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New Designers 2021: Meet Hyunsik Yang

A keen observer of human interaction and on a mission to reshape everyday lighting, Kingston University's Hyunsik Yang came up with the distinctive HAT lampshade; discover more about his observations, ambitions, and what New Designers means to him.

1.Congratulations on being shortlisted for The Conran Shop and The Marandi Foundation's Designer of the Future Award 2021; how do you feel, and what does this award mean for your future and practice??

I am very happy and grateful for being shortlisted for The Conran Shop’s Design Award. I believe this award will be a stepping stone to build my career and gain new experiences.

 2. Are you familiar with the work we do at The Conran Shop and of Sir Terence's legacy? Did it have any influence on your work?

For sure. Throughout the process of designing my work, I valued above all the simplicity and practicality of the product, which are two factors presented in Sir Terence Conran’s design philosophy.

3. Please tell us more about who you are and your project.

I am a product and furniture designer from South Korea, currently graduating from Kingston University. My project, HAT, is a steam-formed felt lampshade designed to improve the quality of people’s lives by reducing the steps of installation.

4. As to your work, who inspires it and do you have a particular process that drives your craft?

To start designing the lampshade, I mostly got inspiration from my observation of people’s behaviours. Then, I found that installing a lampshade on a naked bulb can be difficult for some people. After that, through a material experiment process, I could understand wool felt and natural hinge system, which are the main features of HAT.

 5. How important do you think something like New Designers is for emerging designers?

I think this can be a great chance for emerging designers as the competition helps to open doors for new opportunities.

6. Looking around, did you see any emerging trends/shared concerns/materials with your fellow designers?

Understanding how the creative industry works, I believe sustainability is one of the biggest concerns nowadays shared by many designers and which is what we need to keep an eye on.

7. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing emerging designers? Did the pandemic impact your work in any way, and how was it working through New Designers virtually?

I think one of the biggest challenges facing emerging designers is getting their names and designs out there. Definitely, the pandemic had an impact on my work.

8. What, in your opinion, makes a design timeless?

I personally think designing after understanding users’ necessities is a strong key for a timeless design.

9. What are your ambitions for the next ten years?

For the next ten years, I would like to keep learning and experiencing steadily inside of the design industry. Furthermore, I would apply my knowledge gained from the previous years in order to start up my own business.

10. Lastly, which is your favourite piece of design history and who is your best-loved designer?

My favourite design is PH Artichoke from Poul Henningsen, and my main inspiration is Thomas Heatherwick. Both designers consider user experiences which is a characteristic I value the most.

Click here to discover more about our involvement with New Designers and to meet the rest of the 2021 shortlist; plus, be sure to follow Hyunsik here.