My approach to design is largely influenced by formal education as an Industrial Designer in San Francisco, CA and Melbourne, Australia; Industrial Design is a diverse discipline that embodies a variety of processes within the creative realm.
As a multidisciplinary designer, I innately believe that the fundamentals of the design process are nearly identical across all design disciplines. By no means strict, here's the journey I take in my design process:
Ideation: the ideation part is the very first part of the process and it comes from a moment of clarity where I have a vision for the silhouette of the object in mind. As soon as I see the object, I sketch the object in orthographic view so I can continue into concept development part of the design process.
Concept Development: during this phase of the design process, I ask myself what are relevant details I want to feature in the final object that will add value and create desirability while at the same time maintain the androgynous design language of the brand. The concept development phase aids in discovery through exploration.
Prototyping: the prototyping phase is an integral part of the process because it allows a concept to materialize quickly and effectively. Prototyping helps me get a clear idea of what the look and feel of the object could potentially be. This phase may feature several variations of one design and typically take 3-4 iterations before I settle on the final design. As Mies van der Rohe said, "God is in the details."
Testing: this stage of the design process runs along the prototyping phase; in a way, previous phases are never fully halted at a stop and are continuously improved upon. Ideation, research, development, prototyping and testing are worked on in the pursuit of finding the perfect balance for the final form; and then, again.
Design (Reiterate and Finalize): this phase prioritizes simplifying the form to achieve harmony between the divergent design elements. It is important to be striving for comfort and usability paralleled with gender neutral design. Below is an example of how the design elements (scale, silhouette, geometry) played a role in the design process for Hex. Under consideration of design and aesthetics, it was decided to go with a circle for the inside the shank to follow the form of the finger.
Manufacture: the manufacturing process is a marriage between the innovative world of 3D printing and the traditional world of lost-wax casting. The product is first 3D modeled on the computer and then it's sent to a 3D printer for output in high-resolution wax. Soon after the model is 3D printed in wax, plaster is poured around the wax to create a mold for the final design. As soon as the plaster dries and the mold sets, the wax is heated up to create the negative space for the object. The wax is melted away to form a cavity inside the mold with the same geometry as the original CAD model. The molten silver is then poured into the mold to later be pulled away and reveal a raw piece of silver. The raw silver is mechanically polished to remove unwanted elements such as sprues and other support structures. The formed raw silver piece is finally hand polished to the desired look and just then it is ready to be adorned.
In conclusion, my design process isn't strict and it has a level of fluidity to it; it does tend to follow a familiar path but there are always different experimentations. My design drivers and the language I attempt to communicate through the designs are non-binary, androgynous, and gender fluid. My design constraints lie within the realm of scale and proportion as well as choice in materials that communicate honesty and quality. I am influenced and inspired by the Bauhaus school of thought, the constructivist art movement, and contemporary maker movement. Inspiration is everywhere and I am truly grateful to notice it anywhere I go.