Kevin Chu-shangkan I-phone Charging Dock and Speaker, Candle Holder, Clock

At Design Interviews

Interview with Kevin Chu : Frank Scott: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?. Kevin Chu : Starting with the idea that “Form deceives Function”, I wanted to create a clock that looks unlike any other before it. Deception is the key in the Shang Kan clock and its name is the hint. When you come across this device for the first time, it seems like an alien object from outer space. Once you get closer to it, you will realize that it is an I-Phone docking station, speaker and candle holder. The candle holding arms can rotate via an internal mechanical device which in turns changes the physical geometry of the design. So you now understood that you have an audio entertainment device as well as a rather strange ambient lighting system but how can it tell time? With the included circular mirror you are instructed to place it on the ceiling directly above the Shang Kan clock. Once this is done you will be able to understand through its ceiling reflection the candle holder arms are actually time indicators, one of the main structure support leg marks the midday/midnight position and the mirror’s edge becomes the numerical time indication position. If you never look up you will never know this device’s true functionality and only through discovery can you perceive time. I will not call this a simple clock but more of a deception sculpture where the user becomes a “hidden function detective” or choose to remain as passive admirer. A designer product does not need to expose all its secrets to the user and we should all become more rewarded when the discovery of extra “Easter Egg” functionality is made. This is the essence of the ShangKan Clock. Welcome to the new world Deceive and Discover product design! .Frank Scott: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?. Kevin Chu : I wanted to design a clock that looks nothing like any other clock before, or maybe even after it! .Frank Scott: What are your future plans for this award winning design?. Kevin Chu : I am currently in the process of negotiating the physical production of this clock. .Frank Scott: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?. Kevin Chu : Around 1 month .Frank Scott: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?. Kevin Chu : The design was commissioned by an Italian clock maker company, Diamentini & Domeniconi s.r.l, to come up with a boundary pushing ideology on the concept of telling time. .Frank Scott: 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?. Kevin Chu : The design is currently on hold with the original commissioning party so i am interested in selling as well as collaborating this design with other companies. .Frank Scott: What made you design this particular type of work?. Kevin Chu : I mostly see clock that looks like a "clock" and i always read time the same way as anyone else around me. I wanted to propose an alternative to these "traditions". .Frank Scott: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?. Kevin Chu : The cactus plant and the idea of an UFO above the sky are my main influence to this design. .Frank Scott: Who is the target customer for his design?. Kevin Chu : Anyone with an I-Phone and are also interested in quirky yet functional household products. .Frank Scott: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?. Kevin Chu : Well, i believe it just looks nothing like any other clock that comes before it. I think the main "uniqueness" of this design is you don't need to know it is a clock to enjoy it! .Frank Scott: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?. Kevin Chu : Shang Kan means Look Up in mandarin language and if you are Chinese then this will give you the biggest hint to its time telling functionality. Any other nationality might never discover this hidden secret unless they read the included instruction or by accident informed by their Chinese friends. It is a new wave of product design where form is trying very hard to deceive its true functionality. .Frank Scott: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?. Kevin Chu : I always first sketch profusely in my notebook. Then i move onto Autocad to lay down a more accurate scale and geometrical understanding before modelling it in 3D Studio Max and touching up with Photoshop. .Frank Scott: What is the most unique aspect of your design?. Kevin Chu : It a clock that does not need to be a clock, it is a candle holder that can also be an i-phone docking speaker or it can just be a weird sculpture. I think it is the first clock that no one can see or tell time;unless you look up! .Frank Scott: What is the role of technology in this particular design?. Kevin Chu : Technology just play a role as a deception tool to the functionality of this design! .Frank Scott: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?. Kevin Chu : Took me quite some time to get round my head "a clock that does not act or look like a clock" until one day i saw a youtube video of a supposed siting of UFO in China....then i was inspired! .Frank Scott: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?. Kevin Chu : I thought the organizers might appreciate something strange and quirky! .Frank Scott: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?. Kevin Chu : The theme of Form Deceives Function is a recurring theme in my studio's product design range after this project. I think it is super fun for users to work a little harder to discover the true nature of a product they own. A sense of surprise is always a bonus in my book. .

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