Improvements with no limitations | 進步無極限

Industrial design is meant for solving daily problems that human beings encounter in their lives. Youngmin Kang is a good model of such definition. He likes to look at phenomena which people take for granted.

Youngmin Kang – ODDLY – BOOKSHELF

“Like Newton discovered the law of gravitation by looking at apples falling down, I usually take concepts from small acts in everyday life,” he says. “I think industrial design is thinking about how to reflect our present era into goods or the environment and also showing our future generation.”

Youngmin went through an unusual process of realising what he wanted to do in life. “There was once I disassembled my stag beetle when it died because I was so curious about its anatomic structure. My parents who saw the ‘crime scene’ were shocked and took me to see a psychologist.”

From his parents’ point of view, Youngmin’s behavior was weird until meeting his art teacher in high school. Since then they have been supportive of his creativity and allowed Youngmin to have fun in the subject.

Youngmin Kang – ODDLY – BOOKSHELF

While everyone is considering the Internet and smartphone as two of the best inventions of the 21st century, Youngmin treats them as one of the biggest daily-life problem humans are facing.

“It does not mean that technological development and such situations are wrong. There are problems such as disconnection of conversation between people, uniformity of leisure time and increased traffic accidents with no solution. Shouldn’t it be our responsibility to solve those problems derived from the ‘inventions’?”

Youngmin obviously has a mission in mind to contribute his creativity and skills towards society. His thought process is thoroughly self-reflective and will take an unexpected amount of time. Most importantly – it involves self-denial.

“When I work, I avoid getting results directly without going through a series of processes and verification that I pursue. Sometimes an idea intimately comes to my mind with the outcome for no reason – this is the most difficult time because I have a feeling that the first thing that comes to my mind is suppressing the development of my unconstrained thought.”

Youngmin Kang – FABER MODERN STONEWARE

And this is not an assumption but actual practice proven through Youngmin’s principle. He has gone through a hard lesson to learn the importance of verification of thought process.

“One day I happened to design an object I have never used and I thought the result was satisfactory. But people who were actually using it didn’t need my design at all. That was a big shock to me because my work was unnecessary no matter how I tried. Since then, I have done a lot of experiments on each of my projects. I first started with asking the ‘why’ question then reinterpreting the particular phenomenon that I am questioning.”

Among all his creations, Youngmin likes “Faber-Modern Stoneware” the best. It is about discovering naturally or primitively shaped objects’ purposes and discovering that it is often the case that they are not what they seem to be. “I worked on it myself with own ideas and judgment without any help. When I was a student, everyone was happy to help. While I was on my own in this project, I still received support.”

Youngmin Kang – FABER MODERN STONEWARE

When Youngmin was in school, he learnt that talking with friends, discussing and making reports of good work could help solve problems. He hence developed his style in two layers – the inner style reflects thoughts behind each project while the superficial style is what people can see and perceive by looking at them.

“I have dream projects yet I may not deserve them now. I hope to collaborate with designers all over the world and share ideas around. I hope I can be a recognised designer in five years and people can appreciate, remember and respect my designs and even be inspired.”

 

 

工業設計的意義是為了解決人類在日常生活中遇到的問題 – Youngmin Kang為此定義做了很好的詮釋,因為他很喜歡留意人們習以為常亦不會多加留意的日常習慣。

Youngmin Kang – ODDLY – BOOKSHELF

Youngmin說:「就像牛頓透過觀察蘋果墜落而發現萬有引力,我喜歡從每日的生活中的微小動作攝取不同的概念養分。我認為工業設計是透過不同產物或環境去表達現在和未來的可能性。」

在他認定工業設計為自己的未來之前,他經歷了一個不簡單的過程。「有一次我在我的鍬甲死了之後將它解剖,因為我實在很好奇它的構造。我的父母看見整個『犯案現場』之後震驚了並帶我去看心理醫生。」

從他父母的角度來,Youngmin的行為非常奇怪。直至他們和他高中的美術老師會面才知道了真正的原因。自此之後父母非常支持Youngmin的創意並讓他在科目中尋找樂趣。

正當人們都認為互聯網和智慧型手機是二十一世紀最偉大發明的時候,Youngmin確認為它們是現代生活人類所面對最大的問題。

Youngmin Kang – ODDLY – BOOKSHELF

「科技的發展和現在的使用情況不是不好,但是現在確實有不同的問題出現了:比如是人們的溝通不再是面對面、空餘時間一式一樣的娛樂和由於使用手機而上升的交通意外等都沒有解決方法。難道我們的責任不包括解決問題嗎?」

Youngmin在心中有一份責任感,希望為社會貢獻自己的創意和技能。他的思考過程完全自省並願意付出大量時間,更重要的是 – 它包含自我否定。

「當我工作的時候,我盡量避免使用完全不經過思考的念頭,所有想法必須經過驗證。有時候有靈感甚至設計方法跳進我腦袋的時候,那是我最艱難的一刻 – 因為我覺得這樣的點子會阻礙我創意的發展空間。」

而這並不是Youngmin的想像 – 他透過實際經驗並學了深刻的一課才知道驗證的重要性。

「有一天我要設計一樣我從來沒用過的物件。我自己覺得結果還挺滿意的,但是當人們試用的時候發現我的設計完全沒用。這對我來說非常打擊,因為我發現了不論我再怎麼嘗試,那個設計就是沒用。從此我的每個項目都會做很多實驗。我會先質問『為什麼』並重新理解我在質疑的現象。」

Youngmin Kang – FABER MODERN STONEWARE

在他數個設計當中,他最喜歡《Faber-Modern Stoneware》。這個項目旨在重新發現物件原型並加以不同功能。「整個項目我都是一一己之力完成的。但我是個學生的時候,每個人都很樂於幫助但是當我自己完成的時候滿足感非常大,每個人都很支持我。」

當Youngmin在學校的時候,他透過跟朋友討論、聊天和分析好設計來學習解決問題。他自此給自己發展了兩個層面的風格 – 反映項目背後真意的內在風格和人們一眼看見並能夠理解和接受的外在風格。

「我認為我現在還不夠格做我的夢想項目。我希望可以跟世界上不同的設計師一同合作並分享理念。我希望我可以在五年時間之內被認同而人們亦會欣賞、記得、甚至尊重我的創作;我也希望我的創作可以啟發別人。」

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