Teo Kean Loong
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design
Interesting concept of Taking and Giving, well executed.
Mindful Sustenance is a manual paper shredder that provides the user an opportunity to recycle their used paper. The product offers an interaction between the user and the product, aimed at heightening the awareness of actions and thoughts. Targeting at places where heavy dependency of paper usage is high, such places tend to be moving at a fast pace, seldom one would understand the process of mindfulness. The process of assembly brings the user into focus, where the conscious mind releases the mental and emotional baggage. Resulting in clarity and fluidity that allow thoughts to flow through one’s awareness.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
Mindful Sustenance derives from a series of analysis, which begins with a humble Hong Kong fisher folk. With the direction of ‘Giving and Taking’, the research topic is to investigate the indigenous life and related manifestations in the contexts of Hong Kong. After site visiting and data analysis from interviews and images, 6 different values is obtained. They are, Frugality, Short-term, Risk-taking, Dependent, Superstition and Live in the moment. Aimed at problem solving, appreciation of traditional Chinese thinking and aesthetics, living in the moment has been picked to challenge the topic, Giving and Taking. Living in the moment, in the context of Buddhism is mindfulness which is also awareness of a spiritual or psychological faculty that defines living in the moment. Challenges faced were to gather research findings and get an insight out of it. From then on, it is to find a value that fits the insight. To achieve the topic requirement, going back and forth on the design part is the most tedious and time consuming for example the manufacturing difficulties were to make the slots accurate so as to achieve an easy assembly for users. Also, how to design the product so as to allow user grasp the product workflow all boils down to the meticulous details.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
According to Buddhism, the process of living in the moment equates to paying attention to every aspect of what one is doing to one’s body, sensations and thoughts which is mindfulness. It is a mode of BEING rather than a task on one’s to-do-list. Being Mindful is having the ability to be aware of happenings, acknowledging them and after, letting them go. Being fully here at the present moment, is all about the NOW, setting aside your mental and emotional baggage resulting in clarity and a fluidity that let thoughts, feeling and perceptions ow smoothly through your awareness without any traces.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Chinese design, traditional as it sounds, the boundary that binds it together is beyond imagination. Wisdom that develops centuries ago are still very much applicable on today's contexts. The attempt of infusing Chinese ideology in current sustainable product approach bounded by taking and giving is indeed a mind boggling one. Mindful Sustenance, a manual paper shredder, targeting at places where heavy dependency of paper usage is high, for example, Schools, Offices, Printing Centers even SOHO - Small Office Home Office. As such places tend to be moving at a fast pace, seldom one would understand the process of mindfulness, needless to say your body, sensation and thoughts. Achieving the practices on my paper shredder, a scorer naturally became one of the tools, providing the user an additional function while creating their desired form according to what they think of at that very moment directly translated onto the paper. The clear view rotary blade housing allow the user to view the entire process of shredding paper, providing a first hand view of the transformation. The design of this paper shredder is also an interesting one because I am playing with the structure of the recycled cardboard to form a 3-dimensional form from a 2-dimensional object, Recycled Corrugated Cardboard.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
To create a physical design (e.g. object, installation, device, fixture, furniture, packaging etc.) which will be able to examine the concept of ‘Taking & Giving’ based on an investigation of indigenous life and related physical manifestations in the public and semi-public contexts of Hong Kong. Design is aimed at problem solving, appreciation of traditional Chinese thinking and aesthetics, and the design solution should best be sustainable and an inclusive one (for various stratum, physical conditions and genders of people).