Free-flowing creativity

Free-flowing creativity

Design student wins a prestigious award for her simple yet practical wash basin

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Tse Yan-lamb's 'Pond and Pine' wash-basin was her final-year project. It can tell you how much water you are using.
Tse Yan-lamb's 'Pond and Pine' wash-basin was her final-year project. It can tell you how much water you are using.
Photos: HKDI
How much water do you use at home? One designer's work can tell you - without looking at your water bill. The stone water-basin, in the elegant shape of a pond, projects an image of a carp in three colours that signal how much water is used as you wash your hands or brush your teeth.

Depending on the amount of water you use, the golden-orange fish will gradually lose its colour and clarity. If you use a lot of water, it will become white and you won't be able to see it.

The design, named Pond and Pine, is by Tse Yan-lamb, 20, a fresh graduate of the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI). It recently won a seal of distinction at the Red Dot Award, an international design competition in Germany.


'Pond and Pine' water basin

Tse's design was her final-year project, in which students are asked to create something aesthetic but also practical. It should offer a real solution to a problem.

She chose to do something about the environment. "I looked at our water bill at home and compared that with my friends'. I found out the differences could be huge, from HK$250 to HK$1,000," she says. "I decided to develop a product that helps us to be more aware of how much water we're consuming at home."

Tse chose to design a wash-basin out of all household products.

"We wash our face and brush our teeth in the bathroom every day. A basin is also perfect for a beautiful, elegant design," she says.

It may sound like a simple design, but a lot of thought went into the details, such as the fish imagery.

"There are many images that could be used in the design. But fish in a pond is a moving and vivid one," she says. "It's also a symbol of life. It reminds us of the importance of water in our life and that we can't waste it."

Chan Yuk-bill, lecturer of product design at HKDI, was proud of Tse's design and achievement.

"She has made a design which improves or enhances our standard of living, making it a very good product design," says Chan, who has 20 years of experience in the field.

"Winning the award is an honour for her and for Hong Kong people. Originality is very important for the design field. I believe that in Hong Kong, we have many young people who are capable of making good, original designs like her."

Tse is the second student from HKDI to be recognised with a prestigious Red Dot Award. Last year, Alan Yip Siu-lun won a design concept award for Birdgazer, a digital binoculars for birdwatchers.

Tse's teacher and school aren't the only ones who are proud. "My parents got so excited about my award that they told everyone about it. Now, even the fish seller in the market knows!" Tse says.

Tse recently started studying at the School of Design at Polytechnic University, and hopes to continue working in design. While design is a heavily male industry, with her talent and attitude, Tse's future is bright.

"There're so many possibilities, and I don't want to limit myself," she says. "I want to continue to learn more and make more products that help others live a better life."

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