We recently talked to journalist, Chris DeWolf about the design of Hong Kong taxis. Why are they red? Why are they all the same model? Do they define the look of Hong Kong? Check it out to find at least some of the answers.
One of the biggest problems I've faced is getting the wood we collected cut in to manageable planks. Most wood mills won't take small jobs like this and some are concerned about AFCD inspectors. After lots of searching, I finally found a wood mill that was willing to help me out. Here we are getting the logs cut in to planks with a gigantic band saw:
In July 2012 a tree in Causeway Bay blew over during Typhoon Vicente. The LCSD had cut it up into pieces when we found it so we took a few and left them to dry until May this year. I've finally decided what to do with some of that wood - I'm going to make kite winders out of them - I couldn't think of anything more fitting for a tree that blew over in a typhoon. I'm going to track this project here and I think it's going to be really interesting to see how this goes (I have no idea if this will work or not). Here's what the wood looked like:
This was the tree before it blew down:
You might be able to see from the tabs I had open that I was trying to find out what kind of tree it was so I was trying to reach the Leisure and Cultural Services Department- they got back to me and turns out the tree was Senagal Mahogany!
I went over to Poly U to listen to Dr. Sue Thomas' seminar, 'Empathy as Practice: Ethics as a Design Tool'. Dr. Thomas came all the way from Holmesglen in Melbourne, where she teaches Fashion, Apparel Engineering and Design. Really glad she came as I enjoyed her talk so much and was happy to see that somebody could articulate some of the things we've been doing so clearly - there is an infographic which I would like to 'borrow'. I was also surprised to find that Dr. Thomas was using Handsome as a case study for her lecture- thanks Sue! -Billy
- From right to left: Me, Dr. Sue Thomas, Ms. Gail Taylor from Poly U and Dr. Anne Peirson-Smith from City U
Earlier this year, we welcomed a third permanent member to the Handsome team, Albert Tong. You may have noticed him in an earlier post as the guy in the circle.
After 8 months of work, we completed an entire re-branding. Pretty amazing to think that at the beginning we were told that the logo and image would NEVER change. After some persistence (from ourselves and Justin and Lincoln Chang of Ascot Chang), not only did we manage to change the logo but we were actually able to reshape tcny’s entire brand image through labels, tags, videos, photography, web design, store design- everything!
This project was great fun since we got to collaborate with many great people: Tom Lee, Albert Tong and our long time collaborator, Linda Huang.
Yes, I've been a little slow with the posting so I'm continuing with the update. I went to they DMY Design Festival in Berlin with Ambassadors of Design - that happened in June. The Handsome team decided to do something a little bit different from usual – we had a tiny bit of funding and about 2 weeks so we made some simple slide projectors out of leftover plastic from a sign maker in Fortress Hill, some lenses from a laboratory glassware shop in Wong Chuk Hang, a few metal rods from a hardware store in To Kwa Wan and some Ikea lamps (Causeway).
We made our own customized slide format! (Thanks to Elise Bourdeau and Ali Van for helping out with that). We were hoping for traditional slides from those old school slide projectors but apparently nobody does that anymore. Ours turned out beautifully.
The exhibition hall was brighter than I had anticipated so we built a tent out of material from taxi seats – thanks to Martin Cheung and Topaz Leung (notice that the main supports are photographic light stands), Amus Leung, Gladys and Janko.
I hung out by the tent and people came over to play with the projectors and ask about Hong Kong. Some curious people stayed and chatted for over an hour. One person said it was like the storyteller's tent they used to have at country fairs.
Have been saving up on updates- here comes a whole series. We are doing new and different things.
For those who don’t know, Diamond Cab is a local barrier free taxi company that offers specialised transportation services to wheelchair users.
Diamond Sedan will be the second phase of Diamond Cab – they are now offering barrier free access to Hong Kong’s country parks. The disabled are usually precluded from these beautiful parks as the rugged terrain makes them impassible to wheelchairs. This is where the sedan chairs come in.
Everyone remembers sedan chairs as part of Hong Kong’s past – along with rickshaws they were HK’s proto-taxis. We’ve combined old school sedan chair know-how with modern materials and technology.
We started by interviewing an 80 year old former sedan chair bearer, Auntie Bao. Auntie Bao once made her living by carrying sedan chairs, with her friends, from Tung Chung to Tai O. That’s a 3 hour journey up and down hill!
Auntie Bao was able to explain how sedan chairs used to be made and out of what materials. She also told us about sedan chair carrying technique and attire. We've learned all about tradition and technique from her - now we're going to blend them with modern materials. Let's see what happens.
Nice chat with Cathy and Calvin today (they do the radio station for Taxi Drivers)- I think this was my first radio interview!
We're going to be speaking at SCAD style tomorrow at 7:30- come over and take a look if you like; the building itself is a great thing to see.
Our friends, Annette Chu, Joey Man, Philip Heung and Raymond Leung, are featured in Perspective magazine this month. This bicycle shop was designed by Annette and Ray and we collaborated with Philip and Joey on a folding bicycle last year- there is a small photo of the bike in the article.
We had the pleasure of being invited to the Kowloon Taxi Owner's Association new year banquet last weekend- it was great fun and kind of cool to see all the different people that make up the industry- drivers, owners, radio dispatchers, advertisers, radio disc jockeys, mechanics etc. etc. We donated a taxi watch to the raffle- I wonder if a taxi driver is now wearing one in a taxi...
Got something pretty cool and unusual in the mail today - an invitation to the Annual Kowloon Taxi Owner's Association Dinner / Banquet. Looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the guys who move thousands of HK people every day!
Hi all, it's been a while since we posted- feels nice to be back :) Happy CNY and all the best to everyone. We've been quiet for a reason- new things are happening here and we've actually been working... What could this mean for Handsome in the year of the Dragon? I don't know, but we'll soon see- I'm going to treat this as an adventure.
Meanwhile- here is a video which Shue Yan College students, Connie, Zoey and Kwan Kwan made about us making our lamps for Detour. Enjoy!
Hope everyone has a great new year! All the best.
We gave away all our lamps yesterday. You may be able to see from the photos that I brought a chair. I actually thought that I'd be sitting around all day begging people to take them- what a fool I was! ALL those lamps went off to good homes in about 45 minutes. They weren't just adopted by people who wanted 'free stuff', these people were genuinely interested and wanted to stick around and talk and learn about how these lamps had been made, the concept behind them and why they are so special. Not everyone agreed to take a photo but some did and here they are! Lots of respect to these guys and girls- they woke up super early on a Sunday to get their lamps - one even admitted that they were fighting a bad hangover. Enjoy!
Picked up a copy of the book that documents our designer exchange with Germany
Just a couple snap shots from the BODW Gala Dinner that we went to with Julian Chow and Kent Wong from Zixag last week. Met lots of great up and coming designers and also Dieter Rams! Awesomeness. Sorry about the grainy pictures- it was dark and I only had my phone