Tell us a bit about yourself. As a second-generation Chinese-American, born in a small town in Idaho, I was constantly asking myself why I didn't look like everyone else. While it was a struggle as a child, it helped me understand that differences can bridge us just as much as they can separate us.
What is your school experience like, and what did it mean to be a part of the Wanted workshop? At Pratt, the emphasis on both the craft of an object—as well as the impact it can create beyond the individual experience—has helped me think more broadly about the possibilities of what design can do. This understanding that systems and services can deepen how products touch our lives was also a priority in our group, where it wasn't just about the object itself but also about a series of interactions embedded within it. The brief of the "future heirloom" really got me thinking about what the future of product design could look like, where digital interactions can be used to create more meaningful experiences of objects.
What unique cultural perspectives did you bring to the work around "future heirloom"? When my mom and dad moved to the United States, the bulk of my family stayed in Shanghai, which meant that my relationship to my extended family was always distant and somewhat fragmented. I knew them more from the photographs and objects we had lying around the house, so the idea of our "future heirloom" as a way to connect family through the "soul" of an object is very familiar to me.
Why do you think your solution resonated so well with the jury? "Imprint" was about capturing a simple yet powerful emotional embrace between two people, and passing that on in an object that could echo this connection to the next generation. We as people naturally assign meaning to the objects around us, and when those objects are able to speak back to us in a deep and emotional way, that is when they become really powerful.
What is your vision of the future? The 60s and 70s were periods where people collectively looked towards a bright and fulfilling future, ripe with the possibilities of technological, political, and social advancement. We now find ourselves in a period of skepticism and divisiveness, where we constantly doubt the news we hear and the political & economic systems that seem beyond our control. At the same time, this new age of the Internet has also cultivated an increasingly globalized world, where our generation and the next become more socially-minded and critically aware of life beyond our borders. I look forward to the expansion of this optimism, into an era where we are united as a planet rather than a planet of independent countries.
What is your vision for YOUR future? Where do you see yourself in the world of design after you graduate? I'd like to take a multi-disciplinary approach to design, addressing problems without preconceived notions of what an appropriate solution is. Sometimes what is needed may be a system or a service rather than a physical product. The range of design that can bridge the digital and physical worlds (particularly within the health/tech industries) is something I hope to bring to all of my work moving forward, where understanding how and when they can impact people in fundamentally different ways will be key.
Tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Aliette Platiau, and I'm a 22-year old student entering my 5th and final year at Strate School of Design in Paris, France, where I will major in Interaction Design. I come from the north of France, Lille (design capital in 2020!), where I like to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends near the sea.
What is your school experience like, and what did it mean to be a part of the Wanted workshop? This was the first participation of my School, Strate, to the WD workshop, and I had never heard of it before. To be honest, I left Paris without really knowing what to expect, and it allowed me to be carried away by the incredible energy that existed on the spot, in the context of NYCxDesign. This week of workshop with my group was very challenging, yet rewarding: We call came from different horizons, but I had the impression that we discovered and collectively realized a project that we had all in mind.
What unique cultural perspectives did you bring to the work around "future heirloom"? As our project was about the cultural ways of showing affection to a person, we exchanged a lot about our different manners from around the world. Some were the same, and some were different, (like "la bise"—to kiss on the cheeks) in France. We wanted our project to be able to adapt to all these different modes of expression.
Why do you think your solution resonated so well with the jury? I think it was thanks to the essence of our project; transmitting affection is something that anyone can relate to, regardless of age or culture. Further, we really tried to use technology, but without showing it directly, creating an object that seems "non-connected" but that transmits data in a very subtle way (warmth). This was appreciated by the jury.
What is your vision of the future? We have a lot of materials in our hands to make the future rosier than we have predicted: we have technology, we have innovation, we have science, knowledge, and above all we have the will. It's up to us to make all this better oriented, because for now, there are many changes to be made!
What is your vision for YOUR future? Where do you see yourself in the world of design after you graduate? Because of my specialty in interaction, I am very interested to what concerns technology and how it links humans to each other and to machines. I would love to continue in the research field—to work with people with different backgrounds on the future of these technologies—technologies that can offer us a fairer future if we use them properly.
Tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Mason Hawkins. I'm a Colorado native and currently a student at Appalachian State. I come from a family full of people who are creative problem solvers, whether they be machinists, artists, engineers, or chemist. I have always loved building and creating as a way to solve problems for myself and the people around me.
What is your school experience like, and what did it mean to be a part of the Wanted workshop? School has always been very challenging for me because of its rigid structure being incompatible with my dyslexia. The Wanted Design Workshop was quite the opposite: Its format was open, so I was free to openly work through the prompt with the goal of creating a powerful solution—regardless of the form it took.
What unique cultural perspectives did you bring to the work around "future heirloom"? Coming from a family that never had much money, there aren't precious jewels or watches laying around. That's simply not our kind of heirloom. In my life, valued heirlooms are tools my ancestors used in their trade, or objects they used for recreation. When I hold them, I have an immediate tactile connection to their life.
Why do you think your solution resonated so well with the jury? In my opinion it was received so well because we proposed that the most important part of an heirloom is the emotional connection. Imprint engages one's senses in a way that other heirlooms don't. Our solution used technology to embody that experience of emotional connection in ways that we haven't seen before.
What is your vision of the future? My hope that there is a expansion of deep-rooted, emotional connections that are enhanced through products that employ technology.
What is your vision for YOUR future? Where do you see yourself in the world of design after you graduate? I hope to enhance how people experience their lives through product design in either medical or outdoors fields.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a student of Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Lódz, Poland. For five years I have been working on how to use design, tech, and art in creating useful and inspiring products.
What is your school experience like, and what did it mean to be a part of the Wanted workshop? I had an amazing opportunity to represent my school as the first Polish team in the history of Wanted Design Workshops. It was a big challenge to work on each step of the workshop exercises, and also to meet such an amazing people from all around the world. If you ask me what is the biggest benefit of the workshops, I would say building strong teamwork skills—because the "Imprint" group was the best one I've ever worked in, for sure!
What unique cultural perspectives did you bring to the work around "future heirloom"? It wasvery collaborative from the start, but despite the fact that we had no time to waste, we always found a few minutes to talk about each other's history, travels, and traditions.
Why do you think your solution resonated so well with the jury? "Imprint" is a special item because it saves what is the most precious and inherent in people—emotions. It is a unique, wearable heirloom that offers so much—the touch with beloved one, impressions of a moment between two people, something very significant but also very ephemeral.
What is your vision of the future? The future is about getting better depending on what one already has achieved. The future is the world constantly improving and becoming a more pleasant place to live for everyone, with no exceptions.
What is your vision for YOUR future? Where do you see yourself in the world of design after you graduate? I am constantly working on opening my own design studio "Projektyp" in Lódz. With two of my friends Marta i Martyna (who were also participating in Wanted Design Workshops) we're trying to create a space dedicated to exchanging ideas and solving interdisciplinary problems. I hope that soon our studio will become one of the most professional and innovative on a worldwide scale.