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Michael Tsang

New York, United States

Product Design

Member since September 08, 2008


  • Post - Review.

    Arts & Culture

    Michael_s_board2_177_

    larger version

    The majority of people really liked my slotting furniture concept and the idea of using flat pack for easy mass production. However, they weren’t convinced that my designs would be marketable in China. The critics felt that I am not designing based on what the people need and want. At this point, I need to start looking at Chinese furniture stores in China, not only traditional ones but also modern furniture. This will give me an understanding of the users’ taste. In other words, I need evidence to show that my designs are based on the users’ preferences and not mine. My next step is to conduct market research by contacting as many Chinese furniture stores as possible in China. I have already started to contact some in Hong Kong and hopefully that will directly me to some in China. Since I am focusing on Chinese Ming style, I need to select a list of Ming furniture characteristics that I would like to include in my designs, such as the very linear structures, the ornamentations, etc. I also need to conduct surveys to find out what type of furniture the Chinese middle class buy for their homes. My project has to have a major connection with the Chinese consumers and I have to remind myself that I am designing for them but not designing for myself.

    In terms of the location, I have decided to choose Beijing and Shanghai as my major provinces. People repeatedly asked me which part of China I was focusing on, as saying “China” is too vague and general. I dec...

  • Presentation Review.

    Arts & Culture

    Michael_s_board2_177_

    larger version

    The majority of people really liked my slotting furniture concept and the idea of using flat pack for easy mass production. However, they weren’t convinced that my designs would be marketable in China. The critics felt that I am not designing based on what the people need and want. At this point, I need to start looking at Chinese furniture stores in China, not only traditional ones but also modern furniture. This will give me an understanding of the users’ taste. In other words, I need evidence to show that my designs are based on the users’ preferences and not mine. My next step is to conduct market research by contacting as many Chinese furniture stores as possible in China. I have already started to contact some in Hong Kong and hopefully that will directly me to some in China. Since I am focusing on Chinese Ming style, I need to select a list of Ming furniture characteristics that I would like to include in my designs, such as the very linear structures, the ornamentations, etc. I also need to conduct surveys to find out what type of furniture the Chinese middle class buy for their homes. My project has to have a major connection with the Chinese consumers and I have to remind myself that I am designing for them but not designing for myself.

    In terms of the location, I have decided to choose Beijing and Shanghai as my major provinces. People repeatedly asked me which part of China I was focusing on, as saying “China” is too vague and general. I dec...

  • Designing_argument_177_

    Persona Chart here

    Design Framework Chart here

  • Concept Board.

    Communication

    Michael_s_board_177_

    1st draft: Cultural Awareness in China.

    a larger image

  • Manufacturing_processes_michael_177_

    My mission is to promote cultural awareness for new urban dwellers in China through household designs.

    The first diagram analyzes the manufacturing processes of six similar Chinese cultural products.

    The second diagram analyzes the sense & emotional/value perceptions of six similar Chinese cultural products.

    The third diagram shows the dissection of a bamboo steamer.

    Similar Products Analysis Diagram 1

    Similar Products Analysis Diagram 2

    Bamboo Steamer Dissection

    Bamboo Steamer Image

    a) What are products that serve a similar purpose?

    • Chinese Clay Pot
    • Silk Dress
    • Paper Fan
    • Ceramic Cup
    • Jade
    • Wooden Tub
    • Bracelet
    • Blanket
    • Tassel
    • Wooden Furniture
    • Red pocket Envelope
    • Buddhist Beads
    • Straw Carpet

    b) What are the material qualities of products that serve this audience?

    • Bamboo
    • Silk
    • Lacquer (hardwood)
    • Stone / Marble
    • Jade
    • Paper
    • Ceramic
    • Clay
    • Bronze
    • Porcelain
    • Plastic
    • Gold
    • Red thread

    c) What are materials and manufacturing processes that are available and appropriate for your location?

    • Casting
    • Weaving
    • Sewing
    • Printing
    • Knitting
    • Coloring
    • Handmade
    • Handcraft
    • Craved
    • Mass produce
    • Joinery
    • Ink Drawing
    • Text & Imagery

    d) How are similar products that serve this audience in this location distributed?

    • Antique Stores
    • Furniture Stores
    • Chinatown Stores
    • Gift Shops
    • Clothes Stores
    • Home
    • Ebay
    • Online Stores
    • Flea Markets
    ...
  • An interview with my NFP.

    Arts & Culture

    Q Do you feel that Chinese people are opting for Western design and neglecting their own?

    A Yes and No -Yes:the major cities in China are filling up with shopping malls promoting Western Brand product (Prada, Louis Vuitton, Nike, etc) and increasingly, dressing "western" is a sure & effortless way to establish prestige and status. Using English in labels on clothing, signage and packaging is on the rise too. -No:very few people consuming the "western" design understand it as such. For them, it is simply a new aesthetic, a fresh, modern way of looking at the world and distinguishing themselves from the Old Period - their parents, Old China, etc As such, this "new style" could simply be a trend, subject to change.

    Q Do you feel product, architecture and interior designs are becoming important in establishing personal identity in China? A Consumption is one of the key avenues of self expression in China, and it is translated in taste and design.

    Q Is there any statistical data that shows which provinces in China have the highest rate of Chinese people moving to the urban areas in the past few years? A Guangdong - Guangzhou, Beijing - Sha'anxi, Shandong, Yunnan

    Q Are there any elements that China designers think is missing in terms of home design? A Her sense is that the problem is a universal one, how to produce a product that improves quality of life and sells well.

    Q What is the style of furniture that China's middle class typically purch...

  • What is China Design?

    Communication

    Picture_2_177_

    I would like to share a brief summary of an article called “What is China Design” that I read from Urbane. I thought this article is very inspiring which allows me to further expand my thesis topic.

    • Zhang Hongxing, an expert on Chinese painting and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum’s co-curator, he says people started to see that art and design are able to change their lives and there was a turning point for Chinese society, because it began not only paying attention to physical living conditions, but also the quality of life and culture. He explained that everybody has their period of liking trendy goods, looking to be middle-class. But after you understand the so-called middle-class culture, you discover it’s boring and you want a change.

    • Ma Yansong, the founder of architectural office MAD, says Chinese designers are not quite ready for the China’s design industry, they haven’t had the confidence to promote their own culture through Chinese design. The country is working on the economy-business and marketing first, but culture takes time. He thinks building up a new cultural attitude is more important than building up a new architectural style, the way your work can influence the design community and the public is what China should be approaching now.

    • Ou Ning, a graphic designer, agrees that he has not seen any design or visual products that are very Chinese, he thinks only contemporary art can say that it is very Chinese, but in other design or visual w...

  • My current NFPs status

    Communication

    AIGA/XCD –

    NFP Goal: 1.) “To facilitate and encourage greater participation among the designers in the global design community. 2.) To serve as a point of contact for designers in other countries to begin a relationship with designers. 3.) To urge US designers to seek out and better understand the role of cultural and international issues.”

    Contact Person Information: The president of this non-profit organization. She has traveled throughout Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe and has lived on 3 continents. Her work in visual communications focuses on the public and non-profit sectors, informing and educating the public via printed collateral, interactive media and environmental graphics.

    Relationship Status: I am working closely with her, besides providing me research information, she recommended me to join the AIGA XCD facebook and post questions and thoughts because it is a well-connected community of people who are interested in cross-cultural design and may able to provide me feedbacks. My next step is to post my design mission and hope they will provide me useful comments. She has referred me to a couple professionals:

    1.) Tao Huang, a professor of product design at Columbia College in Chicago (made first contact with him through email)

    2.) Huang Li, an editor at Design + Package Magazine (to proposal my design statement and ask for suggestions)

    3.) Amy Gendler, runs the AGIA China office (made first contact with her through email, she will be my main conn...

  • Chinese_contemporary_design_furniture_accents_132_

    Due to globalization and a rapid development in China, urbanized Chinese seem to have less appreciation in their cultural, and historical design values. For example, the destruction of the rural villages, the debate of abandoning Traditional Chinese characters, and new westernizes architecture, without given careful consideration in cultural value preservation. The associated traditional designs have also been forgotten and neglected, because the major trend in contemporary Chinese design is to conform to ubiquitous “modern” aesthetics and such phenomenon is a crisis of identity.

    As urbanization takes place, people naturally expect their standard of living to improve. And China’s rate of urbanization is astounding; China must build urban infrastructure to absorb 120 to 150 million people migrating from rural areas to cities in the next four years. The explosive multiplication of middle class has created huge demand in quality design, where luxurious foreign imports have captured the initial interest, and furniture is no exception. According to “Furniture Today”, China’s furniture imports rose 33% during the first half of 2008, the demand for foreign imported furniture in China has been increasing in the middle class.

    My mission is to promote cultural awareness for new urban dwellers in China through household design. I plan to focus on furniture design because this is an area where a design has to be personally experienced in order to be fully appreciated. Furt...

  • Revisited Mapping No.3

    Arts & Culture

    Click! Click!

    Please check my previous post for further information.

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design