Top 3 work of Xiao Guan Tea × Young Bird Plan 2018 “Guanish” Product Design International Competition:
►TOP3 Tea Time
Registration No.: YB78083-S59892
School of Visual Arts, MFA in Product of Design
Carleton University, BA in Industrial Design
Kerr Smith / Product Designer
Karim Rashid / Industrial Design Intern
I have always believed that those hard works require prioritizing time and time for yourself. My father performs the traditional tea ritual of Gong Fu Cha. He is also a busy man with a lot of his stress and works to do, but he says he stays calm because of drinking tea and having that personal downtime when the only thing you need to think about is your own time and that one cup of tea.
The concept for + was to develop a personality for the product to be friendly and easy to use. The name is derived from the word tea in the form of an addition sign to characterize all the different components of tea like the flavors, health benefits, and amount of tea leaves contain inside. The colors scheme chosen for the brand is inspired by the significant tea families found in stores which were oolong, green, black and white. The branding of the packaging design will try to enlist the characteristics of essentialism. The trend is not to block users with distracting labels from the actual product but to use the branding to elevate the product like light and natural makeup only concentrating on what is necessary.
1. As a Millennial, how do you define and embody the style of drinking tea for millennials in your design?
We all drink tea such as green tea, oolong, herbal and so many other varieties. The components of the tea have not changed too much as it still requires tea leaves, a vessel, and a cup to drink. What has more deeply changed is the method of how we brew our tea. In a current consumer culture, we are striving for convenience in our lives. As the pace of technology quickens, the users adjust as well by their expectation of things being ready right then and now. Therefore, drinking tea follows those expectations and packaging presents itself with more about the convenience factor diminishing the value of the process of brewing the tea.
Chinese tea culture to me is a form of art in a way that it is a performative act that one must still
concentrate at and immerse themselves to gain the most impactful experience. The medium Tea in itself is quite complex. It delivers different layers and depth affected by time and temperature. It is an art which I believe is known the identity contains an excellent value, but presently the story, the method, the patience of brewing tea is not as essential or even known in youth generation.
2.Did you learn about Xiao Guan Tea before your participation? Have you got a deeper understanding of the brand after the competition?
I have not known about Xiao Guan Tea before the competition. I think it is because it is not heavily advertised in North America. With that said, once I started researching the brand and the company, I immediately was captivated by the packaging and the current input on their store design. I appreciated the packaging material, as aluminum is a recyclable metal with benefits of keeping the freshness. Alternatively, I thoroughly enjoyed the limited selections that they have and emphasizing the tea makers. It creates a more intimate storyline that will not only capture the audience but can build a better appreciation of the tea leaves.
3.What motivates your participation, and what did you gain during the competition process? Say something about your current feeling.
The reason why I wanted to enter into this competition is that this is what I am passionate to do. I love designing products especially ones that not only look beautiful but contains a more significant message. Especially if the word is something, I honestly believe and value myself. This competition was also my first time designing an object with Chinese influence. Although I was born in Hong Kong, I came to Canada when I was just a couple of months old. Therefore, it was inspiring and fascinating to learn more about that other part of me. I truly enjoyed learning about the riches and the beauty of the culture.
I want to thank Young Bird Plan, in giving this opportunity to redesign a tea package for the millennial generation. It was a journey to explore the fascinating history of Chinese tea culture as well as an exploration of my values. I believe now the benefits and importance of inputting at that time for yourself and being patient with progress to create the most excellent outcome.
►Designer’ s showtime
1.What do you think of the “consumption upgrade”?
Designers and consumers today should be more mindful to what we bring into the world. There is a lot of things that are designed to our immediate needs, saturating the market. Designers, artist, students, and any participants of today’s society should shift to create ideas that can stimulate, educate, and empower awareness for more significant issues.
We are a participant of this society that is continuously pushing out products that address more wants rather than needs. Advertising, branding, media have propelled our thinking to make those wants feel like needs. Therefore the market and the business who value only to earn money will take that to their advantage and create products to address those immediate wants. But as an entire society, we need to stop this cycle and begin to rethink our purposes and values. Only then can we create products that bring a more meaningful and lasting impact on our lives.
2.Which master do you appreciate most? Do he or she has an impact on your design in this competition?
I always was gravitated towards designers and artist that are different. Who did not conform to social norms and were not afraid to express themselves in what they believe. The artist likes Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Picasso all presented art work that was their unique expressions
whether it was right or wrong. It influenced me in a way that design doesn’t always need to solve a problem, but it could also be an emblem to create a conversation of the topic. In creating the discussion, it can disrupt routine in leading to more opportunity for change and innovation. Therefore, I do not believe my design is the perfect solution but begins the conversation or tea and the ritual process.
3.Please show some of your projects.
▲ Droplet by Anna Chau
A wearable device that stimulates learning through real world applications.
The Droplet is an artifact set in 2050 that every learner and mentor will hold that will pair with AI to bring about better understanding to each individuals potential in the system.
In the future of 2050, Pxl School is motivated by the goal of allowing education by:
•Open access to everyone.
•Learning with more meaningful context.
•More preparation for humans be more adaptable to change.
In addition, the roles of teachers and students will have a closer relationship in working in a loop with each other as mentors and learners to convey the notion of continuous learning. Each person will also receive an artifact called Droplet, that will track their own individualize potential using AI technology. The Droplet will also trigger suggestions to where their skills are best implemented but the users being the significant drivers of their path of education.
▲Pico by Anna Chau
A packaging design that educates users how to proportionalize their meals.
Pico began with understanding the habits of today’s consumers. To design a packaging system that they can customize while building on better purchasing decisions for food.
The targeted market for Pico will be for the consumer that regularly attends the supermarket more than once a week and enjoy things that would use little preparation time. They also enjoy finding items with unique flavors or designs enticing that is one of the significant purchasing factors.
In addition, consumers are becoming more reliant on available food because of time consumption. These items contain secondary packaging such as plastic film or an outer paper box that adds onto the wastage production. Alternatively, many consumer lack knowledge of the origin and process to acquire the ingredients they are purchasing. Impulsive purchases waste much food or buying disproportionate amounts. These issues can be looked upon as opportunities for the packaging design. Therefore from these findings, I intend to design the packaging towards users who strive to find convenience because of their busy working schedules and awareness to sustainable food consumption.
Congratulations to the Top 3 winner!
（The above represents only the winners’ personal opinion but not the opinion or policy of the organizer and co-organizer.）