Thing recently visited the DMY design festival in Berlin – housed in the awesome Tempelhof Airport. The festival contained an exhilarating collection of weird, wonderful and beautiful new products and designed things; sometimes it’s easy to think everything has been done before and that uniqueness is a thing of the past. This festival, however; proved that to be completely wrong. The collection explored the various disciplines of design and showcased some of the most amazing new products that are just about to come to market. Everything from cardboard beds to steel cloth peg photo holders, the show really did have a little bit of everything and the design and engineering techniques used were cutting edge and inspiring. None more so than the Shadow Clock by Weena Lee, after watching Weena give a talk about her design in English (she is Malaysian and currently is studying in Japan) it was clear that she is a rising star in the product design world. We caught up with Weena at the festival and asked her about design, her inspiration and found out what some of her favourite things are.
Thing: Where did you learn your craft?
Weena: I learned my craft in Malaysia, Japan and Germany. I started with basic painting and drawing. That’s help me found out the different way of creating. I decided to further my study Industrial design in Japan about products. To develop design thinking and explore more, I exchanged to Germany, which also let’s me more understand about the way of production and different approach.
Thing: What inspires your designs?
Weena: Living things. I think a product is same as living things as they have life span. We need to care about them like, washing, cleaning or protect from sunlight to keep them performing well. Nowadays people are using products every moment without noticing their existence. Owned product are soon be forgotten. Lively product will attract their owner attention. The softness, calmness and peaceful feeling of a nature relates to my design.
Thing: What would be your favourite design icon of all time?
Weena: My favourite design icon is Apple Macintosh icon. The icon doesn’t look too new or too old or fantastic, it’s more classic. To me, the icon explains everything without words, easy & simple use like eating an apple.
Thing: Are products still important and relevant in the digital age?
Weena: I think products are still relevant in the digital age. Designs is changing the world, and new products are invented. Although digital products are important to lead a convenience life, but human are still need analog product as we are living in a physical life.
Thing: Who are your favourite band and what’s your favourite album cover?
Weena: I love soft, calm, romantic classic songs. I usually listen songs through internet or radio, so I seldom buy any CD or DVD. Songs that feels good and relax always gives me a nice day.
Big thanks to Weena for giving us an insight into her life as a designer. You can check out more cool things on Weena’s site www.weenaldesign.com and also find out more about her Shadow Clock and the IKEA Stiftung Award that it won at www.designwettbewerb-lund.de