Being the daughter of a leading jewellery manufacturer in India, I have grown up in an environment of jewellery design. This I must add definitely acted as a stepping stone in choosing industrial design as a profession.
I received my professional education from Raffles Design International in Mumbai, following which I established my brand Fenny G. As the ‘master designer’ of brand Fenny G, I explore various materials and technologies and inspire the design principles of the products developed under this umbrella.
Though design is a judicious mix of form, function and technology that enhances the experience of users, at the beginning what exists is a concept first it is in two dimensions and then it evolves into a third dimension; yet as a designer one has no clue how the concept will translate physically in a tangible manner. This process is tedious and challenging.
Taking the example of Bounce, my debut creation, first I had decided that I want to use silicone to create a new seating experience which was hyper-experiential. It then took several renderings and prototypes to finalise the look of the product, which would simultaneously serve the purpose of seating comfort.
Bounce as a seating innovation introduced a new experience. It is made of a polycarbonate base and uses silicone for the seating surface – on sitting the silicone takes the shape of the back without the use of any mechanical parts, and once you get up it comes back to its original position immediately.
The inception of Bounce is a story in itself. After the basic design was finalised there were several things to be done, such as choosing the right kind of silicone, deciding the material for the base, running simulations to check the feasibility of design, engineering the required moulds, deciding the colour schemes, sourcing the inventories, finding a factory that would translate it best, finding the balance between volumes, cost and efficiency, optimising for transportability, setting the manufacturing process, setting the quality control parameters etc. These are only few of the details that formed the design process.
Bounce was well received following which I decided to enhance the design further – this gave rise to the second edition of Bounce. Attributing its inspiration to `Biomimetics’ – a trend that examines nature, its models, systems, processes and elements to evolve into modern contemporary design, the new model of Bounce is a definite tribute to the most natural human organic system, that of breathing.
If the first edition had webbings, this edition of Bounce has pores, like those on skin, that help in its breathing and the transpiration process. It has a more organic feel. Like natural corals that evolve gradually in the ocean, the new model is completely silicone-based around a sturdy steel frame.
In designing the second edition of Bounce the most challenging part was to develop a customised ‘Insert Injection’ silicone moulding process that would be utilised exclusively for manufacturing the end product.
Playing solo has helped me evolve my horizons of creative endeavour so far, but I must add a like meeting of creative minds would only make the process merrier.
I believe collaborations, will explore unconventional use of materials, which will transgress seamlessly into the world of virtual reality, explore manufacturing processes that will head more towards 3D printing which will make designs more easily executable.
Like other professional’s, designers too need creative gratification, we recently received an Honourable Mention at the Red Dot Award for Bounce. However, I think the best recognition is the fact that Bounce is available in 14 countries across the world, through our distributors, within less than 6 months of launching the product for the public.