Talking Design And Technology With Yuue
The design philosophy of Yuue is centered around interactivity and emotion. After graduating from the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, designer Weng Xinyu and artist Tao Haiyue moved to Berlin to found the design studio Yuue. We discussed their approach to design, their relationship with technology and their inspiration for the One Piece organizer with them.
Beauty through simply order: the One Piece organizer.
At the Bauhaus university, you studied Product Design and Tao studied Public Art. How do these different backgrounds converge into your work?
Design and art are the most creative domains of human activity. They are both driven by the most curious observations in our daily life. My Chinese background influences my approach to design as much as my Bauhaus background does. Being Chinese means having witnessed the fastest-ever growing economy in the modern world. I simply can’t resist comparing the Eastern and Western values. There are many differences at first glance, and they are very inspirational. But in the end, you realize that they share many similar values, too.
In your activity you use traditional methods like sketching and mock-ups, but also modern technologies like CAD and rapid-prototyping. What is your relationship with technology as a designer?
I read tech news everyday, I am simply fascinated by it. It’s a window to possible futures. As a designer, I have a responsibility to grasp as much essence of it as possible. Besides that, to take advantage of modern technologies will make you test, modify and even realise your ideas more efficiently.
Is technology also a source of inspiration for you?
Yes. For example the One Piece organizer was inspired by a socket extension, which is a hub for all different devices. We thought it would be cool to make a similar hub for office tools. At the same time, as we’re surrounded by modern technologies, I am very cautious about what to own. I believe that if we don’t pay enough attention, we end up being surrounded by a mess of everything.
Early sketches of One Piece that later turned into three designs: Classic, Geek and Architect.
How did the final idea for the One Piece organizer come through?
We wanted to use one piece of material carved with various shapes by modern technology, to provide an elegant solution for the office. Instead of various trays, containers or boxes all over the desktop, One Piece is a unified solution for all kinds of tools. In other words, elegance through simple order. The forms are designed for different people, and each type - Classic, Architect, and Geek - has a unique color to emphasize its own character and the person who uses it.
It was not planned to design all these variations in the first place, they came naturally as I was deciding all the holes and slots. We thought that these three categories would cover the needs of most people out there, as we want to design for life of this age. Our goal is not just to make another object, it is to provide a unique opinion and perspective on modern life.
Your focus is on the life of this age, but is timeless design something you also strive to?
After each age ends, humans begin to extract the essence from it and pass it on to the future generations. If it stays true until that point, we call it 'timeless'. I am exploring the essence of this age and hopefully it will remain true as long as possible. We believe that creation for passion is outdated, it’s time to create for the reflective life. The designer is partially responsible for bringing so much 'design pollution' to the world.
If we keep buying objects without thinking, for the sake of buying, we tolerate this pollution. So a quality that both consumer and designer need to possess, is the ability to know clearly what we need and what we don’t. A designer should be a philosopher of life in the first place.