Aurelian Headphones

Consumer Electronics Design Award Winner.
Awarded Iron for Good Digital and Electronic Devices Design.

Aurelian Headphones
by Tiger ChongSheng Guo

  • Awarded April 15, 2019
  • CLIENT: Victoria University of Wellington
  • 88

Aurelian is a headset system that aims to challenge both fashion and consumer electronic trends. Manufactured using 3D printing technologies; in gold and PA12 nylon; Aurelian combines digital fabrication with themes of neo-antiquity. Through an extensive iterative design process, coupled with user-testing, the designer; Tiger ChongSheng Guo, was able to craft a 3-axis headset system able to fit almost all head-shapes. This, combined with a unique interface and Bluetooth 4.0, resulted in “sound truly fit for an Emperor”.

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Aurelian Headphones

Good Design

Great Design by Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Aurelian Headphones

Great Design by Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Inspirational Headphones Design

Aurelian Headphones

Inspirational Headphones Design

Aurelian Headphones Image

Aurelian Headphones

Aurelian Headphones Image

Aurelian Headphones

Tiger ChongSheng Guo

Designer of Aurelian Headphones


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Interview with Tiger ChongSheng Guo on Aurelian Headphones

What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
The main principle of this design is to break conventional headphone trends. We believe that industrial design, especially the audio, automotive, and communication industries, have all fallen into a state of apathy and are too comfortable with the success they are having. As a result, design innovation, especially aesthetically, has stagnated in recent years, coupled with a generation of 'design clone' culture. Aurelian seeks to break these trends. We questioned both social and aesthetic norms. If luxury cars are a statement of prestige, so should luxury headphones. Currently, all headphones look the same: over the head, black, silver, or white aluminium with plastic cases. Aurelian aims to be the Lamborghini or Ferrari of headphones, something set apart, something fit for an Emperor.
What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
We wanted to achieve something that looked good, looked different, and still did it's job damn well. Aurelian is equal parts fashion statement and headphone.
Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
It was completed as part of my final year of Bachelor of Design Innovation - Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington.
What made you design this particular type of work?
The aforementioned cultural and social trends. Design should always been evolving, and we wanted to break the industry stagnation.
Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
My lecturer Bernard Guy, my tutor Zach Challies, my mother Diana Huang.
Who is the target customer for his design?
Young professionals and upper middle class aiming for 'affordable luxury'
What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
It doesn't have similar or resembling concepts. We sought to do just this.
How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
Aurelian was a Roman Emperor who came from humble beginnings who rose to military supremacy and Emperorship. He brought peace to the Empire during the crisis of the Third Century. I feel this is very appropriate for a design which was designed from humble origins and seeks to reinvent the world of audio aesthetics and culture. Also the name sounds cool.
Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
Fusion 360 for modeling primarily. Mesh Mixer and Solidworks on the side. A lot of sketching and renders. A lot of digital fabrication. The lads n lasses at Shapeways gave us a huge hand with that.
What is the most unique aspect of your design?
It's unprecedented. I don't think it's perfect, but it makes a statement about what design could be.
Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
Bernard Guy, my Lecturer. Zach Challies, my tutor. Diana Huang, my engineering consultant. Kelsey Aldersley, my ergonomics tester. Anton Raymond, my model. Iszac Kereone, my finance consultant. All the people at Shapeways for helping manufacture.
What is the role of technology in this particular design?
Without advanced digital fabrication, this design would not have been possible short of million dollar molds being commissioned. Bluetooth 4.0 is also pretty cool.
Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
We conducted qualitative research on what people wanted in headsets. We conducted quantitative research on ergonomics, general head shapes, and adjustability to ensure the function of this design was able to be executed.
What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
The human head very hard to model for parametrically. It took a lot of iterations and trial and error to successfully design something that could fit everyone's head without gravity.
How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
It gained success locally, and then at smaller design competitions.
What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
I learned how to design for the human body a lot during this project. I also learned a lot about circuitry and digital fabrication, but also about how to question design thinking and existing trends.

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