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One to Watch - Loki Xu

Where did you study and what was the course title?

I studied at Chelsea College of the Arts,University of the Arts London

Name of your lecturer – course tutor?

Course Leader: Jason Cleverly

Tutor: Mike Kann

Creative mission statement - or just something to say about your work:

SenseLink is a set of smell training kit that aims to help individuals with loss of smell to rediscover their sensation via cross-modal perception. The visual and tactile information echoing with the scent contained in each object creates multisensory interactions that enhance the experience of smell training.

How do you feel about being shortlisted by the judges and being selected as a ‘One to Watch’?

I am thrilled to have been shortlisted by the judges and selected as a ‘One to Watch’. It is a great recognition of my work and I am very grateful for the opportunity to showcase my work to a wider audience.

How important is colour in your work and how do you choose and narrow down colours?

I previously considered colour as only an additional layer to the object. However, through the experiments and research in this project, I started to realize how strong can colour influence people’s emotion and perception. Especially, with the cross-modal correspondence, colour is a material in itself conveying tremendous value and significant information.

What is your main source of inspiration?

A lot of my inspirations were from architecture. I consider architects are large-scale furniture makers. Paying attention to the details of some great architectures allowed me to reflect and view my work with a broader sight.

What makes you happiest/most fulfilled in your creative process?

When I convinced myself to approach in an unusual and challenging direction, even though, the result might come out really odd but with full of freshness and disruptive ideas.

What are you working on now/next?

I am planning to stay and work in the UK after I graduated. In the meanwhile, I also want to seek incubation or investment opportunities to push SenseLink to the next stage. Further research into the branding design or market strategy are needed to support this.

Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time?

I want to be an industrial designer who can adapt to the commercial environment, as well as having motivations to practice my personal art which is more about making and crafts.

Creative high point?

The closer I get to the deadline, the more creative I become. I would usually divide the project period into several parts or set small goals in each week to stimulate the creative process.

Creative low point?

When I spent too much time trying to find a perfect solution by staring at computer instead of communicating with the real world.

Is there one person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you? – Maybe in terms of encouraging you when you were at a low point, pushing you in different directions unlocking your potential etc.

Kanya Hara, a Japanese designer, is one of the mentors who influenced me greatly. The medium we used to communicate is through his books. One of his practices focusing on haptic design thoroughly opened a new window for me to understand the design and life. I started to intentionally sense the objects from daily life through multi-sensory. A lot of beautiful things which would normally be ignored were gradually found and excavated. And my final project was to practice this approach in the application of design.

What is your favourite colour?

Indigo blue

Photography: @ _ming_z


Instagram: @loki_bird


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