bar - with crystal clear glass facade with an icon with undeniable meaning. These are some of the things architects can use to draw our attention without us even realising. According to the EPA, Americans spend 90% or more of their time indoors so it's probably in our best interest to realise how these buildings affect our psyche. Ask yourself these questions when comparing the two buildings:

  1. What do we value?
  2. How do these branded environments affect us?
  3. How are we engaged?
  4. How much should we see?

Back in the day, glory was in the ornamentation, the intricacies, the hand craftsmanship. Today, glory is in the simplicity, the clarity we want to clear our spaces and out minds of clutter. Back then, we looked up at the ceiling - celebrated height and the magic of creating something so grand. Now, we look down and revel in the fitness, the magic of creating something so small.

So how do spaces engage us? They give us things to play with. We don't just look around. We interact with our environment. We light candles in a cathedral, and we light monitors in the Apple store.

But designs can only do so much. It's up to us to be engaged, to bring our attention to these activities and to do it intentionally.

When we enter the two spaces mentioned above, our whole game plan is mapped out for us: we can see our vinyl destination (the altar or Genius Bar) and we can see the path we think we're going to take to get there. Along the way, we meander, we bump into people and we engage which are perhaps the more memorable experiences. If given a choice, would you like a similar game plan mapped out for your life, or do you want to just enter and be able to carve out your own path?

One of her last sentences were to invite us to open our eyes, our ears and ourselves to the world around us. 

"On Repeat" by The London Design Festival and The Office Group (TOG)

Details

"On Repeat" by The London Design Festival and The Office Group (TOG)

The pavilion designed between The London Design Festival and The Office Group (TOG) focuses on the idea of repetition as suggested by the name itself "On Repeat" and ephemerality. Situated between two buildings at Rivington Street in Shoreditch, one of the most vibrant and artistic neighbourhoods of the city. "On Repeat is an ephemeral pavilion aimed to explore repetition as a method of get away and boost of creative thinking." Which, in their term, means no phones or laptops. Or any electronic device to be exact. Nowadays, we constantly spend so much time on our electronics - be it for work, play or leisure - and we are in a sense "confined" by our phone in the first world society. We never leave the house without it, it follows us every step of the way - even as you're going to sleep you'll look through it just one last time which ends up being two hours.  

They realise this is a problem to efficiency, and thus created a mindful space where electronics have been banned.

"Sip" by Ann Kristin Einarsen (2016)

Details

"Sip" by Ann Kristin Einarsen (2016) Specifications

"Artistic Stratum" by Jongjin Park (2013)

Details

"Acrobat Lighting" by Porcelain Bear (2017)

Details

"Acrobat Lighting" by Porcelain Bear (2017)

This series of lights by Australian design studio Porcelain Bear mimics the poses of trapeze artists and are minimalist interpretations of circus performers. It is made of porcelain and metal in a series of bars suspended from trapeze-like loops which are shaped to resemble the movements of aerial performers.

"It took around two years for it to go from its initial concept through many varied incarnations to the final simple, pared-back design," Porcelain Bear founder Gregory Bonasera told Dezeen.

"The final design took its name because of its similarity to an acrobat on a trapeze," he continued. "Its grace, balance and poise were the essence of an acrobat."

 

"Lume" by Alessandro Zambelli

Details

"Lume" by Alessandro Zambelli

Also designed for Bosa's Non Ti Scordar Di Me collection, Alessandro Zambelli designed this pink candleholder with gold details that apparently looks like a satellite dish. The concave golden surface facing the candle is reflective, which in turn reflects the candle, making it even brighter. "Lume" is a small but luminous portable lantern conceived as a good luck gift for the most important people in our lives, created by italian designer alessandro zambelli for bosa. it is a travelling companion, symbolising closeness and affection. its beneficent presence illumines and brightens every moment of the day. 

Primary Research: One to One Interviews with 4 people between the age of 16 to 25

On the week of the 26th of February, I did a one-to-one interview with four people whose age range between 16 and 25. The had to first fill in a preliminary survey (please refer to pdf enclosed below for an example of the survey) and found that 3 out of 4 people believe that mindfulness will be useful in their lives. So we proceeded to do a one-to-one interview where I would skype/interview them in person and record all the necessary notes onto a Google Form (please find all responses in the form below) and realise that the form/shape of something is a big contributing factor to whether or not a design "calms you down" or is "peaceful"/"zen" etc. I also noticed that out of four of them, one didn't like scents and preferred unscented things to scented ones. All of them also seem to have their room in an "organised mess" - must be something about that and our age group because I also believe my room is an "organised mess". One last thing that caught my attention was that no one is familiar with scared geometry which I had planned on using.

Following this interview, I was supposed to do two more interviews but could not get the second one done in time so I a took quick notes of a their responses on what they think about the design when I showed them sketches and the final pictures.

The first person said:

"This looks amazing. I would actually buy it if it was on sale. I love how it's white in colour and the main material is ceramics - gives off a very soothing effect with the glaze. I think the wooden attachment was also a smart way to jazz things up! Really like it."

The second person said:

"This is very well done, and I can see even without explanation that it's definitely something people would want to have in their living room, sun room or even on their desk for relaxation. Although I don't know why there's a part there's blue in colour, although it is very pretty, I think on a whole this product met the goals of your project."

The third person said:

"I don't study art or design so I'm not too sure my response will be of any help but it is clear that you have put in a lot of time and effort doing all these interviews and secondary research to finalise this design and I think it does soothe me overall. I love looking at Zoe and that blue accent that almost reminds me of the open ocean where no one is around. I love it."

The forth person said:

"This is definitely something people from our generation would buy. It's sleek, modern, and looks good on Instagram. Your website is impressive as well! If there's anything I'd change is that I wish there were more blue on your pieces because it's just so alluring. But perhaps its because there's so little of it, it makes it all the more precious and endearing."

Comments


    Add comment

    Fields marked by '*' are required.
    Comments are moderated. If you choose to make this comment public, it will not be visible to others until it is approved by the owner.