4 Asian based Design Projects

Dean Hewson – s3491037

#1: Movinkler

The Movinkler is a concept design that won a 2013 Red Dot Design Award for it's creator.
The Movinkler is a concept design that won a 2013 Red Dot Design Award for it’s creator.

The design rationale/concept: Emergency water sprinklers to put out fires cause unnecessary water damage, struggle to reach some parts of a room and turn on only when the temperature reaches a certain level. The Movinkler integrates a thermal camera, a rotating head and a targeted spray system to solve these problems.

‘When the camera detects heat attributable to a fire, Movinkler starts rotating and its headpiece aims at the fire by moving up and down. It ejects water immediately to put out the fire.’

How the Movinkler works
How the Movinkler works

The designer: Jin Seon Lee – http://www.behance.net/LeeJinSeon

The client: Red Dot Design Awards

This object is a very interesting one, but given the codified nature of building regulations and the difficulties of programming a device to respond to multiple threats means it is unlikely to be used widely in the short or medium term. The increased complexity of the system would require a much more sophisticated testing and maintenance regime, and a more highly trained maintenance worker.

The fire safety system in a building also needs to work in the case of electrical failure. It is unclear if the Movinkler has a backup battery system to deal with a disconnection of mains electricity. Even if it did, that may still be insufficient.

In the longer term, an object like the Movinkler may become the new norm, but I anticipate that this time will be so far in the future that the Movinkler would serve at most as inspiration rather than a model to build on.

Find out more

#2: Guangdong Industrial Design City

What GIDC may look like one day.
What GIDC may look like one day.

The designer: Multiple / Foshan Municipality / Chinese Government

The design rationale/concept:
China is fast developing their design capacity and industry, and this project is a large scale one aiming to build a whole city dedicated to design. Part of the complex has already been built, with reportedly 80+ industrial design related firms already working from the park.

The GIDC describes itself as, “an industrial design service cluster set up to serve the enormous local manufacturing market and beyond”.

Future construction includes:

// Three bases

Industrial design service outsourcing base, new industry incubation base and original product R&D base

// Six public service platforms

Business transaction platform, financial service platform, commercialization service platform, HR & training service platform, shared technology development platform and brand promotion platform

// Nine construction projects

Shunde Industrial Design Park, National Industrial Design Lab, International Industrial Design Communication Center, Industrial Design plaza and hotel, industrial design information center, Guangdong Industrial Design Postgraduate College, a museum and an exhibition pavilion.

The client: Foshan Municipality

Find out more

#3: ChonGae Canal Restoration Project

The designer: Mikyoung Kim Design

The design rationale/concept:

Seoul’s waterway canals are as historic as they are polluted, and until this project were also covered by a highway that cut the city. The winner of an international competition, Mikyoung’s design tells many stories in one place and provides a space for the public, where previously there was only division.

This part is the start of a seven mile stretch of waterway, that acts as the source point of the water that runs off the city. The core requirement of the comp was to, ‘highlight the future reunification of North and South Korea’. There are stones present in the design that were quarried from each of the 8 provinces of North and South Korea.

The client: Seoul Metropolitan Government


Find out more

#4: Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle

Simple, elegant and historically relevant.
Simple, elegant and historically relevant.

The designer: Kenji Ekuan

The client: Kikkoman

The Kikkoman sauce bottle is a classic of modern design. I remember seeing one as a kid and wanting to understand just why this little portly man with a red hat was the shape he was, and how they got to be everywhere.

The story of the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle found a lot of play in the media when Leslie Camhi of the New York Times wrote an article called, ‘Who Made that Soy-Sauce Dispenser?’ in June of 2012.

It was created by Kenji Ekuan, who as a 16 year old Navy enlistee who had just been released from duty, witnessed from his train window the devastation of Hiroshima. ‘“Faced with that nothingness, I felt a great nostalgia for human culture. I needed something to touch, to look at. Right then I decided to be a maker of things.”

Made from plastic and glass, and sporting a little red hat reminiscent of a royal style, the soy sauce bottle design ‘ helped timeless Japanese design values — elegance, simplicity and supreme functionality — infiltrate kitchens around the world’.

Find out more


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s