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Designer in Residence - Week 1
Thank EMMA Creative Center team: Almut, Alex, Bärbel, Matilde, Fabian and Dabin and Ganit, two other awesome designers-in-residence. I try my best to capture the process of the program and most of the interesting things I saw in the past 4 days. So overwhelming! And I am still pacing myself here. Week 1 is the time for me to prepare and settle down, to know where I could buy the hair dryer, rack, soap and delicious food, to decorate my work space, and to get connected with creative talents here. The staff gave us a comprehensive tour in EMMA Creative Center and University of Pforzheim nearby to check their amazing shopping places for jewelry designer, industrial designer and fashion designer. We can also leverage their resource, tools and space if we want to. Enjoy week 1 video!
Designer in Residence - Week 3
We all loved the city tour last week. It was fascinating for us to explore and experience the beauty of Pforzheim. We were also very excited to discuss with our very own space and communication designer, Mr. Benedikt, and the EMMA team about our final exhibition in late June. We want to wish Fabian a happy birthday again. Especially thank him for inviting us to a delicious cake-and-afternoon-tea party. Last but not least, please give Ganit a big warm hug and welcome her return to our cool-and-energetic "DIR (Designer-In-Residence)" team!
Designer in Residence - Week 4
This is a short week for me at Pforzheim, since I head to LA for a design award ceremony as a jury and host. But Dabin and I worked productively during Easer holidays. We had great fun! I try my best to present playfulness in the video. I am happy to share with the team some photos about my trip in LA this week. I went to Art Center of Design College graduation show and visited several professors there. The school is famous for product, transportation design. It is always inspiring for me to see students’ forward-thinking design concepts and thought-provoking ideas.
Designer in Residence - Week 5
How time flies. It was hard to believe it's already May. The highlight of this week was an interview we conducted with Alex and Erwin Wagner for a documentary. Thank everyone for their great efforts in making this memorable video. It was also great to introduce Pforzheim, EMMA Creative Center’s lovely staff and our talented designers Dabin and Ganit to my family. We had a great time in the city. And finally, I was very happy to start co-working and co-creating with a local stamp store to design something interesting for our exhibition at the end of June.
Designer in Residence - Week 6
I am on my way to NY to attend my design exhibition opening ceremony at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, but I will return on Sunday morning to join this exciting and interesting "ALFONS & EMMA – Quartiersfest an der Enz" event with you guys. This week for me was a huge progress regarding my small photo diary book <Design Consciousness: Small Things with Big Heart> and one of my co-design projects - Redefine Stamp Holder with Local Stamp Store in Pforzheim. I co-worked with Sebastian (owner of the stamp shop). He graduated from University of Pforzheim majoring in marketing management. We've collaborated in co-designing 3 types of stamps and shared ideas and thoughts with each other. It was a great time for me to know local people's real life and their thoughts. He was very happy that through designer in residence program of EMMA Creative Center, we could apply design, arts and fresh perspectives with action to influence local communities and make an impact. It was also a very satisfying and wonderful journey for me as a designer to see the ideas evolving from the concept level to real work. Hope you enjoy the video of week 6!
Designer in Residence - Week 7
In fact, we are just in the middle of week 7, but I feel it's already a very rich, colorful and intense week for me. And I can't wait to put all the interesting footages together for a weekly video. We've participated in and shared with the communities at ALFONS & EMMA event. Plus, we've visited Pearl Creative design studio and shared our creative works with Mr. Tim Storti and Mr. Christian Rummel. In addition, we've met the marketing lady from C-Hafner yesterday to introduce ourselves, our design for better preparing our trip there next Wednesday. Hope you all enjoy the video of week 7.
Designer in Residence - Week 8
It is the last week before the arrival of June. I can't believe that we've stayed here for more than 50 days. Therefore, the theme of video this week is "Run, run, run", as we're actually running out of time! For me, I feel we are very lucky to have the chance to visit C.HAFNER. I appreciate that EMMA Creative Center team has made such an arrangement and provided great support. I believe it definitely will trigger and inspire us at certain points during our stay. We've also done the work-in-progress scene photography and B-roll video shooting within this week. It was a short, intense yet sweet week. And I personally look forward to participating in the exhibition design presentation and discussion next week with Mr. Benedikt and the team. Lastly, Alex, you will be greatly missed, and we wish you a fantastic vacation at France with your family and friends. Hope you all enjoy the video of week 8.
Designer in Residence - Week 9
My designer-in-residence project has entered into a phase that requires me to stop and think for a while. It doesn’t mean I become lazy or tired of the project, but that it’s time to wipe out the previous stereotypes of the location, people and project I have developed. I need to reset myself in order to embrace other possibilities to reshape a new impression. And then I start to realize two important things during the time at German. Keeping a distance with Pforzheim the city and escaping from my comfort zone are actually part of a critical experience. I have to think and act out of the box. Therefore, the week 9 video I captured is more about the journey I had in Munich and Cologne with my family and friends. Most people want to achieve 100% perfect for most of things in lives. We all understand it takes not only hard work, but also a proper amount of time for “a break” to prepare, disgust and work smart.
Designer in Residence - Week 10
This week, I focus mainly on preparing and designing exhibition space for our final designers in residence presentation with Mr. Bandikt and the team. I’ve also entered the stage of finalizing the foreword section of my photo diary book <Design Consciousness: Small Things with Big Heart>. I appreciate people who have helped me and contributed to the project. The book consists of 5 forewords from EMMA Creative Center, jury members of designer in residence program, IDEO designers and creative studio founders. It also includes 5 afterthoughts from academic perspectives and artists’ points of view. Regarding the vacation recently, my family and I visited BMW Museum, Schloss und Park Linderhof, Schloss Neuschwanstein and Königssee at Munich. I also took them to Bad Wildbad, a jewelry museum and a second-hand market near Pforzheim. It was great to capture all these wonderful moments through the weekly video platform, which can be turned into my design inspiration journey.
Designer in Residence - Week 11
It was a rewarding and peaceful week for me. I’ve traveled with my family from Taiwan and friends from Shanghai. We went to the Black Forest and Tiefenbronn, a small town of 30 mins bus ride from Pforzheim. Regarding my project, I’ve printed the forth prototype of the book early this week. Published in a hard cover with thin-and-recycled paper, the book will be convenient for readers to flip/browse pages. I had a great conversation with the Strengfeld printer shop owner on Tuesday. This is not our first-time collaboration. I had engaged her into my book designing and making process before for the previous book prototypes. She gave me many tips around the limitation of a printer and the space of the bleed area as well as suggestions on book binding. I also want to greatly thank Xuan Zhou, my English editor, who’s also a professional translator. Xuan Zhou has helped with my whole project. She is very responsible and responsive even though she is based in Shanghai. I did enjoy the book co-creating process with all these experts. The effort of this week is to prepare the materials including the book, models, sketches, explanation text and illustration for the photo shooting by Mr. Bandikt next Monday and Tuesday. I believe it will be great fun!
Designer in Residence - Week 12
I went to Cube Design Museum at the Netherlands last week to give a short talk and to see one of my design works in the exhibition of “Nature: Collaborations in Design”. This week I’ve got the final version of book, finished the photography shooting, and refined the exhibition space design. And it’s time for me to prepare the final presentation. Design capability and storytelling skills are intertwined, and both are critical. I think more efforts should be made in curating and crafting the right message from the project to audience before the exhibition opening for the next week. These questions should be asked: what kind of design works we want to show, what is the motivation for each design work, how should we plan the exhibition experience for users and why do we need to design or to initiate the project in a particular way. I want to challenge myself and my work more to have a deeper-yet-comprehensive understanding of the project layers by layers to crystalize the purpose. I believe there are tons of ways to design out products in multiple formats and forms, but there should be only one core intention of why we, as designers, want to rise to the challenge.
Designer in Residence - Week 13
I took a look at the big calendar poster on the wall before I took it off from my space. Every single Post-it means a lot to me. It goes beyond the meaning of the word written on it such as “meeting with photographer”, “visit the program sponsor” and “interview the program jury”. It’s part of the creating process for the past 3-month project. I asked other people to help me take a photo with this big-and-expensive poster. I hope the photo will remind myself that we’ve had an exciting-and-wonderful journey at Pforzheim in the summer of 2019 with Dabin, Ganit, Almut, Alex, Fabian, Benedikt, Erwin and Matilde at EMMA Creative Center. Suddenly, I have a quick thought. Most of time, product and industrial designers devote their whole lives to improving their design skills to make the product 100% perfect, to design every detail and to make sure the business, marketing and manufacturing plans are feasible and practical. But actually, for me, the two most valuable things among all are that you have to immersive yourself in the creative process and to enjoy different moments to start with, and the second one is to learn to communicate and collaborate with other people from interdisciplinary backgrounds as a team.
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