Perspective speaks to Dilara Kan and Bodin Hon the co-founders of Yellowdot Design studio about how they bring an innovative and collaborative approach to the design process
Graduates from the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan in 2013, Dilara Kan (right) and Bodin Hon came to Hong Kong to set up Yellowdot Design studio in 2017, to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to fresh and original products and spaces for companies and brands.
Kan takes the role of creative concept designer and Hon is the product innovation designer. They have developed a body of work that includes furniture, packaging and products characterised by creativity, innovation and sustainability in the food, technology and retail sectors. They have won numerous awards from Europe, including International Compasso d'Oro, iF Student Design Award and James Dyson Award (Hon); the MMIB Industrial Design Turkey (Kan); and are part of the Hong Kong Design Centre's Design Incubation Programme.
They have developed a body of work that includes furniture, packaging and products characterised by creativity, innovation and sustainability in the food, technology and retail sectors
How does working as a duo compare to being solo?
To see things from multiple perspectives is important, as design is a creative solution to everyday problems that could have an infinite number of solutions. The design process is never straight-forward and having two opposing sides to challenge each other gets the best result for our customers and end-users. Bodin comes from a practical, technological and scientific background whereas I come from a creative, artistic and emotional side. Our designs are all about finding the right balance between function and emotion – and that's what good design is about.
How do you adapt your design to suit local taste?
We do a lot of research from talking to everyday users and looking at the latest influences on their lives and surroundings. We publish a series of online trend reports, The Dot Report, that highlight the latest cultural and product trends with a focus on the China market. From identifying what our customers are influenced by, we can design long-lasting products that accommodate their needs and aspirations rather than following trends.
As members of the creative force in Hong Kong, how can you raise the profile of local designers?
To be both local and global at the same time: we started in Italy as young designers where we have won many European awards; as professionals, we are working harder and aiming higher, with Hong Kong as our home and our support. We will work with local manufacturers to turn a new page for them by creating new products, brands and companies for the international market or help bring international design to the local market.
How were you involved in Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) DesignInspire exhibition last year, and what did you gain?
We participated in the Designers without Boundaries talks and exhibited our new product collection Memento. It was a great experience, as we see with HKTDC that the Hong Kong design scene is getting more exciting and more of the public are coming to visit. We used their feedback to refine our final product that we are launching in Fall 2018.
YellowDot has signed up again as exhibitor at DesignInspire this December, what should we expect to see and what do you hope to achieve?
We will exhibit some of the projects in the home appliances and jewellery categories, and the process behind those projects for our clients for both the Hong Kong and China markets. We will also showcase an installation for our Memento collection, with stories and objects collected from designers and artists around the world with our memory capsule.
How does DesignInspire play a part in raising the profile of the Hong Kong design scene?
I think it is the reference point for design in Hong Kong – it is very public-friendly, which is great because design is for everybody as everyone interacts with objects and the environment in everyday life whether they know it or not. It raises the awareness that everything from small objects to the living environment can be improved through the design process, and that everyone has the potential to be creative.