teawith kettle

Professional in Appliance Design.

About teawith kettle

  • Winner of Appliance Design Award.
  • Specialized in Appliance Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Appliance
Teawith Kettle

Teawith Kettle

Appliance Design


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Extended Interview with teawith kettle

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
We are a diverse team; our members all come from different design backgrounds. As a team member, my major role is art director. I majored in Crafts Graphic Design at the Central Academy of Arts and Design (Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University) and in Visual Communication at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London). I also have 20 years of comprehensive design experience and continuous learning across various design projects, such as packaging, form, materials, products, and more.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I am most interested designing utensils that is related to the aesthetics of oriental life, and can be applied to our daily life.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
Great design needs a favorable climate, including geographical and human conditions. With a suitable background, a designer’s talent can be discovered, create trends, or even change people's lives. Some of the greatest designs are so quietly impactful that they influence the shapes of lives, cultures, and countries as time passes, eventually becoming classics. In my opinion, great design should last a long time, produce continuous value in people's lives and will never go out of style.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
The overall development of society influences and forms people's artistic pursuits and lifestyles, creating trends. Keeping up with trends will produce many designs that conform to the trends. In the evolution of trend, it is only good design that can stand the test of time and become everlasting.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Good design is a beam of light which will illuminate a corner of life. Through good design, people will unexpectedly encounter the beauty of life, and experience the "beauty in the ordinary”.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
With a well-defined product, there is half a chance that the product will succeed. A well-defined product comes from the insights of life, the synergy of comprehensive skills, and the long-term pursuit of excellence.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Fortunately, we have a close friend and mentor — the world-class, outstanding Chinese designer, Chi Wing Lo. He is passionate about the Teawith Kettle and provided a lot of guidance. At the Milan Design Week in 2016, the Teawith Kettle was fortunate to be released at Chi Wing Lo’s Living Museum. His control and precision of the details were impressive. I went to Milan to see his exhibition and discovered to my delight that the Teawith Kettle also had the honor of participating in this exhibition. I also went to his studio to see how the workers produced the furniture and learned a lot about the long history of hand-crafted furniture in the West.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
The Teawith Kettle is my most satisfying design so far. It’s not just because of the award and success that make me feel great, but when I take myself out of the designer's identity to use and look at it from an average customer’s perspective, I can really feel the vitality it exudes. That makes me very proud.
If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
I may have become an archaeologist; I enjoy the sense of surprise and discovery.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is a part of my life; it became a habit and shaped the way I think. Design can make everyone's life more enjoyable.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
I am grateful to all the teachers, colleagues, and friends who have guided, helped, and supported me during my academic career. Under the influence of my grandfather, who loves calligraphy, and my father, who is accomplished at painting and advertising, I developed the original awareness of design and embarked on my design path.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
I believe that everyone is the master designer in their own life; I merely express my thoughts and understanding of the world through design.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
We are researching and developing peripheral product related to tea. We are attempting to make a breakthrough in the experience of making tea.
How does design help create a better society?
有的设计,比如城市规划、商业模式、服务体系,会从大的层面去影响人们的生活。 Some designs, such as city planning, business models, service systems, and so on, will affect people's lives on a large scale.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It can be described as a "five-year kettle". Since the project began, the Teawith Kettle has gone through the various stages of design, crowdfunding, production, and iteration, and finally, become a mature product.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
I begin by thinking about the essence of things, rather than transforming and redesigning the deficiencies from the existing artifacts.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
Trends are generally developed from the direction of the economy, life, technology, and other aspects. Design and trends are mutually influenced and affected. When they fit together, they complete each other. For example, Corning continues to innovate in the field of materials. When it first developed glass with shatter resistance, people at that time do not know how to use it, so the invention was shelved until Apple proposed the "glass screen" for the iPhone. Corning's material, dubbed "Gorilla Glass", finally had a purpose.
What is the role of technology when you design?
The utensils of Teawith are related to tea, so even if it is an electric appliance, it should be considered as a humanistic artifact. Science and technology are necessary tools that retreat to the back and will naturally make people feel the utensil is simple, easy to use, and will not exist purely to show off.
What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
The name of “Teawith," which means "tea materials” in Chinese, actually reflects that we cherish the required "material" very much, and cherish the temperament and beauty of the material itself. So, we choose the color from nature and adapt to the characteristics of the material, attempting to create a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.
Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
The Teawith Kettle is an outcome of ideal teamwork, which was done by a diverse design team. With a shared aesthetic goal and their respective strengths combined, everyone was continuously seeking what we called the “ultimately sensible stage that is as good as it can be” in the design process in order to achieve a balance between rationality and sensibility.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
《佐藤可士和的超整理术》 《Superfinishing by Saito》
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
I hope to chat with my past and future selves. I think it is essential to know yourself in design. The understanding of oneself is gradually formed in the process of dealing with the world. In the comparisons of the past and the future, I can understand the world more thoroughly.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
When I was a in college, one of my profossors showed us a Persian tapestry and asked us: "What's on the tapestry?" We answered: "There are lines." He asked us to look at it again, and we looked further and kept seeing more details in the tapestry. He explained to us, in fact, this tapestry presents the lives of people, and those patterns, which we only saw at first, also included the vibrant lives of those people. This experience taught me that looking at the world is not only about the surface but also about life itself.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
Drinking tea makes me feel serene and at peace. I like to make myself a cup of tea before beginning my work.

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