A New Journey of Design

Product Jun 28 2022

Francesco Favaretto from Favaretto & Partners and our design collaborator shares his insights about the change in product design practices and the story behind our new Flying series chair.

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The world is changing and we want to make it better.

At the beginning of 2020, the calm around the world was interrupted by the surging COVID-19. In an instant, our previous life changed dramatically. Since that moment, changes in various fields have come one after another... What we have experienced and are still experiencing seems unimaginable to us yesterday.

However, COVID-19 surprised us all. The large-scale pandemic spread forced us to re-examine our daily life. The social rules we need to follow have become more and more strict, depriving us of the unrestricted social life we have always been accustomed to. Before the pandemic, whether it's a dinner in the restaurant with three or five friends or booking a plane ticket, all we need is the courage to go and everything is quite simple. But now it seems to be a game with complicated rules.

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Vaccines, COVID screening, green pass QR codes, self testing, filling out traceability forms, and isolation, all these words have entered people's daily life. As this is a survival game that cannot go back to the past, we must accommodate new rules of the game in the new situation. Admittedly, the outbreak of the pandemic has forced us to think in different ways, it is not necessarily negative. It may teach us to become more rational. 

From the perspective of product design, it also requires all our designers to be more sensitive and self-conscious. How does the work stand out from the stereotypical products and fully adapt to the current users' needs, with both functionality and comfort, is a subject that designers need to re-examine. To some extent, the pandemic has brought designers new opportunities. In the post-COVID era, the products in our current market may no longer fully meet the current demand. As designers, we need to have the capacity to pinpoint the characteristics of this era and do more in-depth research on the needs of the market. A design itself can not be just a single furniture, but can be integrated into the whole environment and used by different people.

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Let's take the example of  our design project of an airport bench for Sunon brand. Our proposal was chesen to the best among the three international design studios invited to put forward design ideas. This new airport seating system called "Flying" was finally created in a perfect appearance after days and nights of inspiration, sketch creation, detail design and prototype design to 3D printing. As a frequent business traveler, I have a rich flight experience. Before the outbreak, I spent more than half of my time traveling from airport to airport, from plane to train, or jumping into a taxi to the airport every year. I closed my eyes and thinking about what bench I would dream of and what I didn't like. I imagined that I was traveling. From then on, my team and I went through countless hours of brainstorming, just like wandering on a river of inspiration. From the original simple bench, we conceived a 360 ° system.

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We expect it to meet all types of needs, not just serve as a seat. We expect that in the post pandemic era, seats  in public space should not only reflect a certain sense of boundary, but also consider the possible longer waiting time. So we need more comfortable products to meet the needs of users at this stage. At the same time, in terms of appearance, it is necessary to create a masterpiece of aesthetics for the environment, so that people can be appeased visually and psychologically.

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The flying airport bench system perfectly interprets the aluminum airport seats, which is a feat in itself. Except for the seat and backrest, all its components are all aluminum. This series has a variety of seat configurations. The system is mounted on an extruded aluminum beam and supported by die-casting aluminum legs. All the components that make up it are fixed on it. The back of the seat is very special, and the saddle wrap design has a unique recognition, which is easy to associate with the brand. Viewed from the side, the elegant outline of this seat is characterized by the smooth connection of the diagonal line. From the seat to the feet, its lightweight and stable design highlights its charming beauty. Various seats can be configured according to the scene to form a unified and harmonious landscape. The electrified circuit installed inside gives power access to users and the seat flexibility and convenience.

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Everything, every work we show, is delicately designed. After two years of modification, adjustment, small-scale proofing to the final production, although the process is full of hardships, the final result is really satisfactory! As a designer, it is a real pride to be able to design such products. We expect people from all over the world to sit on this airport bench and gain a few minutes of relief for their tired journey.

A New Journey of Design_7.pngThe public space product is like a cell in the environment. Although it is insignificant from a single point of view, the combination and arrangement of cells can affect the entire open space. Therefore, a good product can undoubtedly improve the quality of the environment and benefit users.